Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants
THE DEADLINE FOR THIS CYCLE HAS PASSED.
Updated guidelines will be posted in advance of the next deadline. In the meantime, please use these guidelines to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.
Maximum award amount
Period of performance
Application available (anticipated)
Next deadline (anticipated)
Expected notification date
Project start date
The purpose of the program is to strengthen the institutional base of the humanities by enabling infrastructure development and capacity building. Awards of federal matching funds aim to help institutions secure long-term support for their core activities and expand efforts to preserve and create access to outstanding humanities materials. The program supports two distinct types of projects, each with its own Notice of Funding Opportunity:
- Capital Projects support the purchase, design, construction, restoration, or renovation of facilities for humanities activities. This includes costs related to planning as well as the purchase and installation of related moveable and permanently affixed equipment for exhibiting, maintaining, monitoring, and protecting collections (whether on exhibit or in storage), and for critical building systems, such as electrical, heating ventilation and air conditioning, security, life safety, lighting, utilities, telecommunications, and energy management.
- Digital Infrastructure supports the maintenance, modernization, and sustainability of existing digital scholarly projects and platforms.
Fundraising is a critical part of NEH Challenge grant awards: up to 10 percent of total funds (NEH federal matching funds plus certified gifts) may be used for fundraising costs during the period of performance.
What’s new in 2022
- Three levels of awards with different match ratios: For requests up to $150,000 the match ratio is 1:1. From $150,001 to $500,000 it is 3:1. From $500,001-$1,000,000 it is 4:1.
- Federally recognized tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations are eligible for a 1:1 match ratio at all request levels.
- An introductory statement is required in the application narrative.
- Check the NOFO for adjustments to recommended and required page limits and formatting instructions.
- For Capital Projects, the 429A form has been replaced with a conditionally required site description.
- In compliance with the recently passed Build America, Buy America Act (Pub. L. 117-58 § 70901, et seq.), beginning May 14, 2022, all iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in projects involving construction, renovation, or facility infrastructure must have been produced in the United States.
Disclaimer: This is not a complete list of all changes to the Notice of Funding Opportunity
Watch the 2022 Infrastructure and Capacity Building webinar
- 33-minute presentation
- Closed captions available
Download a transcript of the webinar (PDF)
Download the webinar slides (PDF)
Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity to ensure you understand the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this grant and that you are prepared to write the most effective application. Note that this program has separate NOFOs for capital projects and digital infrastructure projects.
Resources for Historic Preservation and Environmental Review
Sample Application Narratives
Confirm that your SAM registration is current and verify your access to Grants.gov. If you have not already done so, you must create a Login.gov user account to register and log in to SAM and Grants.gov. Login.gov is a secure sign in service used by the public to sign in to participating government agencies. Create and link your account now.
Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the notice of funding opportunity and and in the Grants.gov instructions.
You will receive a confirmation from Grants.gov when you've successfully submitted your application.
After you submit your application, Grants.gov will send you up to five e-mail messages confirming receipt of your application. These messages represent different stages in the application acceptance process. You should verify that you have received all confirmation messages. Please note that email filters may send these messages to your spam or junk folder.