Connecting people through the power of history and culture

The Stearns History Museum Community Grant provides funding to Stearns County 501(c) 3 historical entities for projects that preserve County history. The grants must support projects that strengthen the ability of organizations to preserve their community history and serve the public. Grant applications are due May 1 of each year. Applications will be reviewed by the staff of the Stearns History Museum and recommendations will be sent to the Stearns History Museum Board of Directors for approval at their May meeting. Grants that are awarded can begin upon receipt of the award letter, but need to be completed by June 1 of the following year.

•Stearns County history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local or other historical or cultural organizations
• Activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources in Stearns County. (Grant projects must be ready to begin once the grant is awarded. This includes applicable permissions from the grantee’s board or governing entity.)

• Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
• An institution that exhibits objects to the general public for at least 100 days a year
• The institution uses paid or unpaid staff that is mainly involved in the acquisition, care, or exhibition of objects owned by or used by the institution.

• Individuals
• For-profit corporations & organizations • Schools • Applicants with overdue Stearns History Museum grant reports*
• All others not falling under “eligible applicants”
* Applicants cannot be considered for grants if they have outstanding, overdue final reports or grant products on any previous Stearns History Museum grant. NONPROFIT 501(C)(3): Nonprofit/nongovernmental organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) are eligible applicants. The Stearns History Museum Grant records must document each applicant’s eligibility for the grant program. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to prove it is eligible. Failure to provide sufficient documentation of 501(c)(3) status will render a nonprofit applicant ineligible.

•Archives and Collections Care and Management 1. Conservation supplies, storage and housing 2. Registration of collections 3. Inventory
•Exhibits and Education – history being communicated to the public 1. Production materials 2. Research 3. Programming
•Museum Environment 1. For humidity and temperature control 2. For security
•Digital Conversion
•Oral History 1. Military experiences 2. Outreach to immigrants 3. Business development 4. Natural disasters 5. Local controversies 6. Transcription


Grant  Narrative: include the following :

1. Project Description no more then 1-2 pages in length:
• What is the mission of your organization? • What do you propose to do?
• What need, problem, or challenge will your project address?
• Who or what will benefit from your project? 2. Requested amount and budget 3. Proof of nonprofit status 4. Need.

2. Rationale
•Describe the project.
•What community needs does it address?

3. Work Plan and Time Table
• What specific activities will you carry out?
• Who will plan, implement, and manage your project?
• When and in what sequence will your activities occur?
• What financial, personnel, and other resources will you need to carry out the activities?
• What resources will your institution contribute to the project?
• How will you evaluate your project?

 4. Project Results
Describe why and how the outcomes and benefits of your project will have a lasting impact and value for your community and your institution.

5. Sustainability
How will your organization carry on the work started by your project? What will be the impact on your budget?

Ineligible Costs
Any ineligible costs included in an application will be removed from consideration as part of the approved budget. Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:
• Subjects that do not have direct connections to Stearns County history or culture
• Work not meeting professional standards appropriate to the project
• Administrative expenses unrelated to the project
• General organizational operating costs
• Maintenance or deferred maintenance expenses (e.g., painting, woodwork refinishing or other small-scale upkeep work of an aesthetic nature)
• Paying current full time staff or volunteers
• Expenditures incurred before or after the beginning and ending dates set for the project by the Stearns History Museum. These dates will be stated within the executed grant contracts.
• Project activities begun before the beginning date of the project, or completed after the end date of the project. These dates will be stated within the executed grant contracts.
• Indirect cost rates or percentages
• Grant writing and grant administration fees, including writing and submitting the final report
• Any item not listed in the approved budget (unless written permission is received prior to expenditures)
• Creation of new monuments, sculptures, murals, or other works of art
• Projects to remodel or modernize the interior of historic properties, unless the cost is related to building systems (e.g., HVAC, electrical, etc.) or accessibility (e.g., accessible toilet stalls, elevators, etc.)
• Reproducing markers and other materials without revising texts for modern audiences
• Landscaping/site work costs, unless the project entails the preservation or restoration of a historic landscape, or the site work is an integral part of an archaeological investigation
• Cost of moving a historic building
• New construction or additions to historic buildings
• Conversion of materials into unacceptable Digital Data Formats
• Excavation of archaeological sites for the purpose of data recovery
• Ongoing costs of internet hosting service
• Ongoing program costs related to the grant project. These should be factored into the grantee’s long-term plan and budget for project sustainability.
• Extended service warranties or ongoing annual service contracts
• Development of web presence that serves only as a brochure or web-based store for the organization
• General oral history (interviewing people only for their random memories)
• Royalties paid to authors from the sale of publications
• Legal fees

Grantee’s Responsibilities
After a grant award has been approved, your authorized representative(s) must sign a Grant Agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the award. The document specifies an authorized project start date, end date, approved project budget and approved scope of work, where appropriate.

The grant contains the following stipulations:
• Changes in approved projects require approval in writing from the Stearns History Museum.
• A final report must be submitted to SHM within 30 days following the assigned end date for the project. The report should describe all project activities and measurable outcomes and must include a financial report providing complete documentation/receipts of expenditures of grant funds.
• You must agree to hold harmless the Stearns History Museum for any action, complaint, discriminatory proceedings or litigation of any kind whatsoever, in conjunction with the funded project.
• Copy of the project product (e.g. Historic Structures Report, conservation assessment, consultant’s report, exhibit label copy, manuscript, oral history transcripts, etc.).
• Financial documentation of expenditures (invoices and/or check copies)—
• Photographs–required for all projects! Photographs may be published in the “Crossings” newsletter.
• In-kind labor/donated materials report only if you are claiming match).