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Preservation Grants

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

Humanities Council of Washington, DC

The DC Community Heritage Project is joint collaboration between the DC Historic Preservation Office and the Humanities Council of Washington, DC. The program has provides grants “to support community leaders interested in preserving the history, architecture, and collective memory of their neighborhoods.”  Since its inception, 143 grants totaling $287,500 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 buildings survey, research papers, church history brochures, scholarly editing/publishing, archive collection, site interpretation/tours, teacher institutes and seminars, 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 additional information, please check the Humanities Council website, call (202) 387-8391 or contact the grants manager by email.

DC Preservation League

The DC Preservaiton 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.

Funding is available for the following project types related to historic sites:

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 & 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.
 

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

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust’s Dorothea de Schweinitz Fund provides grants for nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Matching grants of $1,000 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 deSchweinitz 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 additional Information, please check the National Trust website, call (202) 588-6000 or contact the Trust  by email.