History of Equal Rights Grants

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Women picketing at the white house Preservation Grants to tell the Story of Equal Rights for All Americans

Funded through the Historic Preservation Fund, the History of Equal Rights grant program preserves sites related to the struggle of all people to achieve equal rights in America. The History of Equal Rights grants are not limited to any specific group and are intended to include the broadest possible interpretation of sites associated with efforts to achieve equal rights. This program funds physical preservation work and pre-preservation planning activities for sites that are listed in or determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark. Should a site not be listed, or not listed for its association with equal rights, then a new nomination or amendment must be created as part of the grant project.

Grants under this program are awarded through a competitive process and do not require non-Federal match.

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We are currently accepting applications. Review information and apply through grants.gov.

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How to Apply?

Applications for this program must be submitted through grants.gov. To apply, you should visit grants.gov and search for this grant program and review all information posted there. Complete application instructions are provided in the Notice of Funding Opportunity on grants.gov.

National Register Eligibility Assessment Worksheet

A key component to all applications is the National Register Eligibility Assessment Worksheet available on grants.gov under the funding opportunity announcement. The funding opportunity announcement is only available when we are accepting applications.

The purpose of the worksheet is to document whether the grant-assisted property (resource) is listed in the National Register of Historic Places or has been designated a National Historic Landmark and whether the listing or designation is for the resource's association with equal rights. In order to be eligible for a grant under this program, the grant-assisted resource (property) must be listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or designated a National Historic Landmark. The phrase "equal rights" may not appear in a National Register or National Historic Landmark listing or designation; in completing the National Register Assessment Worksheet, part of your response should include what rights the resource is associated with and what the struggle was to obtain these rights were.

If the property (resource) is… then the worksheet should address…
individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark for its association with equal rights how the individual resource is significant
a contributing resource to a National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmark district for its association with equal rights how the resource within the district is significant
individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark but not for its association with equal rights how the individual resource is significant for its association with equal rights
a contributing resource to a National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmark district but not for its association with equal rights how the resource within the district is significant for its association with equal rights
not yet individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark for its association with equal rights how the individual resource is significant for its association with equal rights; the project budget must also include the cost of completing a nomination
not yet listed a contributing resource to a National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmark district for its association with equal rights how the resource within the district is significant for its association with equal rights; the project budget must also include the cost of completing a nomination

Who May Apply?

  • States and territories
  • Federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska native organizations, and Native Hawaiian organizations
  • Local governments, including Certified Local Governments
  • Non-profit organizations (both with and without 501(c)(3) designation)
Organizations not in one of these categories must apply in partnership with an eligible recipient listed above.

What is Funded?

In general, grants must support pre-preservation and preservation projects.
  • Grants for preservation projects must request between $75,000 and $500,000 in federal share, of which 20% may go towards pre-preservation costs such as architectural or engineering services
  • Grants for projects that include only pre-preservation work must request between $15,000 and $50,000 in federal share
  • Preservation projects fund physical preservation of a historic site to include:
    • Historic districts
    • Buildings
    • Sites
    • Structures
    • Objects
  • Preservation projects must comply with relevant laws, such as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, and include execution of a preservation covenant or easement.
  • Eligible costs include: pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, and the repair and rehabilitation of historic properties according to the Secretary of the Interior's Treatment Standards for Historic Properties
  • Properties assisted by a grant for either preservation or pre-preservation work must be listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or designated a National Historic Landmark. Properties may be either listed individually or as part of a district.

What is Not Funded?

  • Construction of new buildings
  • Acquisition of collections or historic sites
  • Long-term maintenance of curatorial work beyond the grant period
  • Reconstruction of historic properties, specifically: recreating all or a significant portion no longer extant
  • Moving an historic property or work on historic properties that have been relocated an are no longer eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places
  • Cash reserves, endowments, revolving funds, or fund-raising costs
  • Work performed prior to the announcement of grant award
  • Lobbying or advocacy activities
  • Costs for work already completed or funded through other federal programs
  • Administrative costs may not be over 25% of the project budget
    • By law, the sum of indirect and administrative expenses for this grant program is limited to 25%. The Notice of Funding Opportunity posted to grants.gov describes this limitation in more detail.
  • Miscellaneous costs, contingencies, reserves, or overhead

Selection Process

NPS personnel and qualified Federal employees will review all complete proposals using the criteria outlined below. Reviewers’ evaluations are based solely on the material provided in the application. Additional materials not specifically required by the application, and materials sent separately from the application, will not be considered. A summary of the review panel comments may be provided to the applicant if requested after the grant process is complete.

Panel recommendations will be made to the Secretary of the Interior who will select successful applicants and forward to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations. NPS will conduct risk assessments on all projects prior to funding. Matching funds are not required, but may be considered as part of the evaluation process.

Last updated: November 13, 2020