Public Impact Projects at Smaller Organizations

Division of Public Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount


Open to


Expected output

Program Evaluation;
Staff and Volunteer Professional Development;
Public Programs

Period of performance

Up to two years

Application available

Optional draft due


Expected notification date

Project start date

Small and mid-sized cultural organizations are keepers of history and culture, sources of lifelong learning, and community place makers. Public Impact Projects grants seek to assist you in meeting your community’s needs by expanding the scope, reach, and excellence of your public programs. These awards support a variety of activities that focus on enriching interpretive strategies, strengthening interpretive skill sets or enhancing community engagement with public-facing programs. This program aims to meet small and mid-sized organizations where you are by supporting projects that are appropriate in scope and content to each organization’s resources and community needs.

The key questions this program asks you to consider are: What are your organization’s interpretive humanities needs or programmatic goals? How would meeting these needs or goals benefit public audiences?

NEH’s Public Impact Projects encourage you to think critically about the humanities programming your organization currently offers and to assess your organization’s relationship to your community and surrounding neighborhoods. You will develop or implement strategies to strengthen the interpretive goals of your organization and ensure your public programing meets audience needs. Funded projects may focus on evaluating current interpretive programing, collections, and other available resources to identify new story opportunities or interpretive methods. Additionally, you may choose to propose the implementation of new programs you have already developed. Another option is to request support for professional development opportunities that will assist your staff and volunteers in expanding their skills as interpreters of humanities grounded material. You may also combine one or more of these approaches to create a strategy that meets the needs of your organization and audience.

NEH encourages proposals from first-time applicants and those who have not received NEH funding.

Five tips for successfully submitting your application:

  1. Start working on your application early and don’t wait until the deadline day to submit the final proposal!
  2. If you apply to more than one NEH program, remember that each proposal must be distinct, with completely different project scopes and budgets. Multiple proposals with identical or overlapping budgets will be declared ineligible.
  3. Applications will be declared ineligible if you do not observe the requirements stated in the Notice of Funding Opportunity:
    • Comply with all listed required page limits;
    • Include all required and conditionally required information and attachments;
    • Remember that projects involving federal agencies (for example, National Parks, Smithsonian Museums, Library of Congress, etc.) are ineligible if the project takes on characteristics of that federal entity’s own authorized activities.
  4. After you submit your application, check your email and spam folder frequently for a series of messages from tracking your application through the process of validation and transmission to the NEH. At each stage in the process will send you either a confirmation message that your application has successfully advanced to the next step or an error, incomplete, or ineligible message. Applications will not be accepted if you do not correct the error before the deadline, so allow time to fix them. If your application is successfully submitted, you will receive a total of five messages from
  5. Ask for our help and advice! Contact a Program Officer in the Division of Public Programs @email.

View the prerecorded Public Impact Projects as Smaller Organizations webinar to learn more about the program and get tips for applying.

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.

Application Materials

Public Impact Projects for Smaller Institutions Notice of Funding Opportunity 2023 (PDF)

Public Impact Projects for Smaller Institutions application package

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Complete your application package

Follow the instructions outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity and in the instructions.

Submit your application package on

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

Verify you have received email messages from

After you submit your application, 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.