The application deadline for CARES ACT grants was Thursday April 30. Awards were announced in May. Read the Press Release.

Virginia Humanities CARES Act Grants provide unrestricted operating support to Virginia-based cultural organizations that have suffered financial losses due to COVID-19.

The purpose of these grants is to help stabilize grantee organizations and ensure their sustainability and future success by providing funds to maintain essential functions and retain core personnel during the crisis. The CARES Act funds will be distributed to all eligible organizations that apply. The final amount of each award will be based on averaged annual operating budget (over 3 fiscal years) and will depend on how many applications are received.

All funding decisions will be made by the Virginia Humanities Board of Directors, with consideration given to geographic distribution and range of organizations supported.

Virginia Humanities CARES Act Grant Guidelines

Who is eligible?

To apply for a COVID-19 Emergency Operating Grant for non-profit cultural organizations, organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a recognized 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service and have that IRS tax-exempt status for at least one year prior to the application deadline
  • Have a primary mission that is humanities-focused and offer publicly accessible humanities programs serving Virginians
  • Maintain a primary business address in Virginia
  • Employ at least one full or part-time staff member or contract employee
  • Maintain an active DUNS number: register at
  • Register as a University of Virginia “vendor”, since funds are held and disbursed through the UVa Procurement system. Grantees will receive instructions on how to register.

Who is not eligible?

The following organizations are not eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Emergency Support Grant:

  • Institutions of higher education and/or their departments
  • Religious organizations or organizations receiving a significant portion of their funding from a religious organization
  • Government agencies (federal, state, local)
  • Public, private, or parochial schools
  • Organizations whose primary mission involves the creative or performing arts
  • For-profit organizations
  • Individuals
  • Nonprofit charitable organizations designated as private foundations by the Internal Revenue Service

Funding Levels

  • Level 1: Up to $1,000 – Cultural organizations with an operating budget of under $40,000, averaged over the previous three (3) fiscal years
  • Level 2: Up to $2,000 – Cultural organizations with an operating budget of $40,000 – $99,999, averaged over the previous three (3) fiscal years
  • Level 3: Up to $4,000 – Cultural organizations with an operating budget of $100,000 – $499,999, averaged over the previous three (3) fiscal years
  • Level 4: Up to $7,500 – Cultural organizations with an operating budget of $500,000 – $999,999, averaged over the previous three (3) fiscal years
  • Level 5: Up to $10,000—Cultural organizations with an operating budget of over $1M, averaged over the previous three (3) fiscal years

What is the deadline to apply?

Applications must be completed online by 5 p.m. on April 30, 2020.

How do we apply?

  1. Carefully review the program guidelines
  2. Verify that your organization has a registered DUNS number and 501(c)(3) non-profit tax status
  3. Complete the online application by the deadline date

If our organization receives a grant, what are my responsibilities?

  • Sign a grant award letter
  • Send a letter to both Senators and the member of Congress representing your organization’s district, thanking them for their support
  • Acknowledge Virginia Humanities in public communications about your award
  • Submit a brief final report describing how the funds were used and their impact: deadline December 15, 2020

* Definition of the Humanities for the Purpose of this Grant Program

The Humanities explore and express the human experience: the difficult stories of our shared past and those we rightly choose to honor and celebrate. They include reading, writing, storytelling, research, and many forms of dialogue and conversation. They draw from the fields of history, literature, anthropology, and philosophy, among others; but they are not static or remote from everyday experience. They belong to every person, regardless of education or cultural background. They include ancient wisdom and traditions from every culture; and they are continuously being refreshed by new discoveries, ideas, and creative works.

The Humanities are tools that help us understand the past and seek our own personal answers to the questions that define what it means to be human: questions about freedom and responsibility, the importance of tradition, the meaning of community, and about who we are—and aspire to be—in times of rapid social and technological change.