Welcome to the grant and fundraising guide for historic and cultural resource preservation. With so many resources available, our goal is to bring these great financial resources together in one place for the benefit of the preservation community.
Unfortunately, most funding and grant programs are available for not-for-profit organizations only. However, we have identified resources available to those seeking funding for projects related to their primary residence.
Below you will find resources and programs offered by government agencies and not-for-profit organizations:
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE (SHPO):
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) administers programs and services specific to their particular State including the National Register of Historic Places programs (administered through each SHPO), as well as, but not limited to, tax incentives, easements, grants, technical assistance, Section 106 review, and education programs. Rule of Thumb: Make the SHPO your first stop for most historic preservation and restoration inquiries.
We maintain a directory of SHPO's in the United States - for a full list, please click here.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has prepared a state-by-state list of tax incentives. To view, please click here.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE - Historic Preservation Grants Division:
1) Federal Tax Credit Program
The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program encourages private sector rehabilitation of historic buildings and is one of the nation's most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs. It generates jobs and creates moderate and low-income housing in historic buildings.
The program is administered by National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service in partnership with State Historic Preservation Offices.
Publications for more information about the Federal Tax Credit Program:
Frequently Asked Questions about the Federal Tax Credit Program:
Q: What is the 20% tax credit for rehabilitating historic buildings?
A: One of the federal government’s most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs, the Preservation Tax Incentives reward private investment in rehabilitating historic properties such as offices, rental housing, and retail stores. Abandoned or under-used schools, warehouses, factories, churches, retail stores, apartments, hotels, houses, and offices in many cities have been restored to life in a manner that retains their historic character. The Preservation Tax Incentives have also helped to create moderate and low-income housing in historic buildings. (source: www.nps.gov/TPS/tax-incentives/incentives/essentials_1.htm)
Q: Can the 20% federal tax credit be used to rehabilitate an owner’s private residence?
A: No. The 20% credit is available only to properties rehabilitated for income-producing purposes, including commercial, industrial, agricultural, rental residential or apartment use. The credit cannot be used to rehabilitate your personal residence in which you live. However, if a portion of a personal residence is used for business, such as an office or a rental apartment, in some instances the amount of rehabilitation costs spent on that portion of the residence may be eligible for the credit. (source: www.nps.gov/TPS/tax-incentives/incentives/essentials_2.htm)
Q: To qualify for the 20% tax credit, does a building have to be individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or included in a National Register historic district?
A: In general, yes. However, buildings that have been determined eligible by the State Historic Preservation Office for individual listing in the National Register or that may be included in a local certified historic district or in a historic district that is potentially eligible for listing in the National Register may also qualify for the credit. (source: www.nps.gov/TPS/tax-incentives/incentives/essentials_3.htm)
For more information about the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program, please click here.
2) State, Tribal, and Local Plans & Grants Division
Since 1968, the National Park Service has provided funding for a variety of grant programs aimed at protecting our Nation's most significant historic and cultural sites and our diverse cultural heritage. More than one billion dollars has been awarded to Federal, State, and local governments, Native American Tribes, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions for preservation projects in all 50 states and the U.S. Territories.
The Historic Preservation Grants Division is responsible for the administration of the National Park Service's preservation grant programs:
Tribal Heritage Grants (previously Tribal Project Grants)
Save America's Treasures Grants (Authorized But Not Currently Funded)
Preserve America Grant Program (Authorized But Not Currently Funded)
3) Historic Preservation Easements
A preservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that protects a significant historic, archaeological, or cultural resource. An easement provides assurance to the owner of a historic or cultural property that the property's intrinsic values will be preserved through subsequent ownership. In addition, the owner may obtain substantial tax benefits.
NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
Statement from the NTHP Preservation Funding page: "Last year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded over $1 million in grant funding to 196 projects nationwide. Funding from the National Trust is awarded to nonprofit organizations and public agencies, and the majority of our funding is awarded for planning and education projects through our National Trust Preservation Funds grant program."
"Find Preservation Funding" section of the National Trust for Historic Preservation website.
National Trust Preservation Funds - includes funds that provide two types of assistance to nonprofit organizations and public agencies: 1) matching grants from $500 to $5,000 for preservation planning and educational efforts, and (2) intervention funds for preservation emergencies.
Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation - provides nonprofit organizations and public agencies grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 for projects that contribute to the preservation or the recapture of an authentic sense of place.
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors - provides nonprofit organizations and public agencies grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to assist in the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of historic interiors.
Peter H. Brink Leadership Fund - helps to build the capacity of existing preservation organizations and encourages collaboration among these organizations by providing grants for mentoring and other peer-to-peer and direct organizational development and learning opportunities.
Scholarship Assistance from the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
Diversity Scholarship Program (DSP) - has provided financial assistance to more than 1,100 individuals from diverse racial, ethnic, economic and cultural backgrounds. The goal of the Diversity Scholarship Program is to increase the diversity of participants at the annual National Preservation Conference and in the preservation movement.
Preservation Leadership Training - limited number of scholarships are available to ensure the cultural diversity of Preservation Leadership Training participants and will be applied to housing and/or meal fees.
Mildred Colodny Scholarship for Graduate Study in Historic Preservation- provides financial assistance (a tuition award and a paid internship) and experiential learning opportunities to individuals preparing for careers in historic preservation. The purpose of the Colodny Scholarship is to increase the diversity of people pursuing degrees and careers in historic preservation in the United States.
OTHER FEDERALLY-FUNDED SOURCES OF FUNDING & GRANTS FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECTS
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Sources of Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects - ACHP has established this clearinghouse of information to assist the preservation community and the general public in exploring the range of preservation funding options.
Institute of Museum and Library Services:
National Endowment for the Arts:
Grants for Arts Projects - Art Works: Design - According to National Endowment for the Arts guidelines, historic preservation organizations that focus on architecture, landscape architecture, or designed objects should apply for funding under this program.
National Endowment for the Humanities:
America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants and Implementation Grants - Interpretation of historic places or areas is among the activities funded by these grants.
Challenge Grants - Challenge grants help institutions and organizations secure long-term support for, and improvements in, their humanities programs and resources.
Collaborative Research Grants (Humanities) - These grants support original research in the humanities.
Preservation Grants for Smaller Institutions - These grants fund the preservation and conservation of collections.
We the People: Interpreting America’s Historic Places Grants - Interpreting America's Historic Places projects may interpret a single historic site or house, a series of sites, an entire neighborhood, a town or community, or a larger geographical region.
Transportation Alternatives (TA) Funds:
Communities across America have access to Transportation Alternatives (TA) funds from the federal government to expand travel choice, strengthen the local economy, improve the quality of life, and protect the environment. The Transportation Alternatives program was established by Congress in 2012, and is funded through a proportional set-aside of the core Federal-aid Hi