Emergency Grant Opportunities for Museums

Our team is tracking emergency grant opportunities for museums from private, community, and federal sources. We will update this list of emergency grants for museums frequently as we learn of new opportunities. Also note that we will remove listings as grant deadlines pass.

Other Resources for Grant Seeking During the COVID-19 Crisis

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This list includes emergency grant opportunities for museums nationally and in Midwest states. Please contact us if your state is not represented and you are a museum searching for funding opportunities.

National

Association of Science and Technology Centers (IF/THEN grant program)

ASTC-member museums are eligible to apply for grant funding to support gender equity in their museums. Three program categories are: visual representation, virtual programming, visual representation and virtual programming. Amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000. The organization is making accommodations to ensure that awardees can successfully implement projects in the midst of COVID-19. A second application round of applications will open in the fall with a deadline in November. The application requirements for this cycle have not been released.

Deadline: 4/30/2020

Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

The Frankenthaler Foundation has committed $5 million over the next three years to support artists and arts organizations. The first round of funding ($1.25 million) has gone exclusively to support organizations in New York; however, the foundation anticipates future founds of funding will support organizations across the country.

Deadline: Watch the foundation's website for more information on how to apply

Institute for Museum and Library Services

$30 million of federally appropriated funding provided to IMLS (Institute for Museum and Library Services) will be distributed to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) Funds can be used to expand digital network access, purchase internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services to address digital inclusivity. IMLS will announce additional measures for museums and libraries as federal allocations allow. Note, per IMLS, museums include, but are not limited to aquariums, arboretums, art museums, botanical gardens, children's museums, history museums, historic sites, natural history museums, nature centers, planetariums, science centers, and zoos.

Deadline: Varies based on state SLAA guidelines

NEA CARES Act FY2020

Grants of up to $250,000 will be awarded to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities and their employees endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19. All applicants must be previous National Endowment for the Arts award recipients from the past four years (fiscal year 2017-2020).

Deadline: 4/22/2020

NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations

NEH invites applications from eligible organizations seeking support for at-risk humanities positions and projects that have been impacted by coronavirus. Grants will be awarded to museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, independent research institutions, professional organizations, colleges and universities, and other cultural organizations across the country to help these entities continue to advance their mission during the interruption of the coronavirus pandemic.

Deadline: 5/11/20

Society of American Archivists

The Society of American Archivists has instituted an emergency grant program to provide $1,000 awards to archivists who may be experiencing salary loss or financial hardship due to COVID-19. Applicants do not need to be an SAA member to apply. The initial application period is April 15 through December 31, 2020. The number of grants awarded will be based on the availability of funds. All archival workers are eligible to apply, including consultants and independent contractors.

Deadline: N/A

CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries

The goal of the funding opportunity is to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic in ways that meet the immediate and future COVID-19 needs of the communities and audiences they serve. Eligible entities must be a museum entity or library entity as defined in the funding notice. Funding can be used for preserving jobs, staff training and development, addressing the digital divide, planning for reopening, and providing technical support and capacity building for digital inclusion and engagement.

Deadline: 6/12/2020

CARES Act Grants for Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum and Library Services

The goal of the funding opportunity is to assist Indian Tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians in responding to the coronavirus pandemic in ways that meet the immediate and future COVID-19 needs of the Native American and Native Hawaiian communities they serve. Funding can be used for preserving jobs, staff training and development, addressing the digital divide, planning for reopening, and providing technical support and capacity building for digital inclusion and engagement.

Deadline: 6/12/2020

Illinois

Arts for Illinois: Arts Work Fund

The Arts Work fund has put all grantmaking on hold and temporarily shifting focus to distributing unrestricted funds to support arts and cultural organizations experiencing lost revenue and non-recoverable expenses due to COVID-19. The first round of funding is closed. The application for round 2 will open on May 4th. All arts organizations in Illinois are eligible to apply - regardless of budget size. The majority of funds will be for organizations located in/serving Chicago and Cook County. Grants range in size from $8,000 to $30,000.

Deadline: May be posted on website after application round opens

Jeffris Family Foundation

This family foundation does not have a specific COVID-19 relief effort; however, they focus their grantmaking on the Midwest states that are part of the Association of Midwest Museums. The foundation supports capital preservation projects through challenge grants, and provides funding for preservation planning in preparation for capital projects. A match is required for planning grants.

Deadline: Contact the foundation for more information

Illinois Humanities Council

Illinois Humanities is distributing $600,000 of CARES Act funds to humanities and cultural organizations affected by the coronavirus. Grants are available to support several activities, including general operations, program innovation and adaptation, and community resiliency. Grants will be for $5,000 and will be awarded by July 6.

Deadline: 6/15/2020

Indiana

Indiana Humanities CARES Grants

General operating grants are available to Indiana organizations that provide public humanities programming. Funding for the grants is being administered by Indiana Humanities and provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Grant amounts will range from $5,000 to $15,000.

Deadline: 5/8/2020

Indy Keeps Creating: Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

The Fund provides salary relief grants to 1) independent artists or 2) staff of small-to-midsize nonprofit arts and cultural organizations with budgets between $20,000 and $500,000. Applicants must be from Marion or one of the surrounding counties and be able to document loss of income in excess of $500 due to canceled events, projects, and/or a temporary closure. Applicants will be notified within 2 weeks and may reapply every 30 days.

Deadline: N/A

Jeffris Family Foundation

This family foundation does not have a specific COVID-19 relief effort; however, they focus their grantmaking on the Midwest states that are part of the Association of Midwest Museums. The foundation supports capital preservation projects through challenge grants, and provides funding for preservation planning in preparation for capital projects. A match is required for planning grants.

Deadline: Contact the foundation for more information

Iowa

Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund

Grants made through the Arts and Culture Emergency Relief Fund are intended to support those most impacted and vulnerable by serving as a bridge between severe financial loss (due to admissions and events, etc.) other state and federal public assistance. Multiple rounds of funding are expected (dependent on available funds), with grants ranging from $1,000 for individual artists to $2,500 for nonprofit arts applicants. Potential applicants should check the website frequently to learn when applicants are open.

Deadline: N/A

Jeffris Family Foundation

This family foundation does not have a specific COVID-19 relief effort; however, they focus their grantmaking on the Midwest states that are part of the Association of Midwest Museums. The foundation supports capital preservation projects through challenge grants, and provides funding for preservation planning in preparation for capital projects. A match is required for planning grants.

Deadline: Contact the foundation for more information

Michigan

Jeffris Family Foundation

This family foundation does not have a specific COVID-19 relief effort; however, they focus their grantmaking on the Midwest states that are part of the Association of Midwest Museums. The foundation supports capital preservation projects through challenge grants, and provides funding for preservation planning in preparation for capital projects. A match is required for planning grants.

Deadline: Contact the foundation for more information

Michigan Humanities: Michigan Humanities Organizations Pandemic Emergency Grants (H.O.P.E)

Michigan Humanities is providing funding through the CARES Act to museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, and other humanities organizations throughout Michigan. Applicants must have a DUNS number and may apply for funding up to $10,000, to be used for general operating expenses. Applications are being reviewed on a weekly basis beginning the week of April 27th; organizations will receive award notification within two weeks of submitting an application.

Deadline: N/A

Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs: Emergency Relief Grant

MCACA is distributing CARES Act Funding through its Emergency Relief Fund. Arts and cultural organizations are eligible to apply for grants up to $5,000 for salary support, fees for artists/contractual personnell, and/or facility costs. Funds will be awarded no later than June 1, 2020.

Deadline: 5/1/2020

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs: Operational Support Grant

This competitive grant program provides operational support to arts and culture organizations. The FY21 Operational Support Grant Program is accepting applications through June 1, 2020. A 1:1 cash match is required for these awards. Maximum award amounts range from $25,000 to $60,000, depending on institutional budget size.

Deadline: 6/1/2020

Minnesota

Jeffris Family Foundation

This family foundation does not have a specific COVID-19 relief effort; however, they focus their grantmaking on the Midwest states that are part of the Association of Midwest Museums. The foundation supports capital preservation projects through challenge grants, and provides funding for preservation planning in preparation for capital projects. A match is required for planning grants.

Deadline: Contact the foundation for more information

Knight Foundation in cooperation with the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation

The Knight Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund has made funds available for regranting by the DSACF to support the immediate needs of organizations located in Duluth. Grants are based on the following priorities: Arts organizations, local news reporting, and community engagement. Museums of various types may be eligible for support. Applicants should submit a brief LOI through the online application portal. LOIs submitted under the "COVID-19" grant program will be reviewed within 24 hours of submittal.

Deadline: N/A

Metro Regional Arts Council

As of April 24, the MRAC Emergency Relief Fund is not currently accepting applications; however, the organization is awaiting a response from additional funding sources. Nonprofit arts organizations or organizations that provide any type of arts programming (including museums) should monitor the website for any future opportunities to submit requests for emergency support.

Deadline: N/A

Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

The foundation recently approved $16 million in support for organizations impacted by COVID-19. Their priority funding area of Education offers support to non profits that offer effective learning experiences through tutoring, after-school programming, and camps. Museums offering this type of programming might be a strong fit.

Deadline: Contact the foundation for more information

Otto Bremer Trust

The Otto Bremer Trust has established a $50 million emergency fund to provide grants and loans to nonprofits in several states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin. The fund will primarily provide small grants to organizations that improve the lives of people in the upper midwest, including organizations that can be described as "cultural assets". The foundation is accepting inquiries through its online form on a rolling basis.

Deadline: N/A

Missouri

Jeffris Family Foundation

This family foundation does not have a specific COVID-19 relief effort; however, they focus their grantmaking on the Midwest states that are part of the Association of Midwest Museums. The foundation supports capital preservation projects through challenge grants, and provides funding for preservation planning in preparation for capital projects. A match is required for planning grants.

Deadline: Contact the foundation for more information

Missouri Humanities

Organizations with budgets under $2 million are eligible to apply for CARES Act funding through Missouri Humanities. Applications and questions can be directed to Steve Belko (sbelko@mohumanities.org or 1.800.357.0909)

Deadline: N/A

Ohio

Jeffris Family Foundation

This family foundation does not have a specific COVID-19 relief effort; however, they focus their grantmaking on the Midwest states that are part of the Association of Midwest Museums. The foundation supports capital preservation projects through challenge grants, and provides funding for preservation planning in preparation for capital projects. A match is required for planning grants.

Deadline: Contact the foundation for more information

Ohio History Fund: COVID-19 Emergency Grant

Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, local historical societies, museums, public libraries that operate museums and care for collections, genealogical societies, historic preservation groups, and archeological sites. These short term emergency grants are intended to help Ohio organizations address operational expenses that they cannot otherwise meet because of COVID-19. Grants may also be used to adapt or create public programs for audiences affected by stay-at-home and social distancing orders. Grants will range from $500 to $3,000 and are based on operating budget size.

Deadline: 6/1/2020

Ohio Humanities

Ohio Humanities will distribute $750,000 in emergency relief grants (through the CARES Act) for historical societies, museums, and other cultural organizations affected by COVID-19. Applications will be available May 1 with an initial deadline of May 15 and awards will be made by June 1.

Deadline: 5/15/2020

Wisconsin

Jeffris Family Foundation

This family foundation does not have a specific COVID-19 relief effort; however, they focus their grantmaking on the Midwest states that are part of the Association of Midwest Museums. The foundation supports capital preservation projects through challenge grants, and provides funding for preservation planning in preparation for capital projects. A match is required for planning grants.

Deadline: Contact the foundation for more information

Otto Bremer Trust

The Otto Bremer Trust has established a $50 million emergency fund to provide grants and loans to nonprofits in several states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin. The fund will primarily provide small grants to organizations that improve the lives of people in the upper midwest, including organizations that can be described as "cultural assets". The foundation is accepting inquiries through its online form on a rolling basis.

Deadline: N/A

Wisconsin Humanities Council

Wisconsin Humanities Council is distributing CARES Act funding to nonprofits across the state that provide humanities programming and are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Grants are available for general operating support only. Decisions will be made within 15 business days of the deadline. Completion of the application should take about 1 hour.

Deadline: 4:30pm on 5/15/2020

Visit our complete Resource Center for Grant Seeking During Crisis