Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

More Ways to Find Funding for Dance, Arts

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 @ 18:10 PM

In the past month, we have received an increased number of requestsdance for grants to help fund dance studios and dance education, both for youth and adults. We are happy to share some grants available to fund these areas. We also want to describe how these subjects can be funded by grants using a variety of themes. It can help to apply for grants that focus on the various different types of outcomes your program provides. This approach works not just for dancing programs, but for most any area.  Examples of various themes applied to dance funding appear below.

Possible dance funding theme: Community Engagement/Culture/Quality of Life

Dance recitals, education, programs, and engagements are not just important to the individual artist or family, but to the community as a whole. The arts have a huge impact on the livability of a community. Dance productions can bring visitors to town that will spend money at local restaurants and gas stations. Towns with a strong cultural presence are also appealing to families looking to take residence. If your project or program aims to have community involvement or be a large presence in the area, apply for grant programs with these goals, even if dance isn’t specifically listed in the grant description. The National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant program focuses on community culture. This program requires a non-profit organization to partner with a governmental agency to apply. The deadline for this year is December 15.

Possible dance funding theme: Obesity/Health

This current generation of young people, one-third of whom are overweight or obese, may be the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents. Many foundations throughout the United States, as well as federal government agencies, have grant programs that support obesity prevention, especially for youth. Many dance programs are fundable under these programs. Dance helps children become active and exercise. Check out the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation for a grant under this category. The foundation supports opportunities that promote wellness and help prevent obesity. Applications are accepted at any time throughout the year.

Possible dance funding theme: Disability Therapy

If you are hoping to start a dance studio or program, consider creating a class that will provide opportunities for disabled people. There are a wide variety of grant opportunities that support disability programs for both youth and adults. This look at funding for your dance program could provide a unique opportunity. The Dr. Scholl Foundation supports these types of programs, provided the applying organization is a non-profit entity. Proposals are accepted from November 1 to March 1 the following year. Grants range from $5,000-$25,000.

Possible dance funding theme: Arts/Humanities

Then, of course, there are always grants for arts that can help fund your dancing program. These programs are the bread and butter of funding for the arts. However, because they are such a natural fit, they are very competitive and may be harder to win. Non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, individuals, as well as for-profit agencies, can apply for grants from ArtPlace America. This program hopes to fund projects led by artists that help a community’s economic development and revitalization efforts that are also able to attract additional support. All applicants must register with the organization by October 31, and letters of inquiry are due by November 3.


Photo Credit: gnuckx

Topics: humanities, disability therapy, grants for disabled people, grants for humanities, community engagement, dance education, dance grants, community livability, dance, grants for dance, obesity grants, grant opportunity, grants for the arts, nutrition for kids, art grant, arts grants

Upcoming Municipal Grant Opportunities

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 15:08 PM

In helping municipalities set priorities among the constant barrage of requests from the community--infrastructure, better roads, water systems,safey, recreation and leisurem and many communitymore--it can help to know what kinds of funding are available. Toward that end, check out the grants below, some with September deadlines, as well as some information about an ongoing grant program that may be helpful for future planning.

We make you aware of new grant opportunities in a variety of ways, including Twitter and Facebook. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@TheGrantHelpers) to make sure you get updates.

FY 2015 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (BF AWP) Grant

The Environmental Protection Agency is already announcing funding for the next fiscal year’s brownfield grant program. The deadline to apply is Sept. 22, 2014. This funding is available to municipalities and non-profit organizations to conduct research, technical assistance, and/or training activities that will enable the entity to develop an area-wide plan for brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. BF AWP-funded activities must be directed to one or more brownfield site(s) located in a specific area. The maximum amount of grant funding that applicants may apply for under each proposal is $200,000. EPA anticipates selecting approximately 20 projects through this program.

State of Illinois Small Equipment Grant Program

Fire departments, fire protection districts, or township fire departments located in Illinois can now apply for funding from this grant program. Applications are due Sept. 30, 2014. These grants can be used to purchase small equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus, and other tools for firefighters. The grants may not exceed $26,000. In order for a fire department, fire protection district, or township fire department to be eligible for any grant or revolving loan offered through the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM), the department must be in compliance with the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of 24 months prior to the open application period.

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (HCRR) Program

It’s never too early to start grant planning. The National Endowment for the Humanities has already announced funding for its Fiscal Year 2016 HCRR grant program. Applications will be due July 21, 2015. Libraries, museums, and historical organizations are eligible to apply. Funding from this program aims to preserve the collections of these entities. Awards are also made to create various reference resources, as well as make these collections more widely accessible, often through the use of digital technology.

Small Grants Program

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers the Small Grants Program to assist with public-private partnerships that create projects for long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds. The deadline for this program is November 7, 2014. Grant requests may not exceed $75,000, and priority is given to applicants that have not received this grant before. From the inception of the program in 1996 through March 2014, 665 projects have been funded with more than $37.2 in grant money.

Informational Grant Tidbit

Need a transportation grant? Start planning now for a successful grant application for next year’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. Why so early? The demand is so high. Applications for the program this year totaled $9.5 billion, 15 times the $600 million set aside for the program. The Department received 797 eligible applications this year, compared to 585 in 2013.


Photo credit: the_tahoe_guy

Topics: municipality grants, first responder grants, humanities, firefighter safety, firefighter grant, municipality funding, brownfields, brownfield clean up, municipal grant, municipality grant, municipality, fire department grant, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant, municipal grants, municipal funding, transportation, wetlands, TIGER program

NEH Grants: Media, Libraries, Museums, and More!

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Tue, Jun 17, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

NEH GrantsThe National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is one of the largest funders of humanity programs in the United States. This independent federal agency traditionally has awarded grants to museums, libraries, colleges, universities, media outlets, and more.

In this blog article, highlights four of the NEH’s recently announced grant opportunities for media projects, museums, libraries, and other cultural organizations. For a full description of each grant, including application materials, budget resources, program resources, sample narratives, and more, please click on the name of the grant.

Media Projects: Development Grants

The NEH’s Division of Public Programs supports activities that “engage millions of Americans in understanding significant humanities works and ideas.” The Media Projects: Development Grants encourage projects in humanities scholarship in areas such as history, religion, anthropology, and more. Media projects include film and television or radio projects. Film and television projects may be single programs or a series. Radio projects may be single programs, a limited series, or segments within an ongoing program.

Development grants allow media producers to collaborate with experts to develop content and prepare programs for production. According to the Media Projects: Development Grants webpage, “Grants should result in a script and should also yield a detailed plan or outreach and public engagement in collaboration with a partner organization or organizations.”

In the last five competitions for this grant, there have been 41 applicants and three awards on average per competition. This equates to a funding ratio of approximately a 7%.

DEADLINE: August 13, 2014


Media Projects: Production Grants

This grant supports efforts similar to those of the Media Project: Development Grant program. However, this grant focuses on supporting the production and distribution of media that engage the public.

In the last five competitions for this grant, there have been 40 applicants and six awards on average per competition. This equates to a funding ratio of approximately a 15%. 

DEADLINE: August 13, 2014


Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants

The NEH’s Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants support exhibitions at museums, libraries, or other venues; interpretations of historical places, sites, or regions; and book or film discussion programs, living history presentations, and other face-to-face programs at libraries, community centers, and other public venues. Planning grants support project development, refinement of themes, beginning design, testing, and audience evaluation.

In the last five competitions for this grant, there have been 64 applicants and six awards on average per competition. This equates to a funding ratio of approximately a 9%.

DEADLINE: August 13, 2014


Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants

This grant supports efforts similar to those of the Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grant program. However, this grant focuses on supporting scholarly research and consultation, designing development, and installing a project for public presentation.

In the last five competitions for this grant, there have been 46 applicants and nine awards on average per competition. This equates to a funding ratio of approximately a 20%.

DEADLINE: August 13, 2014


If you are interested in learning more about all of the various NEH grants, please visit the NEH Grants website. If you are curious whether or not these grants would be a good fit for your organization, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We have the experts you need to get you on the right track.


Image credit: Prabhu B Doss

Topics: NEH grant, humanities, grants for humanities, cultural grant, grants for the arts, grants for museum, grants for libraries, museum grants, art grant, arts grants, culture grants, library grants

A Buffet of Upcoming Municipal Grant Opportunities

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 @ 08:03 AM

There are a lot of appetizing grants available for municipalities this fiscal year. We have prepared for you a hand-selected buffet of grants in a wide variety of subject areas, all with upcoming deadlines. can help facilitate rush jobs if your favorite grant seen below has a deadline only months, or weeks, away. So pull up a chair, pick your favorite “dish,” and let us help you fund your projects.

FY14 Brownfields Training, Research, and Technical Assistance Grant

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for its Fiscal Year 2014 Brownfields Training, Research, and Technical Assistance Grant Program. A brownfield is land previously used for industrial purposes or some commercial uses. The land may be contaminated by low concentrations of hazardous waste or pollution, and has the potential to be reused once it is cleaned up.This year’s program is focusing on four areas:

  • technical assistance to environmental workforce development and job training grantees

  • technical assistance on the integration of environmental justice and equitable development for brownfields-impacted communities

  • research on the benefits of brownfields redevelopment

  • technical assistance on brownfields financing and economic development strategies to brownfields-impacted communities.

One grant will be made in each subject area, with grants totaling between $500,000-$1 million. Eligible costs include: costs for personnel, technical experts, materials, supplies, room rentals, travel, and transportation expenses. Proposals are due April 18.  

Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program

Applications are accepted on a continual basis for the Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program through the Department of Commerce. Grants can be up to $100,000, and there is a cost matching requirement. State and local governments can apply for these grants which aim to create regional economic development plans designed to stimulate and guide the economic development efforts of a community or region. Specifically, grants should be used to develop, implement, revise, or replace Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies, which are documents that express a region’s economic goals. 

Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program

Units of local governments that wish to implement or enhance an adult drug court are eligible for this grant program from the Department of Justice. This program funds drug courts that effectively integrate evidenced-based substance abuse treatment, mandatory drug testing, sanctions and incentives, and transitional services in a judicially supervised court setting with jurisdiction over substance-abusing offenders. These courts have been shown to reduce crime and substance abuse among high-risk, high-need offenders. Municipalities hoping to create a new drug court are eligible for a $350,000 grant, while cities wishing to enhance their already-established court are entitled to a $200,000 grant. Governments must provide a 25% non-federal portion of the total project cost. Applications are due March 18.    

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

The National Endowment for the Humanities is accepting applications for its Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions Program. The aim of this program is to assist small to mid-sized institutions like libraries, museums, or historical societies preserve and care for humanities collections. Applications from institutions that have never received a NEH grant previously are strongly encouraged. In the last five competitions the Preservation Assistance Grants program received an average of 313 applications per year. The program made an average of 106 awards per year, for a funding ratio of 34 percent. The application deadline is May 1.

FY 2014 Economic Development Assistance Program

Municipalities hoping to better their economic development strategies should apply for this grant program through the Economic Development Administration. Grants support the implementation of regional economic development strategies designed to create jobs, leverage private capital, and encourage economic development. Specifically, the EDA hopes to foster job creation and spur private investment by providing these grants. There is a matching requirement for this program. The next deadline is June 13 for the last funding cycle of FY2014. The deadline for the first funding cycle of FY15 is October 17.  


Contact us today and our municipality expert, Rebecca Motley, will walk you through our services, all of which are completely customizable to your needs. And remember, the first consultation is always free.


Photo credit: Jorge Gobbi

Topics: economic development, humanities, grant notification, grant announcement, brownfields, drug court, grant opportunity, municipal grant