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Preservation Grants

District of Columbia community groups, organizations, and nonprofits are eligible to apply for preservation grants from several grant-making entities—HumanitiesDC, the DC Preservation League, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

HumanitiesDC

The DC Community Heritage Project is a joint collaboration between the DC Historic Preservation Office and HumanitiesDC. The project provides grants to support community leaders interested in preserving the history, architecture, and collective memory of their neighborhoods. Since its inception, over 150 grants totaling over $300,000 have been awarded. Many of the final products from these awards are also posted on the HPO website.

Grants of up to $2,500 focus on community heritage or historic preservation through an intensive four-month grant period (June through October) resulting in a tangible product. Eligible projects include exhibits and displays, video or podcast productions, neighborhood history websites, curriculum development, oral histories, historical building surveys, research papers, church history brochures, scholarly editing/publishing, archive collection, site interpretation/tours, teacher institutes, seminars, and community history days. All funded projects involve a humanities scholar who is familiar with the topic and the necessary professional disciplines. The scholar provides guidance on project research and methodology.

For more information, please check the HumanitiesDC website, call (202) 747-6470 or contact HumanitiesDC by email.

DC Preservation League

The DC Preservation League's Preservation Initiatives (PI) Grant Program provides matching grants to individuals and non-profit organizations for preservation planning, research, outreach/education, and bricks and mortar projects related to historic and cultural sites. These grants are intended to help stimulate public discussion, introduce the public to preservation concepts and techniques, make technical expertise accessible, and encourage partnerships.

Grant applications will be accepted from February 1 through March 29, 2019 for three funds:

Preservation Initiatives Fund: Mid-Century Modern & Religious Properties. The goal of this fund is to provide city-wide distribution of funding to enhance the citizens' knowledge and understanding of mid-century modern (c.1933-1976) and/or historic religious architecture in Washington.

Preservation Initiatives Fund: Brightwood Car Barn.  The goal of this fund is to provide the wider possible distribution of funding to the Brightwood Community and Ward 4 of the city to enhance the citizens' knowledge and understanding of historic resources in the community that add to the area's unique cultural heritage.

Preservation Initiatives Fund: Virginia Avenue Tunnel. The goal of the fund is to distribute funds within the geographic area surrounding the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project that will be used to preserve, restore, research, identify and evaluate, interpret or otherwise benefit historic resources within the project area. 

Funding is available for the following project types related to the funds listed above:

Preservation Planning
Award Range: $5,000-$10,000 | Match Percentage Required: 25%
Develop strategies for the preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation of a historic property/site. (Building/site must be a locally designated historic landmark or a contributing resource to a historic district)

Research
Award Range: $5,000-$10,000 | Match Percentage Required: 25%
Support for research efforts related to a historic property/site. (Applicant must make a strong case for the historic significance of the building/site. Research that will support development of a nomination must demonstrate owner support)

Outreach & Education
Award Range: $5,000-$10,000 | Match Percentage Required: 25%
Development of programs or educational material related to a historic site(s) that actively engage and educate the public. (Building/site must be a locally designated historic landmark or a contributing resource to a historic district)

Bricks & Mortar*
Award Range: $10,000-$50,000 | Match Percentage Required:100%
Exterior work that physically preserves a historic property (Building/site must be a locally designated historic landmark or a contributing resource to a historic district). *A preservation plan and/or a supporting report is strongly encouraged.

More information is available on the DC Preservation League website , by email or by calling (202) 783-5144.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust Preservation Funds program provides seed money for preservation projects. Grants in the District of Columbia are underwritten by the Dorothea de Schweinitz Fund. Matching grants generally ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 are available for preservation planning and educational outreach efforts in the District of Columbia.

A principal goal of the fund is to increase the capacity of preservation groups to revitalize the District through rehabilitation, restoration, and adaptive use of historic resources. Typical uses of the fund include feasibility studies for endangered buildings and sites, architectural planning, landscape research and planning, development of heritage education programs, and co-sponsorship of workshops and conferences. The de Schweinitz Fund does not cover building or construction projects, acquisitions, historic resource surveys and academic research, or preparation of National Register nominations.

The National Trust also administers several national grants including the Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors, preservation emergency Intervention Funds, and organizational Leadership Funds.

For more information, please check the National Trust website, call (202) 588-6000 or contact the Trust by email.