As Memorial Day approaches, many individuals in the U.S. will privately commemorate loved ones who gave their lives during military service. Communal remembrances of our nation’s fallen soldiers and the battles they fought are also crucial to national healing and progress toward future peace.
War memorials and battlefield preservation sites are just two of the many ways that both public and private organizations can help Americans learn about and remember our country’s wartime history, as well as honor the men and women who fought during our nation's battles. For agencies that seek grant funding to help build or restore war memorials or preserve and enhance battlefield historic sites, there are many questions to consider. This blog addresses some of those questions.
|Q: Are there really grants for something as specific as building a war memorial or preserving a battlefield?|
A: Absolutely! There are many grants from a variety of sources to help fund such projects.
|Q: Who funds grants for war memorials or battlefield preservation?|
A: While a majority of funding for these patriotic projects unsurprisingly comes from federal U.S. government organizations, especially the National Park Service (NPS), there are also state and local government agencies, private foundations, and even businesses that provide such grants.
|Q: How can I find grant opportunities for war memorials or battlefield preservation?|
A: There are many ways to find grants for any project focus, including war memorials and battlefield preservation. The first way is by doing an internet search using key terms, such as “grants for war memorials” or “grants to preserve battlefields.” You can narrow your search further to find the grants most applicable to your particular project by specifying aspects of your initiative, such as geographical area (e.g. “grants to build a war memorial in North Carolina”) or project focus (e.g. “grants for Civil War battlefield site preservation”).
You can also search online to see if your area has any local or state agencies that handle historical sites, historical preservation, or veteran's affairs. If so, contacting such entities can be helpful, as these types of organizations may have the inside track on war memorial and battlefield preservation grant opportunities for your specific location.
The Grant Helpers can also assist you in your war memorial and/or battlefield preservation grant search. We offer a free initial Fundability Evaluation to get to know your organization and its funding needs. We then offer a paid Grant Opportunity Search, which includes a Grant Opportunity Report with a list of relevant grant opportunities you can apply to. With access to several pay-walled grant-search databases, The Grant Helpers can access many grants not easily searchable by the general public, with specific search criteria to find the grants that best match your organization’s priorities, needs, and even geographical location. By working from a list of grants tailored to your company’s needs and your specific project, you’ll save time and effort by applying only to grants for which you have a strong case for funding.
|Q: How can I increase the likelihood of actually getting a grant for our organization’s war memorial or battlefield preservation project?|
A: For a project focus this specific, the competition for grant funding will likely be substantial: some grantmaking organizations have multiple focuses and thus a large number of applicants; others are more focused but more targeted and compelling applications. So, how can you set your project apart?
The most important way to ensure your proposal is persuasive is to take the time to plan a fundable project. Projects that appeal most to funders, no matter what the project focus is, include the following:
- A specific focus that fits the funder’s stated priorities or interests
- Narrative details that clarify to an outsider what, exactly, the project is
- Specific goals and measurable outcomes, supported by both quantitative and qualitative data
- Collaborations with other organizations to help prove your project is community-oriented and will have a wide impact
Once you have outlined a well-planned, specific, and compelling project, clear and captivating writing can often be the deciding factor in funding. Grant writing is another aspect of the grant application process where we at The Grant Helpers can assist. Our expert writers can help you present your well-planned war memorial or battlefield preservation project in the most persuasive light possible. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation, whether you need guidance on the planning phase of your project or are ready to start applying for grants and would like writing assistance.
|Q: What grant opportunities for war memorial and/or battlefield preservation can I check out right now?|
A: Building and Restoring War Memorials that Promote Patriotism
The War Memorial’s Patriot Initiative grants support community-focused projects that “promote patriotism” and celebrate American military heroes. Non-profit organizations that have been open for at least three years and have “established governance [and] multiple employees” are eligible to apply. While this organization’s initial funding scope is listed as Southeast Michigan, organizations in other locations may be able to apply as well. For more information on the current status of this geographical requirement, contact the War Memorial agency at 313-332-4075. Applications are typically due September 1st of each year, so keep an eye out early this summer for the 2018 cycle opening.
Preserving "America's Treasures"
The National Park Service (NPS) provides a variety of funding opportunities relevant to war memorials and battlefield preservation, including the Save America’s Treasures grant program. Since 1999, this grant program has funded over $315 million to support nationally-significant projects that preserve “historic properties and collections that convey our nation's rich heritage to future generations of Americans.” For your project to be eligible, the memorial or battlefield within your initiative must be registered as a National Historic Landmark or contribute to an existing National Historic Landmark. Most types of organizations are eligible to apply, including governmental agencies at all levels, federally-recognized tribal entities, non-profits, educational organizations, and religious institutions.
If your project is a collection of war memorials or monuments, your initiative would likely fit into the “collections projects” category, for which the grant award amounts are between $25,000 and $500,000. If your project focuses on preserving or restoring one or more battlefield sites, then your project would likely fit into the “historic property projects” category, for which the award amounts are between $125,000 and $500,000. Check with an NPS representative before applying to confirm into which category your particular projects fits. Applications are usually due mid-February of each year, so mark your calendars to check back late in 2018 for the opening of this program’s 2019 application cycle.
As noted above, the NPS also has many other grant opportunities you can check out that are relevant to war memorial and battlefield preservation projects, such as their National Maritime Heritage grant program and their American Battlefield Protection Program.
Photo Credit: Joey Zanotti