National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Telling the Full History Preservation Fund

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Telling the Full History Preservation Fund is a one-time grant program to interpret and preserve historic places of importance to underrepresented communities across states and territories of the United States. This program is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ American Rescue Plan Humanities Grantmaking for Organizations and, as such, is subject to federal rules for award selection and reporting.

Donor Name: National Trust for Historic Preservation

Country: US and US Territories

State: All States

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline (mm/dd/yyyy): 12/15/2021

Size of the Grant: $25,000 and $50,000


Grants from this program will be awarded at the $25,000 and $50,000 levels through an open and competitive application process. This program will provide financial support to eligible organizations to preserve and interpret historic places across the nation that illuminate narratives of underrepresented groups of people. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, women, immigrants, Asian Americans, Black Americans, Latinx Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and LGBTQ communities.

This program has two overarching goals:

  • to support the core activities of humanities-based organizations as they recover from the pandemic.
  • to support organizations or projects that use historic places as catalysts for a more just and equitable society.

Importantly, applicants must demonstrate that their organization or agency has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Information on these adverse impacts will be collected through the application process. Adverse impacts can include impacts on revenue, spending, staffing, visitation, and other key metrics that demonstrate a need for support through this grant fund.

Grants will be awarded in four categories:

  • Research, planning, and implementation of public interpretive programs that utilize diverse historic places to tell the full history of the United States and Indigenous peoples;
  • Research and documentation to enable local, state, and federal landmark designations to recognize historic places of importance to underrepresented communities;
  • Architectural design and planning to advance preservation and activation of historic buildings and landscapes that tell the full history of the United States and Indigenous peoples;
  • Implementation of training workshops to support underrepresented groups in preserving and/or interpreting historic places that tell the full history of the United States and Indigenous peoples.
  • Funded projects can include elements of the four categories listed above. For example, a project could include both architectural designs and interpretive planning for a historic place.

Through this grant program, the National Trust is seeking to support humanities-based projects that focus on the preservation, interpretation, and activation of historic places important to underrepresented communities. The National Trust intends that grant-funded projects will help accomplish some or all of the following objectives of the National Endowment for the Humanities:

  • To reflect upon the nation’s quest for a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society;
  • Tell unvarnished stories with themes related to justice and equity; and,
  • Strengthen Americans’ knowledge of the principles of our constitutional governance and democracy

Eligible Applicants

Applicants must be a humanities-based organization, program, or agency or must have the humanities as a major focus of work. Historic preservation is considered humanities-based work.

Additionally, applicants must be one of the following:

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. A broad-range of humanities-based 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible to apply, including state and local preservation organizations, historic sites, museums, historical societies, and genealogical associations.
  • Accredited public or 501(c)(3) college or university. Examples include academic programs in historic preservation, public history, and cultural studies of underrepresented groups.
  • State or local governmental agency. State or local agencies include boards, commissions, departments, offices, agencies, public bodies, or political subdivisions of the state or of a county or municipality. Examples include state historic preservation offices, city and county preservation offices and planning departments, state and local commissions focused on different aspects of heritage, and publicly owned historic sites and museums.
  • Federally recognized Native American tribal government or Tribal Historic Preservation Office. Federally recognized Native American tribal governments are American Indian or Alaska Native tribal entities that are recognized as having a government-to-government relationship with the United States.

Fiscal agents are not eligible applicants for this grant fund. Grants will only be awarded to applicants that are directly undertaking the grant-funded work.

Ineligible Applicants

The following may not apply to this program:

  • Organizations that received American Rescue Plan funds directly from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organization program.
  • Nonprofit organizations that have not obtained 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service. Other nonprofit types, or those whose 501(c)(3) status is pending, also are not eligible.
  • Organizations and institutions proposing to engage in activities outside the humanities (e.g., the creation or performance of art).
  • Members of the National Trust’s Board of Trustees, an officer or staff member of the National Trust, or a member of this grant program’s external Selection Committee may not apply. (Former trustees, officers, and staff may apply if a full year has passed since the person’s service in that capacity has ended.)
  • Federal agencies.
  • Humanities Councils (56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils and interim partners).
  • For-profit entities.
  • Foreign entities.
  • Any organization or person who has been debarred or suspended by any federal department or agency.
  • Any organization who is delinquent on repayment of federal debt.

Additional Eligibility Requirements and Information

  • Grant-funded projects must focus on the humanities and applicants must be able to demonstrate past success in implementing humanities-based projects or programs.
  • Applicants that have received previous National Trust financial assistance are eligible provided that all current grant requirements are being met.
  • Organizations may only submit one application to this fund.

This program is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ American Rescue Plan Humanities Grantmaking for Organizations. Grantees will be required to meet certain terms and conditions required by this federal program, including reporting, auditing, and period of performance requirements.

For more information, visit Telling the Full History Preservation Fund.