It’s January, a time for resolutions, new beginnings, and checking if any 2016 grants apply to the projects your museum has in the works. To help you get started, grants available in the coming year are listed below. Similar to last year, the impetus behind many of the 2016 grants include supporting projects that connect museums with their communities, improve collections management, and facilitate the digitization and conservation of collections.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Museums for America Grants

The grant application deadline for 2016 was on Dec. 1, 2015, however, to be considered for their 2017 grant cycle applications need to be prepared in this calendar year. Museums for America Grants:

  1. Support projects that strengthen the ability of a museum to serve its public.
  2. Focus on these project categories: Learning Experiences, Community Anchors, and Collections Stewardship
  3. Support Collections Stewardship projects may include but are not limited to:
    • Cataloging, inventorying, documenting, and registration
    • Developing and enhancing collections databases
    • Digitization designed to improve collections management

Deadline for grants available in 2017: Likely December 1, 2016, with the new Notice of Funding Opportunities published mid-September.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (Division of Preservation and Access)

This grant supports projects that extend the life of collections (including photographs, manuscripts, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, digital objects, etc.), and make the collections’ intellectual content widely accessible.

Implementation Grants support among other things:

  • Cataloging collections
  • Digitizing collections
  • Developing databases, virtual collections, or other digital resources

Application guidelines for 2016 grants will be posted at least two months in advance of the deadline. In the meantime, here are the guidelines for the previous deadline:  2015 Guidelines

Deadline: July 19, 2016

Digital Projects for the Public (Division of Public Programs)

This grant supports projects such as websites and mobile apps that contribute to the public’s engagement with humanities.

Application guidelines for 2016 grants will be posted at least two months in advance of the deadline. In the meantime, here are the guidelines for the previous deadline:  2015 Guidelines

Deadline: June 8, 2016

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
NEA Art Works: Museums

Art Works grants provide assistance for museums in many areas, including exhibitions, care of collections, conservation, and community engagement. Supported project types include:

  • Innovative uses of technology
  • Collections management
  • Conservation, preservation, and/or restoration
  • Public outreach activities

Art Works applications will be accepted under two deadlines, and all project types can be submitted under both deadlines.

First Deadline: February 18, 2016

Second Deadline: July 14, 2016

Canadian Heritage
Museum Assistance Program (MAP)

The aim of MAP is to support museums in promoting Canadian history within their communities and increasing access to heritage. One of the main funding categories is collections management, which includes support for projects that implement or upgrade a collections management system.


Deadline: Project proposals are reviewed yearly with a typical deadline of November 1.


Partnering with Gallery Systems

Make better collections management a reality and strengthen public engagement in your collections. Gallery Systems offers software applications to help you manage collections of any size or type, as well as the ability to dynamically publish information to your website, intranet, and kiosks. At Gallery Systems, we have assisted a number of institutions with their successful grant applications and would be happy to guide you through the process. Contact us to learn more.