Applying for a Grant


Make sure you are eligible. If you can answer “yes” to all four of these questions, you should be eligible to apply for a grant.

  1. Is your organization a nonprofit or government agency?
  2. Are the humanities central to your project?
  3. Will your project engage and benefit Massachusetts residents?
  4. Do you have matching funds or volunteer effort to support the project?

Read the appropriate guidelines and instructions for the type of grant for which you are applying. We provide lists of what we do and do not fund for easy reference.


There are four steps to the Mass Humanities online grant application process: an online inquiry form (LOI), a draft, and a final application. For specific deadline dates for each of the steps refer to the deadline schedule. We also encourage you to watch the 10-minute applicant tutorial video, which is a good overview of the online application system.

Step 1: Apply for DUNS and SAM numbers.

As soon as you know you’re ready to apply for a grant, make sure you register for a DUNS Number & SAM Number. Both are required by the federal government before we can release grant funding to any organization. If you already have registered for these items, make sure they are up to date. Grant funds can’t be released to organizations not in compliance.

Step 2: Submit an online Inquiry form (LOI)

First, go to the Online Grant Application. If you don’t already have an account, register by selecting the “Create New Account” button. You are prompted to enter your contact information, including a required email address, information about the organization, and its authorizing official. Your email address and password that you set up on the next screen will be your account logon. Please write your logon information down for future reference. Once you have registered and created a new account, proceed to the “Applicant Page” and select the type of grant for which you’re applying. An “LOI Page” will open; provide the necessary information on that page and click the “Submit Form” button. Your work on the LOI can be saved and returned to; it does not need to be completed in one sitting.

The information provided in the LOI helps staff determine if the project is eligible for MH funding in this grant category. If approved, you will receive an email notification and can then access the full application by logging on to the account. If declined, you will receive an email explaining why your project is ineligible for consideration, and will not be able to access the full application at that time.

Step 3: Create a Draft

Drafts are optional for Local History Grants and Discussion Grants. If you would like to submit a draft for one of those applications, communicate directly with your Program Officer.

Drafts are required for Project Grant applications. Please refer to the deadline schedule for draft due dates. The application questions marked with [DR] are required for the draft. The draft is, essentially, an application without supporting materials. To assemble your draft, log on to your account, click “edit application,” and complete those portions indicated by [DR]. Work on the application draft can be saved and returned to; it does not need to be completed in one sitting.

During the draft stage, do not click on the “submit” button. The “submit” button is reserved for the time when the final application is complete and ready to be submitted for consideration. Once the draft portion is complete, notify your Program Officer, who will review your draft application and provide you with feedback.

Step 4: Submit a Full Application

When the application, including all the supporting materials, is complete and ready for submission, press the “submit” button. Fields marked with * are required. Applications are due by midnight on the deadline date. In fairness to all applicants, all deadlines for grant applications are firm.

All grant applicants will be subscribed to our eNews monthly publication, which is the best way to keep informed about our grants, programs, and events. You can manage all your Mass Humanities news anytime.

Go to Online Grant Application


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