Under certain circumstances, cash contributions from third parties who wish to support humanities projects may be matched with special federal funds available through the Arkansas Humanities Council. Through this program, the council offers one dollar of matching funds for a humanities project for every two dollars of cash contributed to the project by eligible donors. Eligible donors normally are third parties who have no material interest in the project and who are not closely related to key project personnel. The applicants own cash is not eligible for matching through this program.
There are three major advantages to matching grants, as compared to outright grants. First, applicants whose projects are supported by third-party cash contributors have no difficulty meeting cost-sharing requirements for grants from the council. Second, offers of matching grants permit applicants for humanities grants to challenge potential donors to contribute cash to worthwhile humanities projects. Finally, matching grants also provide general support for the statewide humanities program in Arkansas: for every matching dollar allocated to an applicants project, another matching dollar is allocated to the council for additional services and programs.
Applications for matching grants are considered in the same manner as applications for outright grants. The board of directors may award federal matching funds to any approved project. Such an award may be made in combination with, or instead of, an award of outright funds. Applicants whose budgets reflect committed or anticipated third-party contributions are encouraged to request matching funds in addition to, or instead of, outright grant funds. The board of directors may offer matching funds for approved projects whether or not the applicant has requested matching funds.
Recipients of matching offers are required to provide documentation that third-party cash contributions are eligible for matching and that the contributions have been received. Normally, this documentation consists of a copy of the contributors letter of award or transmittal and a copy of the contributors check for the amount of the donation.
All offers of matching grants are contingent upon council approval of documentation and upon availability of matching funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities at the time the matching funds are requested from NEH by the Arkansas Humanities Council.
Applicants who anticipate receiving third-party cash contributions for their projects are strongly encouraged to consult with the executive director of the Arkansas Humanities Council before submitting grant applications.
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