American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations Frequently Asked Questions 

The Frequently Asked Questions will be updated regularly during the application period.

What is the period of public availability for this opportunity? 

The period of public availability is April 7, 2021 until May 14, 2021 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. 

Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S® number and Grants.gov registration. Learn more about this multistep process

Check your registrations well in advance of the deadline to ensure that they are accurate, current, and active; if they are not current at the time of Grants.gov submission, your application will be rejected. 

You should allow several weeks for the registration process. If you fail to allow sufficient time to complete registration with SAM or Grants.gov, you will not be eligible for a deadline extension or waiver of the online submission requirement. 

See D3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management in the Notice of Funding for additional information on the required registration process. 

Have any registration requirements been relaxed for applicants to the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations program? 

In order to expeditiously issue funding and consistent with OMB memo M-21-20, NEH has relaxed the requirement for active SAM registration at time of application for the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organization program. Current registrants in SAM with active registrations expiring between April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021 will automatically be afforded a one-time extension of 180 days. At the time of award, the requirements of 2 CFR § 200.206 continue to apply. NEH will not make an award to an applicant lacking an active SAM registration. 

Will NEH accept proposals after the published deadline? 

No. Applications must be received by the published deadline. Late, incomplete, nonresponsive, or ineligible applications will not be considered for funding under this notice. 

Grants.gov will be down for system updates starting Saturday May 15, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time. As such, NEH strongly encourages applicants to submit their proposals well before the deadline of May 14, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Who is eligible to apply to the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations program? 

Eligible applicants include U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments. 

The 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils and interim partners are not eligible to apply under this notice. State and jurisdictional humanities councils will receive American Rescue Plan funds directly as a supplement to their general operating support grants. 

Individuals, foreign and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply. 

Our organization received an award under the NEH CARES: Humanities Organizations program in 2020. May we apply for an award under the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations program? 

Yes. If you were previously funded under the NEH CARES program, this will not impact your eligibility for the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations program. Keep in mind that two or more applications for federal funding and/or approved federal award budgets are not permitted to include overlapping project costs. 

May our organization submit more than one application to the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations program? 

No, eligible applicants may only submit a single proposal under this announcement. For purposes of eligibility, NEH will consider parent organizations and their subordinates to be a single entity. NEH will use the definition of “related organization” provided by the Internal Revenue Service in the glossary of the 2020 Instructions for Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax for eligibility determinations. Institutions of higher education are encouraged to include academic libraries, museums, academic presses, and research centers in their proposal. See C3: Other Eligibility Information in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). 

May we submit applications to both the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations and American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grantmaking programs? 

Eligible applicants may only submit a single proposal under the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations program. Eligible applicants may also submit a single proposal under the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grantmaking program. 

Does our proposed project need to be new, or can we request funding to sustain a current program? 

Applicants may propose new humanities projects or focus on sustaining existing core humanities programs and activities. 

How should we select the appropriate application package in Grants.gov? 

The American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations funding opportunity includes five application packages in Grants.gov. Consult D1. Application Package in the NOFO to choose the one that is best aligned with your proposed project. In cases where a project includes multiple activities, select the application package most closely aligned with your predominant activity. The package you select will be used for reporting purposes and will have no effect on the review of your application or impact your likelihood of receiving an award. 

How much funding can we request? 

You may apply for an amount based on your total annual operating costs. NEH is providing three funding levels based on total annual operating costs. If required to file, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations should refer to their 2019 Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax), part one, line 18. 

  • Level I: Organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $1,000,000 may request up to $50,000. 
  • Level II: Organizations with an annual operating budget of between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000 may request up to $200,000. 
  • Level III: Organizations with an annual operating budget of greater than $10,000,000 may request up to $500,000. 

What kind of technical assistance are NEH program staff able to offer to prospective applicants? 

NEH program staff will answer technical questions about this funding opportunity submitted via email to @email. Due to the anticipated level of interest in this funding opportunity, and as a matter of fairness to all applicants, NEH program staff will not engage in one-on-one counseling calls or read drafts. 

May we submit a draft narrative for preliminary review? 

No, NEH program staff will not review drafts for this program. 

What required application components must we submit? 

Applicants must submit a narrative, work plan, and biographies for key personnel, as well as a series of Grants.gov forms, including the Research and Related Budget, to which a budget justification will be attached. Additional conditionally required components may be required. See D2. Content and Form of Application Submission in the NOFO for instructions on preparing your application. 

Why does the length of the narrative vary depending on the funding level? What happens if we exceed a stated page limit? 

Level I and Level II applicants must limit the narrative to three pages. Level III applicants must limit the narrative to five pages. Level III applicants are provided with additional space given that their projects may be more complex. All applicants must use one-inch margins and a font size of no less than eleven point. Applications that exceed page limits or violate format instructions will be considered nonresponsive and will be rejected from further consideration. 

Our organization currently has an award from NEH. May we apply to continue the same project? 

Possibly. The American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations can support new humanities projects or focus on sustaining core humanities programs and activities. If your organization currently has (or previously held) an NEH award, you may be able to apply for a continuation of that work under the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations program. Keep in mind that two or more applications for federal funding and/or approved federal award budgets are not permitted to include overlapping project costs. For example, a museum that currently holds a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to digitize a subset of its collections could request funding under this notice to further extend its digitization efforts for additional collections, provided the projects do not include overlapping costs. 

Whom should we contact if we have technical questions regarding the submission of our application in Grants.gov? 

You should contact Grants.gov Applicant Support at @email for technical assistance, including assistance with bypassing the SAM registration requirement in Grants.gov. Always obtain a case number when calling for support. 

You may also find answers to your questions on the Grants.gov Self Service Knowledge Base. In addition, Grants.gov maintains a library of instructional videos which may be helpful resources as you prepare your application.