Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund are designed to advance place-based cultural heritage preservation projects for historic places representing African American cultural heritage. The Action Fund awards grants across four project categories: Capital Projects, Organizational Capacity Building, Project Planning, and Programming and Interpretation.

Grants made from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund range from $50,000 to $150,000. In 2023, the National Trust awarded $3.8 million to 40 projects. Read more about the 2023 Action Fund grantees. Since establishing the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund’s National Grant Program in 2017, the National Trust has supported more than 200 preservation projects nationally. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

2024 National Grant Program

Criteria

The National Trust, in consultation with the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund National Advisory Council and external reviewers, will select grant recipients by considering, among other points, the following criteria:

  • The historic significance of the property to be assisted and its association with African American cultural heritage.
  • The extent to which the requested assistance will make a difference in preserving, restoring, interpreting, or managing the historic property or site, including any additional funding or in-kind resources the applicant has secured for the project.
  • Project readiness and organizational capacity, including the adequacy of project plans and resources for the future maintenance of the property or the continuation of the activity for which grant support is requested.
  • The potential for the project to serve as a model to benefit other historic properties, neighborhoods, or communities.

Eligibility

Projects must focus on African American cultural heritage. To apply for an Organizational Capacity Building grant, the organization must have a primary mission centered in African American cultural heritage or have demonstrated a commitment to this work.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Public agencies: State or local agencies including boards, commissions, departments, accredited public colleges or universities, offices, agencies, public bodies, or political subdivisions of the state or of a county or municipality. Examples include state historic preservation offices, city and county preservation offices and planning departments, state and local commissions, and publicly owned historic sites and museums.
  • 501(c)(3), and other (federally designated) nonprofit organizations: A broad range of 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible to apply, including state and local preservation organizations, churches, accredited private colleges or universities, historic sites, museums, historical societies, and genealogical associations.

The minimum grant amount is $50,000. The maximum amount depends on the project category (See “Eligible Activities and Expenses”). Requests below $50k will not be reviewed.

Organizations are eligible to receive one grant in any grant round. Applicants that have previously received a National Trust grant are eligible to apply for the 2024 grant cycle provided that all grant requirements have been fulfilled and the grant has been closed.

Organizations that received a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund’s National Grant Program in previous grant rounds are eligible to apply again in an alternative project category.

Grants from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund may be used to fund up to 100% of the proposed project. While matching funds are not required for this program, projects that leverage additional investments (funding or in-kind services) are strongly preferred.

Applicants must submit a complete application to be considered for a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Late applications will not be accepted.

Please read the grant program guidelines in their entirety prior to starting the application. All applicants will be notified of their status via email by early summer of 2024.

  • Application Opening: December 14, 2023
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2024

You will be taken to the National Trust grants application system where you will need to create a user profile for your organization. If your organization has applied for a grant previously, you will sign into your existing organization profile.

Please direct questions to actionfundgrants@savingplaces.org.

Apply

Application deadline: February 1, 2024

Date posted: December 28, 2023