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Preserve America Grant Program
  1. Who may apply for Preserve America grants?

  2. What is a Preserve America Community?

  3. How soon after applying are grant awards announced?

  4. What are the rules for the required matching share?

  5. What type of work is eligible for funding?

  6. What conditions are included in a Preserve America grant agreement?

  7. May I see a sample of a funded Preserve America application?


1.  Who may apply for Preserve America grants?   Top

Designated Preserve America Communities and Neighborhoods, State Historic Preservation Offices, Tribal Historic Preservation Offices and Certified Local Governments that have applied for Preserve America Community designation are all eligible to apply for Preserve America grants.

Individuals, nonprofits, and for-profit businesses are not eligible for funding.

The Preserve America Community designation application process is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. To find out how to become a Preserve America Community, visit the Council's website or call (202) 606-8503.

2.  What is a Preserve America Community?   Top

Preserve America Communities are communities that:

  • protect and celebrate their heritage;
  • use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization;
  • and
  • encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.

Benefits of designation include:

  • White House recognition;
  • a certificate of recognition;
  • a Preserve America Community road sign;
  • eligibility for Preserve America grants;
  • authorization to use the Preserve America logo on signs, flags, banners, and promotional materials;
  • listing in a web-based Preserve America Community directory;
  • inclusion in national and regional press releases;
  • official notification of designation to State tourism offices and visitor bureaus; and
  • enhanced community visibility and pride.

3.  How soon after applying are grant awards announced?   Top

Typically, announcements are made within four months of the application deadline.

4.  What are the rules for the required matching share?   Top

For every dollar of federal funds awarded, the grantee must supply a dollar of nonfederal matching funds.

The basic rule regarding matching share (of cash or of necessary non-cash donations of services, equipment use, or supplies) is that it must be necessary to achieve the objectives of the project and must share the cost of performing the grant-assisted work. The matching share requirement is essential because it creates a strong partnership that financially connects the grant-recipient to achieving the work of the project.

Costs and matching share contributions must be incurred during the grant period, unless an exception is approved by the Federal granting agency to allow what are termed "pre-award costs," or "pre-agreement costs." These costs hinge upon the requirement that matching share must be: 1) directly related, 2) necessary, and 3) reasonable for the proper and efficient accomplishment of project objectives. NPS may allow costs contributed or incurred up to one year preceding the award of the grant as being reasonable and allowable pre-award costs.

5.  What type of work is eligible for funding?   Top

Preserve America grants support planning, development, and implementation of innovative activities and programs in heritage tourism such as surveying and documenting historic resources, interpreting historic sites, planning, marketing, and training. Successful applicants will emphasize creative projects that promote and preserve the community's cultural resources. Successful projects will involve public-private partnerships and serve as models to communities nationwide for heritage tourism, education, and economic development.

Your project must fit one of the following categories:

  • Research and Documentation
  • Education and Interpretation
  • Planning
  • Marketing
  • Training

Preserve America grants do not fund:

  • Repair, rehabilitation, or acquisition of historic properties, sites, or collections.
  • Conservation of collections.
  • Long-term maintenance or curatorial work.
  • Reconstructing former historic properties.
  • Moving historic properties.
  • Construction of new buildings.
  • Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds.
  • Fund-raising costs.
  • Work performed prior to announcement of award.
  • Miscellaneous costs such as contingencies, reserves, food, and overhead.

6.  What conditions are included in a Preserve America grant agreement?   Top

Download a sample Preserve America grant agreement.

7.  May I see a sample of a funded Preserve America application?   Top

Download a sample Preserve America grant application (PDF format).


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