Any non-profit organization may apply for Virginia Humanities grant support, with preference given to those located within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Non-profit organizations located outside of Virginia are eligible to apply if their project deals with a subject or subjects directly related to Virginia and a significant audience within the state is anticipated.  

Special consideration is given to organizations that have not received a Virginia Humanities grant previously and especially to organizations that are applying for a grant for the first time.  

What are the Humanities?  

The National Endowment for the Humanities Defines the Humanities as the following: 

The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”  

Furthermore, the Virginia Humanities Grant Program sees the Humanities as the following: 

The humanities are the stories, ideas, and words that help us understand our lives and the experience of being human. They introduce us to people we have never met and take us to places we have never been. From an academic standpoint, the humanities include the study of history, philosophy, religion, language, literature, art, and culture. By showing us how others have lived and thought about life, the humanities help us better understand people whose lived experiences are different from our own. By connecting us with other people, the humanities foster the empathy, compassion, and understanding that is necessary to build a more just and equitable world. Put simply, the humanities are anything that helps us understand and interpret the human experience. 

Who is eligible to apply?  

  • Non-profits recognized 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service  
  • 501(c)(3) institutions of higher education 
  • Other not-for-profit LLC organizations as designated by the IRS 
  • Federally recognized Native American tribal governments 

Who is not eligible to apply? 

  • For-profit organizations 
  • Individuals 

Grant Funding May Not Support 

  • Advocacy or political action; programs that promote a particular policy 
  • Creative or performing arts, unless used in a supporting role to enhance discussion  
  • In-school programs or projects whose sole audience is children or youth  
  • Courses for credit, except those designed especially for teachers  
  • Research except to support programs having a direct public audience (an exhibit, e.g.)  
  • International travel
  • Refreshments or entertainment; alcoholic beverages  
  • Awards or gifts  
  • Meals, other than necessary travel expenses for project personnel 

Receiving Funds 

  • If approved for a grant, you will receive a grant agreement packet for your review and signature 
  • You may be asked to register as a University of Virginia “vendor” to receive the funds.  
  • All grant recipients will acknowledge Virginia Humanities in public communications about award awards. 
  • Final reports are due within 30 days after the end of a grant project cycle.