Focus Grants: Frequently Asked Questions
What can Focus Grant funds be used for?
Spring 2022 Focus Grants must support public humanities programs that explore what it means to “build a more perfect union” or be an “informed citizen” in a democracy. A program’s focus should align with at least one of the following themes:
- the role of journalism in a democracy
- the relationship between journalism and the creation of an informed citizenry
- civic education and knowledge of our core principles of constitutional government and democracy
- questions of racial justice and gender equality
- the American landscape; and the experiences of under-represented communities within American history
- the United States’ quest to become “a more perfect union” and its place in the world
What are the humanities?
“The humanities” refer to a group of academic fields and disciplines, including history, literature, philosophy, ethics, archeology, anthropology, linguistics, geography, classics, and legal, gender, ethnic/race, cultural, or religious studies. Practitioners broadly employ interpretive and analytical methodologies to explore a particular question. The public humanities apply the insights, methods, and knowledge of the humanities disciplines to programs that are available to members of the public.
The National Endowment for the Humanities defines the “humanities” as including but not limited to, "the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life." - National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, 1965, as amended.
*A note on what the humanities are not…
The humanities should not be confused with “humanism, ” which is a specific philosophical school of thought to emerge during the Renaissance, or with “humanitarianism,” which focuses on charitable works and social reform.
How do I know if my idea qualifies as a humanities program?
While humanities programs can take many forms, you should be able to articulate how your project will draw on the methods, knowledge, or insights of at least one humanities discipline to objectively explore a specific theme or question.
New Hampshire Humanities cannot fund programs that are predominantly art or performance based, or that engage in any form of advocacy. Programs that provide participants with a social service are also unlikely to qualify.
If you are not sure whether your idea qualifies as a humanities program, we highly encourage you to contact a member of NHH staff to discuss the program in more detail. You may email email@example.com or submit an inquiry here.
Am I eligible to apply for a Focus Grant?
Nonprofit organizations; institutions of higher education; state, local, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments; and institutions of the federal government are eligible to apply for a Spring 2022 Focus grant.
We cannot accept applications from individuals, for-profit organizations, or fiscal sponsors.
Are there any restrictions on the grant funds?
Grant funds cannot be use for any of the following purposes:
- to purchase alcohol or audience refreshments
- to advocate or lobby for a political cause, policy, social reform, or religion
- to provide funding for competitive scholarships, grants, or awards
- to provide social services
- to cover an organization’s general operating expenses
What is the grant period?
The grant period for each awarded grant will begin on May 1, 2022 and end on September 30, 2022. All expenses and activities must occur during this period. NHH will not be able to issue any extensions for this grant.
Is there a cost-share for this grant?
No, Focus grants have no associated cost-share or matching funds requirement. If your anticipated program expenses exceed the award amount, you must show how you will cover the remaining expenses.
My organization recently received a SHARP grant and/or a Community Project Grant. Can I still apply for a Focus Grant?
Yes, you may apply for a Focus Grant if you have other open grants with NHH. You cannot use Focus Grant funds to cover overlapping costs for other NHH grant-funded projects. For example, you could not use Focus grant funds to supplment a CPG-funded program.
How do I access the Focus Grant application materials?
The grant guidelines, application instructions, and template project narrative and budget are available for download on the Focus Grant webpage.
How do I submit my application?
Complete the project narrative and budget, and compile all required application materials. Access the application portal via the Focus Grant webpage or click here. Provide the requested information and upload your application materials. Click submit. You will receive a confirmation message when your application is received.
What is a Unique Entity ID?
All organizations receiving federal awards must obtain a Unique Entity Identifier through SAM.gov.
The Unique Entity ID (UEI) is a 12-character alphanumeric value that is managed, granted, and owned by the government. Effective April 4, 2022, It will serve as the authoritative unique entity identifier used by the federal government.
If your entity is already registered in sam.gov, you have been issued a Unique Entity ID (UEI). This includes inactive registrations.
Otherwise, you can register for a SAM UEID at https://sam.gov/content/home. There is no cost to register.
If you are requesting a Unique Entity ID only through sam.gov, a successful request will provide the UEI immediately.
This short YouTube video from sam.gov describes exactly how to get your UEI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hqs_L0B5kI.
My organization has a DUNS number. Do we still need to register with SAM.Gov?
Effective April 4, 2022, the federal government will no longer accept DUNS numbers as an organization’s valid unique entity id. All organizations that receive federal funds must obtain a Unique Entity Identifier through SAM.Gov.
I have more questions. Who do I contact?
Contact a member of NHH staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff are happy to schedule calls to discuss your program in greater detail.