The Wisconsin Humanities Council provided rapid-response funding to nonprofit humanities and cultural organizations that faced financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus. Funding for these grants was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.
Both rounds of CARES grant funding are closed.
We were honored to issue more than $548,000 to 82 organizations around the state.
- Grants of up to $7,500 were for nonprofit organizations across Wisconsin that provide humanities programming as a significant part of their mission and that are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
- Grants for general operating expenses only. These include expenses such as salaries, rent, utilities, supplies, and equipment. (Organizations seeking funding for a humanities project may apply for a WHC Mini or Major grant.)
- No matching funds required.
To be eligible for a Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant, an organization must:
- Provide humanities programming to the general public as a significant part of its mission (see humanities defined here).
- Have been in continuous operation for at least two years as a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization as certified by the Internal Revenue Service. Check IRS status here. Note that government-affiliated or tribal government-affiliated libraries and museums, and the foundations or friends groups associated with libraries and museums, ARE eligible for funding.
- Be physically located in Wisconsin and have Wisconsin residents as its primary audience.
- Have at least one staff member (full or part-time) who is a paid employee of the organization.
- Have total annual expenses of not more than $500,000 in the most recent fiscal year OR have no more than $500,000 as the average of the past three completed fiscal years. (Expenses include all operating, overhead and programmatic expenses for the organization.)
- Be experiencing financial hardship due to the effects of the COVID-19. Hardship includes, but is not limited to the reduction, loss or furlough of paid staff or a significant loss of revenue.
Not eligible for funding
- For-profit organizations
- Organizations with annual budgets of more than $500,000 (organizations with larger budgets may be eligible for funding directly from the National Endowment for the Humanities)
- Organizations solely focused on the arts
- Political or advocacy organizations
- Government agencies (libraries and museums, and the foundations or friends groups associated with libraries and museums, ARE eligible for funding)
- Universities, colleges, or academic departments
- PK-12 institutions