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Museums for America (MFA) Grant Program

Grants to USA Museums
for Capacity Building Activities

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Deadline Date:

11/16/20 11:59 PM Eastern Time

Description:

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Grants to USA and territories museums, and government agencies and nonprofit organizations applying on behalf of museums to increase their capacity to serve the public. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended for projects that support lifelong learning, libraries as community anchors, and collections stewardship and access.

The Museums for America program supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public. Museums for America has three project categories:

  • Promote Lifelong Learning: IMLS supports learning and literacy for people of all ages through museums and libraries.
  • Build Capacity: IMLS strengthens the capacity of museums and libraries to improve the wellbeing of their communities.
  • Increase Public Access: IMLS makes strategic investments that increase access to information, ideas, and networks through libraries and museums.

For more information about these categories, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-mfa-nofo.pdf#page=4.

Indicators (characteristics) of successful projects in the MFA program are as follows:

  • Institutional Impact: The project addresses a key goal identified in the institution’s strategic plan.
  • In-depth Knowledge: The project design reflects a thorough understanding of current practice and knowledge about the subject matter.
  • Project-based Design: The work plan consists of a set of logical, interrelated activities tied directly to addressing the key need or challenge identified in the application.
  • Demonstrable Results: The project generates measurable results that tie directly to the need or challenge it was designed to address.

For allowable costs, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-mfa-nofo.pdf#page=18.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 148060

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$19,900,000

Number of Grants:

Anticipated number of awards: 120

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant Amount: $5,000–$250,000

Term of Contract:

Anticipated start dates for new awards: Projects must begin on September 1, 2021.
Anticipated period of performance: September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2022, August 31, 2023, or August 31, 2024. Project activities may be carried out for one to three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for an award under this MFA Notice of Funding Opportunity, you must be an organization that meets all three of the following criteria:
1. You must be either a unit of State, local, or tribal government or be a private, nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code;
2. You must be located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and
3. You must qualify as one of the following:
(a) A museum that, using a professional staff, is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational, cultural heritage, or aesthetic purposes; owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; cares for these objects; and exhibits these objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities that it owns or operates.
(b) A public or private nonprofit agency that is responsible for the operation of a museum that meets the eligibility criteria in 1, 2, and 3(a), applying on behalf of the museum.

For more information about eligibility, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-mfa-nofo.pdf#page=6.

For unallowable costs, see https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy21-oms-mfa-nofo.pdf#page=18.

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline: Submit through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on November 16, 2020.
Anticipated Date of Notification of Award Decisions: August 2021 (subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion)

For the Museums for America program, at least 1:1 cost share from non-federal sources is required.

View pre-recorded webinars on the URL for Full Text below. For a full list of prerecorded webinars, see https://www.imls.gov/webinars.

Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S® number (a unique entity identifier), System for Award Management (SAM) registration, and Grants.gov registration. Check your materials and registrations well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that they are accurate, current, and active.
- D-U-NS number: All non-federal entities are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-NS®) number (a unique entity identifier) in order to apply for, receive, and report on federal awards. You should verify that your organization has a D-U-N-S® number. You can get one within two business days at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free D-U-N-S® number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by visiting http://www.dnb.com/duns-number.html.
- SAM registration: The System for Award Management (SAM) is a federal repository that centralizes information about grant applicants and recipients. You must be registered with SAM before you register with Grants.gov. There is no fee to register with SAM. For information about registering with SAM, see https://www.sam.gov/SAM/pages/public/help/samQUserGuides.jsf.
It is recommended that applicants allow several weeks to complete your SAM registration.
- Grants.gov registration: You must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting your application package. The multistep registration process generally cannot be completed in a single day. If you are not already registered, you should allow several weeks before the application deadline to complete this one-time process. Do not wait until the day of the application deadline to register. For more about registration, see http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html.

View this opportunity on Grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=328709
For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the Grants.gov page above.
FY 2021 Applicant Webinar Museums for America: https://www.imls.gov/webinars/fy-2021-applicant-webinar-museums-america
Webinar Info: https://www.imls.gov/webinars
Webinar Recording: https://youtu.be/o2sizx44UWo

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If you have questions, please contact any of the staff members listed under the category that best fits your project.

Lifelong Learning
- Helen Wechsler, Supervisory Grants Management Specialist: hwechsler@imls.gov
- Steve Shwartzman, Senior Museum Program Officer: sshwartzman@imls.gov

Community Anchors
- Steve Shwartzman, Senior Museum Program Officer: sshwartzman@imls.gov

Collections Stewardship and Access
- Mark Feitl, Senior Museum Program Officer: mfeitl@imls.gov
- Mark Isaksen, Supervisory Grants Management Specialist: misaksen@imls.gov

Contact Grants.gov at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/support.html or call their help line at 1-800-518-4726 for assistance with software issues, registration issues, and technical problems.

CFDA Number:

45.301

Funding or Pin Number:

MFA-FY21

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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