How To Apply

how to apply

Meg Turville-Heitz

Grant Program Director

The application deadline has passed.

Decisions will be announced by November 30, 2021



All eligible organizations may apply for funding for humanities programming and other eligible activities, but only some organizations are permitted to request funds for general operating expenses.

Requests for general operating expenses can only come from a library, a historical society, a museum, a nonprofit institution of higher education, or a nonprofit organization that can certify that its core mission is one or more of the following:

  • Community storytelling and conversation
  • Passing down culture and traditions
  • Discussion of values, identities, and the complexities of our world
  • Education or conversation about books or history
  • Education or conversation about community issues and government
  • Education about citizenship and democracy
  • Literacy education for adults
Detailed Budget Information for Recovery Grant Funding

Allowable Expenses

WH will fund reasonable project-related expenses such as:

  • Honoraria for humanities experts
  • Printing and publicity
  • Facility rental
  • Materials necessary for the project
  • Indirect Cost (Either appropriate federal NICRA rate or de minimis 10% rate EXCLUDING rental expense) (Organizations receiving general operating expenses (see below) may not request indirect costs.)


The following suggested payment scale reflects the variety of roles commonly played by project scholars. These figures are not fixed rates.

  • Justification for payments of more than $500 per day must be provided in your budget description.
  • Moderator: $50 to $100 (two to three hours)
  • Panelist: $100 to $300 (two to three hours)
  • Lecturer: $200 to $1,000
  • Humanities Expert/Scholar: $200 to $1,000 (full-day/program)
  • (A limit of $150 per day is recommended for scholars participating in programs on their own campuses.)
  • Nationally known Experts/Scholars: negotiable


WH will only pay for food when it directly contributes to the success of the humanities program. We will consider modest requests for food (for example, pizza at a discussion program for teenagers) if it can be argued that serving a meal will encourage the participation of a particular audience or otherwise contribute to the program in some substantial way. In other words, WH will not pay for a reception celebrating the opening of an exhibition. WH will not pay for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.

Supplies and Services


WH may fund equipment purchases of up to 20% of the total grant award.

Facility Rental for programming

WH funds should not be requested for facility rental except when the applicant is paying a fee for the use of a program venue.

Indirect Costs (For programming costs ONLY)

Organizations receiving general operating expenses (see below) may NOT request indirect costs. Institutions that have a current federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) may use that established indirect cost rate in their proposed budget and may list this indirect cost as a WH-funded expense. Email us a copy of your current federally NICRA at the time of submission. Note that costs included in the NICRA should not also be listed as separate expenses in a proposal budget. Organizations that have never had a NICRA (and are NOT a state or local government or Indian Tribe receiving more than $35 million in direct federal funding) may alternatively use a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct cost (MTDC) in their budget proposals. Please note that rental costs are excluded from the 10% calculation.

For more information on indirect costs please see and/or consult WH Staff.

General Operating Expenses

Organizations for whom the humanities are central to their mission – such as libraries, museums, historical societies, and higher education institutions – may also request support for reasonable general operating expenses such as:

  • Staff salaries
    • As defined by WH, staff salaries are the usual and customary payment to an individual for work performed for the organization.
    • Episodic payments to employees for work provided to the organization on an irregular basis
  • Ongoing Operating expenses
    • Space lease or rental
    • Utilities for space leased or owned by the organization
    • etc.
  • Supplies and Services
    • Office supplies
    • Office equipment
    • Accounting Services
    • Janitorial Services
    • etc.
  • Other Costs
    • Not applicable to categories

Ineligible Expenses

WH will not fund:

  • Travel Expenses
  • Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards
  • Indirect costs on grant awards providing general operating support
  • Cancellation costs
  • Equipment costs in excess of 20% of grant award (Equipment means tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year.)
  • Expenses related to fundraising
  • Expenses related to advocacy or lobbying members of Congress
  • Re-granting of WH funds
  • Previously incurred debts or deficits before the official project period begins
  • Construction, purchase of real property, major alteration and renovation
  • Collection acquisition
  • The preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming
  • Project/programming expenses that fall outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences
  • Environmental sustainability

Step 2: Create an account.

New Applicants

If this is your first time coming to Wisconsin Humanities, you will be prompted to create an account for you (applicant) and to provide information about your organization (the organization receiving funds) including the required EIN and DUNS number.

If you are a library, museum, historical society or other cultural organization attached to a governmental body or Tribal Nation whose EIN and DUNS number you use, you will need to create the application in the name of the organization whose EIN you are using. There will be a place in the application (Programming Organization) to identify your library, museum, etc.

If your email address or organization already exists in our grant portal, see below. Please be sure you use a regularly monitored email address for contact. Any questions or concerns will be addressed via email.

Returning Applicants

If you or your organization have applied to Wisconsin Humanities before, you may find some information already in our grant portal. It is very important to be sure that the contact information for you and your organization is current and complete. If the EIN and DUNS are not currently listed for your organization, they must be provided to remain eligible for funding. If you have any trouble editing these fields, please contact Meg.

If you are a library, museum, historical society or other cultural organization attached to a governmental body or Tribal Nation whose EIN and DUNS number you use, you will need to create the application in the name of the organization whose EIN you are using. There will be a place in the application (Programming Organization) to identify your library, museum, etc. Please be sure you use a regularly monitored email address for contact as any questions or concerns will be addressed via email.

Step 3: Complete the application

The application will be completed online. It opens on September 15. There are six sections of the application. This includes short narrative answers and three documents that must be uploaded, including signatures.

Go To The Application

When beginning your application, expect to:

  • Provide information about how your organization has been affected by the pandemic.
  • Provide the names, addresses, and contact information for two individuals: a project director and fiscal agent, who must be affiliated with the requesting organization.
  • Select the types of funding you are seeking.
  • Provide your organization’s mission statement and organization type.
  • Describe what your organization typically does to engage the public with the humanities. (500 characters)
  • Create a project title (75 characters) and short abstract that characterizes how you intend to use WH funds. (250 characters)
  • Describe how you intend to use WH funds to help your organization prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from the pandemic. To request funding for humanities programming note the topic, format, the names of the humanities experts involved and their relevant expertise. For all other activities, describe their specific purposes related to the humanities, the activities that will occur, and what experts will lead them. Those eligible organizations requesting general operating expenses should provide a short description of the need for these funds. You’ll be asked to itemize your expenses in your budget and budget description. (1000 characters)
  • Identify the way you intend to use the funds and what impact this may have on your organization.
  • Identify your primary and secondary audiences and provide the number of persons you expect to serve during the project period (which begins November 1 and ends no later than October 31, 2022).
  • Provide a list of activities with the anticipated date/title of the activity or event, when known. If you are requesting general operating expenses only, list activities during the project period that will be enabled by this funding, as applicable. For other activities list those that will be funded by this grant during the project period.
  • Sign and upload a completed W-9 form.
  • Provide a narrative explanation of your proposed budget. (1000 characters)
  • Download, complete, and upload a simple budget of expenses form from our website.
  • Download, sign, and upload a certifications form from our website.