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Museums for America Grant

Grants to USA Museums for
Capacity Building Activities

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Conf. Date:

09/10/19

Deadline Date:

11/15/19 11:59 PM ET

Description:

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Grants starting from $5,000 to USA and territories museums and nonprofit organizations applying on behalf of a museum for projects to increase their capacity to serve the public. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended for projects that support lifelong learning, libraries as community anchors and catalysts, and collections stewardship and public access.

Program Overview:

The Museums for America program supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public. Museums for America has three project categories:

  • Lifelong Learning: IMLS supports the unique ability of museums to encourage exploration, analysis, and questioning for people of all ages and backgrounds and to foster discovery, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and problem solving.
  • Community Anchors and Catalysts: IMLS promotes the role of museums as essential partners in addressing the needs of their communities by leveraging their expertise, knowledge, physical space, technology, and other resources. IMLS encourages applications for projects that empower museums to transform their roles in their communities from being community resources to being community anchors or catalysts. 
  • Collections Stewardship and Public Access:  IMLS supports the role of museums of all types and sizes as trusted stewards of museum collections as the natural, cultural, artistic, historical, and scientific foundations of our shared heritage and knowledge. Through the careful and responsible management of collections and their associated documentation, museums facilitate access to information, ideas, and connections for people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. 

The following list includes some examples of generally allowable costs, both for IMLS funds and for cost share (if applicable), under this announcement:

  • Personnel salaries, wages, and fringe benefits
  • Travel expenses for key project staff and consultants
  • Materials, supplies, software, and equipment related directly to project activities
  • Equipment to improve collections storage and exhibit environments
  • Third-party costs
  • Publication design and printing
  • Staff and volunteer training
  • Internships/fellowships
  • Indirect or overhead costs

Special interests can be found at https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy20-oms-mfa-nofo.pdf#page=3.

A detailed description of project categories, and project examples can be found at https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy20-oms-mfa-nofo.pdf#page=5.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 148060

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$19,900,000

Number of Grants:

120

Estimated Size of Grant:

Expected amount of individual awards: $5,000 - $250,000

Term of Contract:

- Anticipated start dates for new awards Projects must begin on September 1, 2020.
- Anticipated period of performance September 1, 2020 – August 31, 2023. Project activities may be carried out for one to three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for an award under this MFA Notice of Funding Opportunity, you must be an organization that meets all three of the following criteria:

1. You must be either a unit of State, local, or tribal government or be a private, nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code;

2. You must be located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and

3. You must qualify as one of the following:

(a) A museum that, using a professional staff, is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational, cultural heritage, or aesthetic purposes; owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; cares for these objects; and exhibits these objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities that it owns or operates.

(b) A public or private nonprofit agency that is responsible for the operation of a museum that meets the eligibility criteria in 1, 2, and 3(a), applying on behalf of the museum.

IMLS may determine that a nonprofit organization that is affiliated with a museum is eligible for this program where the organization can demonstrate that it has the ability to administer the project and can ensure compliance with the terms of this Notice of Funding Opportunity and the applicable law, including the IMLS Assurances and Certifications.

Native American tribal organizations may apply if they otherwise meet the above eligibility requirements.

The following list includes some examples of unallowable costs, both for IMLS funds and for cost share (if applicable), under this announcement:
- General fundraising costs, such as development office staff or other staff time devoted to general fundraising
- Contributions to endowments
- General operating support
- Acquisition of collections
- General advertising or public relations costs designed solely for promotional activities other than those related to the specific project
- Construction or renovation of facilities (generally, any activity involving the construction trades is not an allowable cost)
- Social activities, ceremonies, receptions, or entertainment
- Research projects
- Pre-award costs

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicants are invited to participate in a pre-application webinar to learn more and ask questions about the FY 2020 Museums for America program.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
2 PM – 3 PM EST

Participant call-in number: 1-866-299-7945
Participant PIN: 5680404#

For more information and to join the webinar, see https://www.imls.gov/webinars/fy-2020-museums-america-applicant-webinar

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline:
- Due Date: Submit through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on November 15, 2019.
- Anticipated Date of Notification of Award Decisions: August 2020 (subject to the availability of funds and IMLS
discretion)
- Beginning Date of Period of Performance: Projects must begin on September 1, 2020.

For the Museums for America program, at least 1:1 cost share from non-federal sources is required.

There is no limit to the number of applications your museum may submit under this announcement.

Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S number (a unique entity identifier), System for Award Management (SAM.gov) registration, and Grants.gov registration. Check your materials and registrations well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that they are accurate, current, and active.

You must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting your application package. The multi-step registration process generally cannot be completed in a single day. If you are not already registered, you should allow several weeks before the application deadline to complete this one-time process. Do not wait until the day of the application deadline to register.

You will need your Grants.gov user ID and password that you obtain during the registration process to submit your application when it is complete.

View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=319579

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the Grants.gov page above.

View a pre-recorded webinar on Choosing a Funding Opportunity for FY 2020:
https://youtu.be/tMGrkeBrYSc

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If you have questions, please contact any of the staff members listed under the category that best fits your project.

Lifelong Learning contacts:
Sandra Narva, Senior Program Officer
snarva@imls.gov
202-653-4634

Reagan Moore, Museum Program Officer
rmoore@imls.gov
202-653-4637

Community Anchors and Catalysts contacts:
Steve Shwartzman, Senior Program Officer
sshwartzman@imls.gov
202-653-4641

Ashley Jones, Museum Program Specialist
ajones@imls.gov
202-653-4782

Collections Stewardship and Public Access contacts:
Connie Bodner, Supervisory Grants Management Specialist
cbodner@imls.gov
202-653-4636

Mark Feitl, Museum Program Officer
mfeitl@imls.gov
202-653-4635

Agency Location
955 L’Enfant Plaza North, SW, Suite 4000
Washington, D.C. 20024-2135

CFDA Number:

45.301

Funding or Pin Number:

MFA-FY20

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)