National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Financial and Narrative Reporting Instructions

Financial and Narrative Reporting Instructions

All grant recipients must submit Federal financial reports and narrative progress reports as specified in the Grant Award Summary and/or extension letter.

Financial Reports

Financial reports must be submitted on the Federal Financial Report, Standard Form 425 Standard Form 425. They are generally required on a yearly basis, with a final report due 90 days after the end of the grant period.

  • Due dates are shown on the Grant Award Summary and/or extension letter.
  • Be sure to refer to the original or revised Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424) and NHPRC Budget Form when preparing the form to see if costs were in line with the information on the original or revised budget and be sure cost sharing is accurately reflected.


  1. Enter "NHPRC"
  2. Enter the 14-digit grant number assigned by the NHPRC (see the Grant Award Summary)
  3. Enter the name and full address of the grantee
  4. a. Enter your DUNS number
    b. Enter your organization's Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as the Tax Identification Number (TIN) assigned by the IRS
  5. May be left blank, or you can insert your own account number
  6. Check which period is covered by this report In NHPRC's case, most financial reports are either annual reports or final reports, if the grant is complete. In certain circumstances you will be asked to report more frequently.
  7. Indicate the method used to record costs in your accounting ledgers. If you recognize expenses only as you pay them, check CASH. If you recognize expenses before paying them, check ACCRUAL.
  8. Enter the full grant period as show on the Grant Award Summary, or as amended by an extension letter.
  9. Indicate the expenditure period ending date covered by this report. This period must fall within the stated grant period on the Grant Award Summary or as amended in an extension letter.

    Federal Cash:

    1. Indicate the amount of NHPRC funds received as of the date in no. 9
    2. Show expenses paid to date with NHPRC funds
    3. Indicate if any cash is left over (10a. minus 10b.) This may be a negative number if you have spent more than you have received.

    Federal Expenditures and Unobligated Balance:

    1. Enter the full amount of the grant
    2. Indicate the NHPRC share of all allowable project costs that have been incurred and/or paid as of the date in no. 9 above. NOTE: All expenditures must be allowable and appropriate. Expense documentation (e.g., timesheets, payroll records, contracts, receipts, invoices, cancelled checks, etc.) must be maintained and available for submission upon request.
    3. If you have expenses which have been obligated (contracts, etc.) and will be paid with NHPRC funds, enter that amount here, otherwise enter $0.
    4. Enter the total of 10e. and 10f.
    5. Enter the remaining NHPRC funds not yet spent or obligated (lines 10d. minus 10g.)

    Recipient Share:

    1. Enter your share of allowable and allocable project costs (cost sharing as shown on the Grant Award Summary). This may include the value of allowable and allocable third party in-kind contributions and indirect costs if in the approved budget or as amended.
    2. Show how much of your share has been spent as of the date in no. 9
    3. Enter how much of your share is still to be provided/spent on the grant (lines 10i. minus 10j). If this is a final report, enter $0.

Program Income: Provide this information only if you received income from meeting registration fees, etc., that are to be applied to the grant. Not many NHPRC grantees anticipate receiving and/or using program income under their grants. Please call us if you have any questions about this section.

  1. Indirect Expense. Complete if an indirect cost rate established with a Federal agency was included in your application and approved for this award. If it was allowed as part of your cost sharing, be sure this amount is included in the figure on line 10j.
  2. Remarks: You may enter explanations or additional information here.
  3. Complete all boxes. This form must be signed by a responsible fiscal agent for the grant.

Scan and email the signed SF 425 to or fax it to 202-357-5914. You should keep the original in your files.

How to Return Unspent Funds

Please make your check payable to NHPRC, and mail it to:

National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 114
Washington, DC 20408-0001



Narrative Reports

When are narrative reports due?

Due dates for all reports are indicated in your award document. Please note them at the beginning of your project. If you receive a no-cost extension, we will indicate new dates for reports in our approval letter. Timely submission of all narrative reports is required of all grantees.

What should be included in narrative reports?

Using your project's performance objectives (which were sent to you with your Grant Award Summary) as a template, provide a summary of project activities undertaken during the reporting period. Analyze in detail the goals met during the reporting period. Note any goals for the period that were not accomplished and explain why these objectives were not achieved and how this will affect the anticipated completion date of the project. Note whether there is a need to revise the work plan, staffing pattern, or budget.

Note significant developments, such as the publication of volumes or the completion of finding aids, as well as any work that is pending with presses. If the project has established a website or a social media account for the project, please provide the appropriate information so your program officer can explore it.

Project directors are encouraged to offer frank assessments of their projects.

  • Were the goals set in the original proposal realistic? If not, what alternative goals might have been accomplished during the grant period?
  • Did the project staff face unexpected problems? If so, how did the project address them? Were the problems solved? Could similar problems be avoided in the future?
  • Has the project led to unanticipated benefits? If so, what were they?

A full discussion of these matters in your narrative report will aid the Commission in assessing future grant applications and providing guidance to other projects.

Discuss the project's impact, if any, on the grant recipient or others who may have used project materials or benefited from the project. Mention any publicity or interest generated because of the project. Please note project-related publications, speaking engagements, or professional development efforts undertaken by the staff during the grant period or planned for the future. We urge grant recipients to prepare and distribute press releases regarding their NHPRC grants (for suggestions see

Final reports should cover the entire grant period.In addition to the above materials, indicate whether all or part of the project activities will be continued after the end of the NHPRC grant. Will institutional funds or other grant funds provide ongoing support for any of these activities? Was the NHPRC grant instrumental in obtaining these funds.

If your project is a records project, send one copy of all narrative reports to the state or territorial coordinator(s) whose states or territories are involved in or affected by the project. Send another copy via email to the NHPRC program officer assigned to your grant. When submitting your report to the Commission staff, please indicate the names of individuals to whom additional copies have been sent. Also, please include your grant number on all correspondence and reports. Your program officer will contact you if additional information or clarification is needed.

Please note that all reports are Federal records, and are subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

What additional information should be submitted to the NHPRC?

The results of any work supported by a grant or award by the Commission may be published. Publications or other written products resulting from the project must acknowledge the assistance of the Commission.

For records-related projects, grant recipients are required to send the Commission one copy of any printed finding aids, reports, manuals, guides, forms, and other materials produced by the project at the time that the final narrative report is submitted. If materials are only available online, contact your program officer for submission requirements. These products then can be shared with others interested in similar projects and can be used in evaluating more fully the results of projects supported by the Commission. Please note that mail irradiation may damage the quality of items, so final products should be sent via Fed-Ex/UPS.

Documentary editing projects should send the Commission 3 copies of any book edition unless support for their publication was provided by an NHPRC subvention grant. For these volumes, presses rather than projects are responsible for submitting 5 copies to the NHPRC and 10 copies to the project director or editor.


The Commission encourages grant project directors and staff members to submit articles on the project to appropriate journals and newsletters, especially when the methodology or results of a project might be of broad interest. The project director should inform journals, newsletters, and listservs of the completion of the project and the availability of any publications, reports, finding aids, and manuals produced through a grant. NHPRC maintains an active social media presence and frequently promotes grant projects on various platforms including Twitter and Facebook.

For use in its publicity, the NHPRC would welcome digital images of project activities or historical photographs relating to the project's work. Please contact Keith Donohue, Director of Communications at