Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

Office of Challenge Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

$1,000,000

Open to

Organizations

Expected output

Buildings;
Digital Infrastructure;
Equipment

Period of performance

Up to five years

Application available

Optional draft due

Deadline

Expected notification date

Project start date

Grants.gov will be unavailable September 23 - 29, 2022 due to systems maintenance. NEH has extended the deadline for the Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants program to October 5, 2022.

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.

  • 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)

Review your application package

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.

Application Materials

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants: Capital Projects Notice of Funding Opportunity 2022 (PDF)

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants: Digital Infrastructure Notice of Funding Opportunity 2022 (PDF)

Grants.gov application package for Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

Program Resources

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants Frequently Asked Questions, 2022

Administration of NEH Challenge Infrastructure and Capacity Building Grants (for awards with prefix CHA issued on or after February 1, 2022) | The National Endowment for the Humanities

Certification of Matching Gifts for NEH Challenge Grants Form (PDF)

Instructions for the Supplementary Cover Sheet for NEH Grant Programs

Sample Work Plan

2022 New Recipient Webinar

2022 New Recipient Webinar transcription

Resources for Historic Preservation and Environmental Review 

NEH Overview of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act 

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)

Frequently Asked Questions about the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Sample Application Narratives

Cabell County Public Library, Construction of a New Branch Library (PDF)

Dubuque County Historical Society, Preservation and Restoration through Campus Improvements (PDF)

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Multidisciplinary Display of Permanent Collection Artwork (PDF)

Reynolda House Roof Renovation (PDF)

University of California, San Diego, Construction of the Institute of Arts and Humanities (PDF)

Register for a SAM number and an account on Grants.gov

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. 

Complete your application package

Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the notice of funding opportunity and and in the Grants.gov instructions. 

Submit your application package on Grants.gov

You will receive a confirmation from Grants.gov when you've successfully submitted your application. 

Verify you have received email messages from Grants.gov

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.

Program Statistics

In the last six competitions the program received
132
applications
The program had a
28%
funding ratio
The program made
37
Awards
per year