NJCH: COVID-19 Response - General Operating Support

New Jersey Council for the Humanities

View website    Save

Next deadline: Oct 8, 2021 (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Oct 15, 2021 (Full proposal)

Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $20,000

Fields of work: Humanities & Social Science

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense

Location of project: New Jersey

Location of residency: New Jersey

990 Snapshot



NOTE: To make funding as accessible as possible, COVID-19 Response Grants will have multiple deadlines throughout the summer and into the early fall. Applicants may submit their grant application at any point throughout the process; applications will be reviewed at the next deadline after which they have been submitted. Applicants will receive notification approximately two to three weeks after each due date. Any applicant who does not receive an award may edit and resubmit their application at a later due date. After the last due date, any organization that has not yet received funding through the COVID-19 Response Grant will be re-evaluated a final time. Applicants may apply for only one type of COVID-19 Response Grant.


We don’t often think of the humanities as our best hope for building a better future, but that’s exactly what they are. They allow us to break free from the limitations of our individual experience and to see both the perspectives of others as well as the larger social forces that affect us all. They provide opportunities to make history relevant and encourage diverse audiences to reflect on the shared human experience.

We often encounter the humanities as part of our formal education. They include familiar disciplines such as history, literature, and philosophy, as well as those less common (jurisprudence, we’re thinking of you!). But it's the public humanities which take these subjects out of the classroom to ensure that the critical thinking and reflection that accompanies the humanities is accessible to wide and diverse audiences. The public humanities programing offered by cultural institutions like NJCH, are typically, associated with four foundational areas: history, values, cultures and beliefs.

Our grants fund the development of meaningful humanities projects for New Jersey audiences. The most competitive projects demonstrate an awareness of the needs and interests of your audience and offer an opportunity for community members to explore history, culture, values, and beliefs.

COVID-19 Response - General Operating Support

NJCH is honored to once again provide support for New Jersey humanities organizations and programs through our COVID-19 Response Grants. NJCH has made these funds available for nonprofit organizations that provide humanities programming to public audiences to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the pandemic.

General Operating Support grants ($5,000-$20,000) are available to nonprofit organizations that have a mission rooted in the public humanities. Organizations are unlikely to receive more than 10% of their average annual operating budget (determined by averaging operating budgets from the last three years), as indicated in the grant application, up to the maximum grant amount. Organizations may receive substantially less. There is no matching or cost share requirement tied to these funds.

The humanities help us to analyze our complex society and make thoughtful decisions based on inquiry, evaluation, and empathy. They can help us to think critically about activities and issues of importance to communities, offer historical and cultural perspective, and broaden our thinking. Humanities fields include (but are not limited to) anthropology, archaeology, area studies, art and architectural history and criticism, cultural studies, economics, ethics, ethnic studies, folklore, gender and sexuality studies, geography, history, history of science and technology, international studies, jurisprudence, languages and linguistics, literature, music history and criticism, philosophy, political science, religion and comparative religion, sociology, theater history and criticism.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Any nonprofit institution based in New Jersey whose mission is in the public humanities.
    • Museums.
    • Historical societies and heritage organizations.
    • Other cultural and community nonprofits with humanities-focused missions.
  • Organizations must have been granted their nonprofit status at least one year ahead of application, per their designation letter, have an annual budget of at least $50,000, and at least one full-time staff person (or one FTE).
  • To be eligible for funding, the applicant organization must be doing work in the public humanities.
    • The humanities examine our history, cultures, values, and beliefs.
    • The public humanities take these ideas out of classrooms to engage broad public audiences in that examination.
  • All expenses related to the grant must be incurred during the grant period.
  • These grants can support humanities organizations and programs not only based on immediate needs, but also through the long process of recovery and response to the pandemic’s enormous impact.
    • These awards may support:
      • General operating costs, including staff support and administrative costs.
      • Humanities programming (new and extant).
      • Strategic planning and capacity building related to coronavirus impacts.
      • Technical or consulting needs related to digital transition or access needs.
      • Expansion of outdoor and/or virtual activities and increase in access to those activities for target populations.
      • Equity assessments and planning related to coronavirus and attendant economic crisis.


  • Priority will be given to organizations with a track record of engaging the public, particularly traditionally underserved and underrepresented audiences, in the humanities.


  • Institutions that are NOT eligible for this type of grant include:
    • Colleges and universities, including affiliated centers, institutes, foundations, etc.
    • K-12 educational institutions.
    • Departments or agencies of government, including municipal libraries.
    • Organizations without a humanities-focused mission.
      • For example:
        • Arts and cultural organizations whose mission focuses on the creation, performance, instruction about, and display of art.
        • Social service organizations that do not have a humanities-focused mission.
        • Science centers, environmental organizations, nature centers, zoos, and other science-learning organizations.
    • For-profit businesses.
    • Foreign entities.
    • Individuals.
  • Applicants may not apply for a COVID-19 Response Grant with a fiscal sponsor.
  • Per the National Endowment for the Humanities, funds may not be used for the following:
    • Work outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies).
    • Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application for federal funding and/or approved federal awards, including an open NJCH Incubation or Action Grant.
    • Funds for activities supported by other non-NEH federal funds.
    • Equipment costs in excess of 20% of total project costs.
    • Collections acquisitions (archival or material culture).
    • Re-grants, prizes, awards, or scholarships.
    • Travel (both foreign and domestic).
    • The preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming.
    • Contributions to endowment.
    • Cancellation costs.
    • Lobbying.
    • Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view.
    • Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action.
    • Support of specific public policies or legislation.
    • Purchase of land or facilities, capital projects, construction, or major alteration or renovation.
    • Environmental sustainability.
    • Unallowable expenses as defined in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E – Cost principles.


This page was last reviewed August 30, 2021 and last updated August 16, 2021