Funding for humanities programs statewide!

Attention Mini Grant and Major Grant applicants! (Updated June 22, 2020)

THREE important changes for you to note:
1) SAM.Gov registration is no longer required to apply for Mini and Major grants!
Due to the continuing concerns about COVID-19,
  • ALL applications must be submitted electronically in a single PDF file emailed to Grant Program Director Meg Turville-Heitz by the deadline.
  • A SINGLE hard copy with ORIGINAL signatures must be sent to 3801 Regent St., Suite 101, Madison WI 53705 by regular U.S. postal service (no one is available to take deliveries or sign for packages).
  • If the fiscal agent and project director are not in the same location, just a certifications page containing the fiscal agent’s signature can be sent under separate cover.
  • August 1  – Mini Grant electronic deadline — August 10 hard copy deadline.
    Aug 15 – Major Grant electronic deadline — September 1 hard copy deadline.
3) Please Note: Beginning with our November Mini Grants we will be moving to a new electronic submission format. Please check our website before completing or submitting future grants after August 2020 for updated instructions and links.

Mini Grants / Major Grants

Mini Grants:
Major Grants:
  • Up to $2,000 in grant award (requires matching funds)
  • Up to $10,000 in grant award (requires matching funds)
  • Deadlines: February 1, May 1, August 1, November 1
  • Deadlines: April 24, August 15, December 15
  • Decisions are made by a WHC board subcommittee within one month of the deadline.
  • Decisions are made by the WHC board in the following June, October, and February, respectively.

We are here to help!

Whether you are new to grant writing or not, if this is your first application to the WHC or your 10th, we recommend you contact us!  Our Grant Program Director, Meg Turville-Heitz, is ready to brainstorm an idea, clarify guidelines, or connect you with a humanities expert. She is also happy to read drafts, but please allow a month before the application deadline for review.

NOTE: If you have any questions or if your plans include producing a video, audio or digital humanities product, please call us at (608) 265-5595 or email Meg Turville-Heitz for additional information and the special application form for digital projects.


Six secrets to successful WHC grant applications:
  • Our grants require a 50% match. In-kind match and cash both count!
  • We can’t fund capital expenditures or stand-alone archival projects.
  • Applicants must be affiliated with a not-for-profit, Wisconsin-based sponsor and include a humanities expert as part of the planned program.
  • We can’t fund projects whose purpose is advocacy.
  • The project must engage the public in the humanities. We look for opportunities to make history, culture and conversation happen.
  • We can offer guidelines, draft proposal review, intensive brainstorms and a lot of conversation about what will help make your project come to life.
What does a successful grant proposal look like?
  • It reflects the interests or needs of the community …
  • It builds or strengthens connections between communities and their organizations …
  • It brings people together to explore and share ideas and to reflect on what we hold in common, and where we differ …
  • It fosters observation, inquiry, analysis, reflection …
  • It has its feet firmly planted in the humanities and engages the skills of experts and community members in ways that promote insight and meaning, and it respects local knowledge and ways of knowing. …
  • It promotes Wisconsinites’ understanding of the character and conditions – past, present and future – of our lifestyles and homescapes…
  • It helps institutions do what they do better.
WHC grants have:
  • Helped survivors of human trafficking give public voice to their experience, thanks to a workshop at a women’s college.
  • Fostered dialog at a city library to heal race relations by exploring the realities of subtle racial undertones all around us.
  • Helped a library build civic pride in its community’s history of building U.S. warships.
  • Given voice to Viet Nam veterans’ personal memories through a traveling collection of snapshots.
  • Told overlooked stories of street-level history through a documentary project accessible by mobile phone.


EXAMPLE OF A FUNDED PROJECT: The dedication of a mural in Fort Atkinson honoring the late local poet Lorine Niedecker brought the community together for events and conversations as part of the 2018 Wisconsin Poetry Festival. Read more examples here!


If you or your organization have never applied for a grant, or you just want some feedback on an idea you aren’t sure about, please contact us to discuss your idea. We may be able to help!  It might be anything from helping to brainstorm an idea or connecting with a humanities expert. We are happy to read drafts, but please allow three weeks to a month before the application deadline for review.


Wisconsin Humanities CARES Act Grants were for emergency funding to support the general operating expenses of cultural nonprofits.  

Round 2 CARES grants are closed and recipients will be notified before August 5th.

We were honored to issue more than $300,000 to 49 organizations that conduct programming in the humanities in the first grant round. 

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