Climate Smart Humanities Organizations: A New Opportunity from National Endowment for the Humanities


The Climate Smart Humanities Organizations program strengthens the institutional base of the humanities by supporting strategic planning for climate change. This type of comprehensive planning increases organizational resilience and involves two primary assessment types: mitigation, which looks for ways to reduce an institution’s impact on the environment, and adaptation, which looks for ways to protect an organization from climate impacts. Together, mitigation and adaptation form the basis of the resulting strategic plan and help humanities organizations increase resilience and sustainability in the long term—they become climate smart.

The Climate Smart program supports these efforts by offering federal matching funds for the completion of comprehensive assessments that lead to strategic climate action and adaptation plans. Strategic planning considers operational, physical, and financial impacts of climate-related events on institutions, while also seeking to reduce overall environmental impact. Projects should propose to undertake a range of assessment activities such as comprehensive energy audits, climate risk assessments, and/or carbon footprint calculation. These efforts should include institutional staff at all levels and may also rely upon outside consultants, experts, and community partners.

The result of the grant will be a climate smart strategic plan that establishes goals and prioritized actions to reduce the organization’s impacts on the environment and/or vulnerability from extreme events, while supporting work in the humanities over the long term.

Eligible organizations can apply on behalf of their own institution or lead a community-based consortium of collaborating cultural organizations. All applicants must raise third-party, nonfederal funds in an equal amount to what is requested from NEH.

Award levels and matching requirements:

  • Up to $300,000 in NEH funds
  • All projects require a 1:1 match (max. total award $600,000)

Deadline: January 17, 2023

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