Funding Areas and Criteria

General Criteria for Grant Program

We are now accepting applications for the 2023 Grant Cycle. Applications are due Friday, January 13, 2023 by 5:00pm.

The Montana History Foundation offers grants of up to $10,000 in the following categories:

(Click on any of the categories below for more information.)

  1. Historic Buildings and Structures
  2. Historic Cemeteries and Sacred Sites
  3. Collections and Artifacts
  4. Oral Histories
  5. Outreach and Project Development

One application per organization will be accepted in a given funding year, regardless of category (see specific criteria for each grant category). Proposals are invited for projects that will make significant contributions to the preservation and interpretation of Montana history. The funding period is from May to June of the following year. Projects not completed within the funding period may be required to return all or a portion of the grant.

Applicants must be either a non-profit tax-exempt organization (IRS designation) or an exempt governmental unit. Organizations with an open Foundation grant are not eligible to apply. Project budgets must include a 1:3 match (25% applicant, 75% MHF). Volunteer time may be used in this match and should be calculated at $25/hour. Successful applicants must track all match, in-kind and cash that is committed to the project as described below. Donated materials and/or volunteer services can count towards the match, along with actual cash match.

Projects will receive preference that:

  • Address a structure, collection, or community that is endangered or threatened
  • Represent cultural or geographic diversity
  • Provide a direct, rather than remote, benefit to local community
  • Demonstrate financial support from the community
  • Show the project will continue after the funding period is complete
  • Will accomplish the work according to professional and historically accurate standards
  • Demonstrate a public benefit and/or provide public accessibility

The Foundation does not fund:

  • Grants to individuals, including:
    • Grants for dissertation research
    • Student projects
  • General operations such as rents, utilities, or routine maintenance costs
  • Indirect costs, overhead, and/or facilities and administrative fees
  • Speakers, lectures, re-enactments, or other public presentations
  • Travel or entertainment
  • Equipment such as digital scanners, cameras, etc.
  • Sponsorships, including auctions, dinners, tickets, advertising, or fundraising
  • Organizations that, in policy or practice, discriminate against race, ethnic origin, sex, creed, or religion
  • Projects with the purpose to satisfy, fund, or retire loans, debts or other operational deficits from previous projects or past operations
  • Sectarian or religious organizations seeking funds solely for religious purposes
  • Political action or legislative advocacy
  • NOTE: in 2022 we will not consider any newspaper digitization projects for funding