Washington Stories Fund Grants
Using everything from cave paintings to tweets, humans are born storytellers. Through stories we communicate our history, values, trials, and triumphs. But sometimes the voices of one group are drowned out by the voices of others because of size, disability, geographic isolation, marginalization, or other factors.
The purpose of the Washington Stories Fund is to record and share with the broader community the little-known stories of people or groups whose contributions add to the cultural richness and health of Washington State. Started with generous seed funding from the Lenore and Charles Hale Family Fund, the Washington Stories Fund is a tool to dismantle barriers and enhance cultural understanding.
The Washington Stories Fund is a general grant opportunity for which any nonprofit organization can apply. Awards are in the amount of $5,000 and recipients are selected through a competitive process. In 2020, we will award four grants of $5,000 to groups or organizations through a competitive process, and projects require a funding match.
The Washington Stories Fund application process for 2019 is now closed. Learn more about the 2019 award recipients here. The application will re-open in Winter 2020.
2020 Application Information
2020 Tentative Timeline (Dates are subject to change):
- Letter of interest opens: February 2020
- Letter of interest due: June 2020
- Full application due: July 2020
- Grant applicants notified of funding decisions: September 2020
- Funded grant activity can begin: October 2020
- What is the Washington Stories Fund Grant?
The Washington Stories Fund grant is awarded once per year to projects that highlight and share the little-known stories of a person or group whose contributions add to the cultural richness and health of Washington State. In 2019, we will award four grants of $5,000 to groups or organizations through a competitive process, and projects require a funding match.
- What kinds of projects are eligible for funding?
Projects that meet the following criteria are eligible for funding:
- The project highlights unique or little-known stories in Washington State
- The project provides the general public with meaningful opportunities to engage with the humanities (such as a public exhibit or community conversation)
- The project is affiliated with a non-profit or public agency in Washington State and clearly serves a Washington State audience
- The project includes a humanities scholar
- The affiliated organization can meet the requirement to offer a $5,000 match to the grant (in-kind contributions accepted)
For more information, view our guidelines (Page 6).
- What kinds of projects are NOT eligible for funding?
Projects related to the production of materials (such as documentaries, podcasts, etc.); research and development; purchase of equipment; conference fees; research costs; or food/beverage costs cannot be funded by a Washington Stories Fund Grant.
For more information, view our guidelines (Page 6).
- What are the humanities?
The humanities are the ideas, questions, and disciplines that help us document and interpret the world around us. The humanities include disciplines like history, literature, philosophy, cultural studies, and many more!
Fore more information, view the National Endowment for the Humanities’ definition.
- What is a humanities scholar?
A humanities scholar acts as an expert on the particular topic you are seeking to explore with your grant. This individual could be:
- someone with an advanced degree in a humanities field, such as a university professor or graduate student
- someone recognized by their cultural community as appropriate to teach or interpret traditional cultural knowledge, such as a tribal elder, storyteller, or traditional practitioner
- What kinds of projects have you funded in the past?
You can view the past recipients of the Washington Stories Fund Grant here.
- What is the timeline for the grant?
Letter of intent (LOI) due: June 10, 2019
Full applications due: July 22, 2019
Grant applicants notified of funding decisions: September 2019
Funded grant activity can begin starting: October 1, 2019
- What is your funding match requirement?
Applicants must at least match the amount granted by Humanities Washington for a project. Put another way, Humanities Washington funds may pay no more than 50% of the total project costs.The matching requirement can be fulfilled through cash contributions, income, in-kind contributions (including volunteer time), or donated equipment or services.
For more information, view our guidelines (Page 7).
- How do I access the online application?
- What happens after I submit the Letter of Intent?
Your materials will be reviewed by Humanities Washington staff. If your intended project and goals sufficiently met the criteria for the Washington Stories Fund grant, you will be invited to complete a full application.
- If my LOI is approved, what happens after I submit the full application?
Complete applications received on or before the grant deadline are evaluated by the Program Committee comprised of Humanities Washington board members and community representatives from a range of backgrounds. Humanities Washington staff will reach out to applicants in September 2019 regarding the status of their application.
- How will my application be evaluated?
Your project will be evaluated by a committee based on the following criteria:
- Content and project relevance: Does this project highlight a unique or little known story? Does the applicant explore important questions, issues, or ideas with their project?
- Key participants and partnerships: Has the applicant identified key participants and involved them in the project? Have key participants been given a role that will add to the depth of the content? Has the applicant defined the organizations involved in the project and clarified the roles of the various partners?
- Outreach and evaluation: Has the applicant defined a core audience and/or prospective audience for the project? Does the applicant have a plan for sharing this story with other communities across the state?
- Budget: Was the budget logical and complete? Did the applicant clearly indicate how Humanities Washington funds would be used?
- If approved, how do I receive the funds?
If approved, applicants will receive an award packet that includes the initial 90% of the grant ($4,500). Once the project is complete and the final report has been submitted, the final 10% ($500) will be provided to the organization.
- I have more questions. Who should I contact?
Please email email@example.com with any questions.
All information included on this page can also be found in the Washington Stories Fund guidelines.