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National Leadership Grants (NLG) for Museums

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies
to Enhance Museum Services

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Deadline Date:

11/16/20 11:59 PM ET

Description:

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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations and agencies for initiatives to enhance museum services. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended for activities related to information access, literacy and learning, or capacity building.

National Leadership Grants for Museums support projects that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. This program has five project categories. Your project must align with one of them.

  • Collections Stewardship and Access: IMLS supports the efforts of museums of all types and sizes to care for, conserve, and manage collections that represent the cultural, artistic, historical, natural, and scientific foundations of our shared heritage.
  • Data and Evaluation: IMLS encourages data collection and evaluation studies that can be used to identify current and future trends, gaps, and opportunities to contribute to improved practices and to better understand the landscape of museum programs and services.
  • Digital Platforms and Applications: IMLS encourages innovative approaches that use technology to advance the work of museums and museum professionals in service of the community. This may include seeking models and approaches from outside the museum sector. 
  • Diversity and Inclusion: IMLS supports the work of the museum field in engaging with communities and providing inclusive services designed for audiences of various backgrounds, circumstances, and abilities. IMLS encourages proposals that address adaptations in museum programs and services reflecting changes in community demographics. 
  • Professional Development: IMLS supports the recruitment and training of museum staff, volunteers, and interns to grow a skilled, professional, diverse, and inclusive workforce and to strengthen museums’ capacity to serve the public. IMLS encourages the development of best practices and innovations by creating skill-building and capacity-expanding programs that are applicable across all levels of museum staff.

For more information on project categories, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-nlgm-nofo.pdf#page=5.

The mission of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. In FY2018-2022, each award funded under this program will support one of the following three goals and an associated objective from the IMLS strategic plan, Transforming Communities:

  • Promote Lifelong Learning: IMLS supports learning and literacy for people of all ages through museums and libraries.
  • Build Capacity: IMLS strengthens the capacity of museums and libraries to improve the wellbeing of their communities.
  • Increase Public Access: IMLS makes strategic investments that increase access to information, ideas, and networks through libraries and museums.
For more information on program goals and objectives, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-nlgm-nofo.pdf#page=3.">https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-nlgm-nofo.pdf#page=3.

There are three funding levels within the NLG for Museums program. Applicants must choose one:

  • Non-research grant
  • Research grant
  • Rapid prototyping grant

For more information on funding levels, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-nlgm-nofo.pdf#page=6.

For allowable costs, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-nlgm-nofo.pdf#page=20.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162641

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$5,250,000

Number of Grants:

Anticipated number of awards: 12

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Award Ceiling: $1,000,000
- Award Floor: $5,000

Average amount of funding per award experienced in previous years $450,000

There are three funding levels within the FY20 NLG for Museums program. You must choose one of them.
- Non-research grant, $50,000 - $1,000,000 with 1:1 cost share required.
- Research grant, $50,000 - $1,000,000 with no cost share required.
- Rapid prototyping grant, $5,000 - $50,000 with no cost share required.

Term of Contract:

Anticipated period of performance: September 1, 2021– August 31, 2022, August 31, 2023, or August 31, 2024. Project activities may be carried out for one to three years.

- Non-research grants and Research grants are projects of one to three years.
- Rapid prototyping grants are projects of up to one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for an award under this NLG for Museums 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) An organization or association that engages in activities designed to advance the wellbeing of museums and the museum profession;
(c) An institution of higher education, including public and nonprofit universities; or
(d) 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) above may apply on behalf of the museum.

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

For additional eligibility information, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-nlgm-nofo.pdf#page=9.

For unallowable costs, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-nlgm-nofo.pdf#page=20.

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline:
- Due Date: Submit through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on November 16, 2020.
- Anticipated Date of Notification of Award Decisions: August 2021 (subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion)
- Beginning Date of Period of Performance: Projects must begin on September 1, 2021.

You must submit your application through Grants.gov. Do not submit through email or postal mail to IMLS.

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

For the NLG for Museums program, the requirements to provide cost-share from non-federal sources differ according to funding level.
- Non-research grant: At least 1:1 cost share from non-federal sources is required. Note: If you do not include at least 1:1 cost-share in your project budget, your application will be rejected from further consideration.
- Research grant: No cost-share required.
- Rapid prototyping grant: No cost-share required.

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 at several weeks to complete this one-time process. Do not wait until the day of the application deadline to register.

View this opportunity on Grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=328711
FY 2021 Applicant Webinar National Leadership Grants for Museums: https://www.imls.gov/webinars/fy-2021-applicant-webinar-national-leadership-grants-museums
Webinar Recording: https://youtu.be/-Zx94wiGXQc

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.

Collections Stewardship and Access
Data and Evaluation
Digital Platforms and Applications
Helen Wechsler, Supervisory Grants Management Specialist
hwechsler@imls.gov
202-653-4779

Diversity and Inclusion
Professional Development
Mark Isaksen, Senior Program Officer
misaksen@imls.gov
202-653-4667

Institute of Museum and Library Services
955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW, Suite 4000
Washington, D.C. 20024-2135

GRANTS.GOV Applicant Support
1-800-518-4726
support@grants.gov

CFDA Number:

45.312

Funding or Pin Number:

NLG-M-FY21

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)

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