Grants are something that all institutions need but also dread. They can be time consuming and labor intensive, but they are also important to help institutions achieve their mission-related goals. This section is designed to help make the process of locating and applying for a grant a little less intimidating.

Do we need a grant?

Sarah S. Brophy’s book, Is Your Museum Grant Ready: Accessing Your Organization’s Potential For Funding is a great resource for all museum’s considering grant-based funding. The book is short, to the point, and full of helpful advice and resources.

Charlotte A. Montgomery’s article “Your Museum Needs Money—Now What?” written for the American Alliance of Museums blog should be required reading for all museum employees. In the article, Montgomery outlines some of the helpful online grant searching tools available.

How do we find the right grant?

There are thousands of grants out there, which can make finding the right grant for your institution or project that much harder. Here a few of the best online resources for grant finding.

Candid helps link institutions to grant-issuing foundations as well as listing requests for proposals (RPFs) and top grant-issuing foundations. is your one-stop-shop for all things related to federal grants.

The Catalog for Federal Domestic Assistance is of particular importance to those institutions occupying property owned by local governments.

The Grantsmanship Center’s State Grant Resources page is a great place to search for state-funded humanities grants.

These are only a few of the online tools to make finding the perfect grant and granting institution for your organization. The next step is completing the application.

How do we compile the best grant campaign possible?

This series of webinars presented by CharitynetUSA, a nonprofit resource group, provides helpful information about grant writing and fundraising. While not written specifically for museums, the information presented below can help all nonprofits organize successful grant campaigns.

Developing Winning Grant Campaigns

How can we raise matching funds?

Combining Online Fundraising and Marketing Teams

Creating Successful Year-end Fundraising Campaigns

Succeeding with Corporate Sponsorship

Federal Grants

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grants are among the most coveted and competitive federal grants available. There are a number of categories of grants available. These grants are usually large, multi-year grants and take months of planning. The application process can be intimidating, but IMLS provides webinars to help applicants through the process.

IMLS: Choosing a Funding Opportunity for FY2019

IMLS Museum Grants for African American History and Culture

IMLS Inspire! Grants for Small Museums