Designed to assist emerging history and cultural institutions develop long-term growth and sustainability, the Fund provides partner organizations financial support in the various phases of its work bringing the humanities to the public.
Annually Humanities Tennessee allocates a portion of its NEH grant to a Community History Development Fund. The objective of the Fund is to provide organizations with opportunities to achieve long-term goals, such as institutional growth and sustainability, through supporting endeavors that strengthen the professional skills of staff, volunteers, and board members, and that develop increasingly accomplished humanities programming. Humanities Tennessee views the activities of the Fund as incremental, and its support through the Fund as ongoing partnerships with the organizations that use it.
Allocations of the Fund are in support of activities, including public programs, that enhance the capacities of eligible organizations, and that directly involve their board members, staff, and/or volunteers in professional development.
Interested organizations must become a Partner of Humanities Tennessee for eligibility. Partnership requires an organization to have a strategic plan in place for strengthening its educational services, or to have undergone an organizational assessment from which a plan may be developed. Community History Development Funds may only be used to assist potential Partners in obtaining an assessment, and to assist Partners in developing their strategic plans or in realizing the goals of their approved strategic plans.
Potential partners include non-profit historical or cultural organizations, whose primary mission involves education in the humanities, that either have an annual budget of less than $150,000 or can otherwise demonstrate a need for on-going field services. Partners will remain eligible for this program until their annual budget exceeds $200,000.
Community History Development Fund Partners
View a list of our current partners.
Find out more by reading samples of how the Community History Development Fund is used.
Using the Fund:
The Community History Development Fund is not a grant program and therefore does not require the submission of a grant application. Instead, partners must provide Humanities Tennessee with:
- a request form (available from our office);
- a copy of either an organizational assessment or planning document;
- a letter describing the project, the project expenditures, and how the project furthers the organization's goals as set forth in the assessment or planning document;
- additional supporting materials as necessary.
The program has no deadline; requests are considered on a first come, first serve basis, and for up to a maximum of $2,500 each. Community History Development Fund requests are approved by a statewide Field Services Committee. Electronic submissions are strongly encouraged, and may expedite the review process.
The Community History Development Fund does not support:
- advocacy or social action
- projects for fundraising purposes
- construction or restoration costs
- the purchase of equipment
- library or museum acquisitions
- individuals, research or other endeavors intended primarily for the scholarly community, or academic courses for credit
- performing arts as ends in themselves
- food and beverage costs for audiences or alcoholic beverages
- expenses incurred or paid out before a partnership with Humanities Tennessee is made
- the ongoing activities of the partner
Submit a Request
To submit a request for support from Humanities Tennessee's Community History Development Fund, please contact Melissa Davis, Director, Community History Program by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 615-770-0006, ext. 16.