Office of Challenge Programs

For more information about the
Office of Challenge Programs:
(202) 606-8309

Challenge Programs grants strengthen the institutional base and organizational capacity of humanities organizations in the long term. Eligible applicants are U.S. nonprofit organizations, accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governments, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments. All applicants must advance the humanities by preserving and providing access to collections, developing educational programs for various audiences, conducting scholarship and research, or providing scholarly digital resources. 

Fundraising is an important aspect of all Challenge Programs grants. Successful applicants receive awards in matching funds intended to stimulate additional private, state, and local support for their project. Recipients must raise cash contributions from nonfederal third parties before NEH releases matching funds.

All potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Challenge Programs office with questions early in their project conceptualization process and submit draft applications by the appropriate deadline.

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Featured Content

Herbal Heritage: A Renovation Project for the Sabbathday Lake Shakers

“We have a museum, but we’re not a museum,” Michael Graham, Director at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, said recently. “At sites like ours, historic properties are used by others after the culture has disappeared, but [Shaker] culture is still here, guiding the heart and soul and spirit of how we run our public programs—and nested in there is the human connection.” For the Shakers at Sabbathday Lake, Maine, fostering human connection has been the guiding principle of their community for decades.