National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Archives Collaboratives: Implementation Grants

FY 2020 Grant Announcement: (Initial)


The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives support projects that promote access to America’s historical records to encourage understanding of our democracy, history, and culture.

The following grant application information is for Archives Collaboratives. The application and award process are in two phases.

Initial Planning Grants were awarded in May 2019 for organizations to plan and develop a working collaborative of three or more partners designed to carry out tasks that enhance the capacity of small and diverse organizations with historical records collections.

Follow-up Implementation Grant will be available to those pilot Archives Collaboratives that have substantially completed their planning grants.

Funding Opportunity Number: COLLABORATIVES-202001

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 89.003

  • Final Deadline: January 16, 2020

NHPRC support begins no earlier than July 1, 2020.

Grant Program Description

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks projects that will make collections from small and under-represented archives more readily available for public discovery and use. The grant program will fund Archives Collaboratives to share best practices, tools, and techniques; assess institutional strengths and opportunities; and promote management structures for long-term sustainability and growth.

Archives Collaboratives must consist of three or more organizations. They may:

  • be located in the same community, state, or geographic region
  • be “virtual” or online collaboratives
  • share affinities among the scope and subject matter of their collections
  • have similar organizational missions
  • serve similar types of user communities

Implementation Grants – Funds will be granted to implement the projects developed during the planning phase. Projects that demonstrate commitments by member organizations, a work plan, and timeline are eligible to receive grants up to $100,000, shared by the consortia, to carry out the project. Applications would be due on January 16, 2020, with a start date for implementation of July 1, 2020.

For a comprehensive list of the Commission’s limitations on funding, please see “What we do and do not fund” ( Applications that consist entirely of ineligible activities will not be considered. 

Award Information

Successful Archives Collaboratives which have completed the Planning Phase are eligible to apply for an Implementation Grant of up to $100,000, shared by the consortia.

The Commission requires that grant recipients acknowledge NHPRC grant assistance in all publications and other products that result from its support.


Eligible applicants:

  • Nonprofit organizations or institutions
  • Colleges, universities, and other academic institutions
  • State or local government agencies
  • Federally-acknowledged or state-recognized Native American tribes or groups

Cost Sharing

The total costs of a project are shared between the NHPRC and the applicant organization.

The Commission provides no more than 75 per cent of total project costs for the Implementation Grants. NHPRC grant recipients are not permitted to use grant funds for indirect costs (as indicated in 2 CFR 2600.101).

The applicant’s financial contribution may include both direct and indirect expenses, in-kind contributions, non-Federal third-party contributions, and any income earned directly by the project. Indirect costs must be listed under the applicant’s cost sharing contribution.   

Other Requirements

Applicant organizations must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application, maintain SAM registration throughout the application and award process, and include a valid DUNS number in their application. Details on SAM registration and requesting a DUNS number can be found at the System for Award Management website at Please refer to the User Guides section and the Grants Registrations PDF.

A complete application includes the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424), Assurances -- Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 424B), a Project Narrative, Summary, Supplementary Materials, and Budget. Applications lacking these items will not be considered.

Ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

Application Information

You must use to submit your Proposal. All information necessary to apply is included in this announcement, the Application Instructions, and the forms on If you need the information supplied in an alternative format, please call the NHPRC at 202-357-5010.

In order to ensure eligibility, applicants should first review the rules and regulations governing NHPRC grants under the Administering an NHPRC Grant section.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) require that grant applications be submitted via In the event that is experiencing technical difficulties that prevent submission, applicants must first attempt to resolve the issue with the Contact Center (800-518-4726). If cannot solve the problem, applicants may request an alternative. To make use of the NHPRC backup system, applicants must contact Jeff de la Concepcion (202-357-5022) no later than 3:00 Eastern Time on the day of the deadline with their valid Contact Center trouble-ticket number.

Applicants are encouraged to submit drafts by November 1, 2019, but drafts are not required. The drafts should be sent by email to Daniel Stokes ( and should include a draft narrative and budget.

Project Narrative

The Project Narrative is a description of the proposal. It should be no more than 20 double-spaced pages in 12-pt type on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with standard margins.

Please organize your narrative in sections:

  1. Overview: Describe your project's overall purpose, the nature of the collaboration, the committed partners for the collaborative, and how it will increase public access to historical records. Applicants should indicate what role they will play in the structure of the Collaborative.
  2. Plan of Work: Describe the plan of work for the grant period. Describe in detail the types of activities you intend to engage in and the relationships among them. Outline each stage of the implementation work and how it fulfills the goals developed during your planning project. Types of activities may include outreach beyond the collaborating organizations to offer information and services; sharing best practices, tools, and techniques among member organizations and others; creating an online repository that make records from multiple repositories available.

Your plan of work should demonstrate how the Collaborative will help build capacity at small, diverse, and under-represented archives and communities.

  1. Project Products: Describe the structure and content of the products you plan to produce for the completed plan. These may include software and documentation; curriculum, training, and other educational products; websites, manuals; conference presentations; and articles; and/or brochures and pamphlets. The NHPRC expects that products will be freely available.
  2. Project Publicity: Describe how you will publicize the project and how you will share any new tools and methods with other institutions to encourage replication and adoption.
  3. Personnel Qualifications: For the people or positions in the proposal, provide a narrative explanation of the qualifications of the staff who will contribute to the success of this project. Demonstrate that the project staff has the skills, background, and experience appropriate to the project. Explain the roles of all staff named in the project budget, both for those already on staff and for those to be hired. Include descriptions of outside project advisors, reviewers, and evaluators. In the supplementary materials, provide a résumé of not more than two pages per person for all staff named in the project budget. For those staff or consultants to be hired for the project, provide position descriptions or call for consultants.
  4. Performance Objectives: List four to six measurable objectives. Focus on quantifiable results that reflect what you intend to complete by the end of the grant period. For example, how many institutions will form the Collaborative and what will their roles be; what measurable improvements are planned for public participation, discovery, or use of historical records; how many people will be reached with outreach programming; how many of the tools developed through the project will be available for use by the broader archival and historical publishing communities.

Project Summary

The Project Summary should be no more than 3 double-spaced pages in 12-pt type with standard margins, and it must include these sections:

  • Purposes and Goals of the Project
  • Plan of Work for the Grant Period
  • Products and Publications to be completed during the Grant Period
  • Names, Phone and Fax Numbers, and E-Mail Addresses of the Project Director and Key Personnel (Please ensure that the project director listed on this summary is the same person listed in Section 8 (f), of the SF 424. If your institution requires a different contact person on the SF 424, please explain in one sentence.)
  • Performance Objectives


Supplementary Materials

Prepare up to 20 pages of Supplementary Materials to your Narrative, such as:

  • Résumés of named staff members (please use only institutional addresses and phone numbers. No more than two pages per staff member) (required)
  • Position descriptions for staff to be hired with grant funds (required, if applicable)
  • Detailed work plan charts that supplement the Narrative

If these materials are available on a web site, please provide the URLs.

Project Budget

You must submit a budget on the NHPRC Budget Form available on the Application Instructions page. You may include with your application a narrative budget supplement for budget categories that require further detail. Provide specific budget figures, rounding to the nearest dollar.

Submission Dates and Times

Applicants are encouraged to submit drafts, but drafts are not required. The drafts should be sent by email to Daniel Stokes ( and should include a narrative and budget.

  • Draft (optional) Deadline: November 1, 2019
  • Final Deadline: Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time January 16, 2020.

NHPRC support begins no earlier than July 1, 2020.

Deadline Policy: Given that technical or administrative difficulties with may periodically delay the timely submission or receipt of applications, the Commission staff will make provisions for the receipt of such applications past the established deadline. Under these circumstances, applicants with technical or administrative issues related to must contact NHPRC staff as soon as possible, but no later than by 3:00 PM Eastern Time on the published application deadline. Applications that fail to meet deadlines for reasons other than those noted will not be considered for funding.

Application Review Information

The NHPRC staff will acknowledge receipt of the application soon after we receive it. The following evaluation criteria and weights will be used by NHPRC staff to form recommendations:

  1. Quality and extent of the potential impact in increasing the capacity of small, diverse, and under-represented archives and repositories. (35 percent)
  2. Ability to complete the proposed plan, judged by the qualifications of the staff and reasonableness of the work plan and budget (including cost share). (35 percent)
  3. Transferability of the expected results to the archival and historical communities. (20 percent)
  4. Effectiveness of the dissemination plans for the project's results. (10 percent)


Application Review Process

After submitting a proposal, do not discuss the pending application with any Member of the Commission. Commission members must ensure fair and equitable treatment of all applications and do not discuss proposals with individual applicants.

Your proposal will be reviewed by:

  • Peer Reviewers
    We will ask 5 to 10 external peer reviewers to evaluate the proposal.

Commission Staff
Approximately two months after the submission deadline, we will send to the Project Director anonymous copies of reviewers’ comments along with specific questions from the Commission staff. Applicants have an opportunity to answer these questions and concens.

The Commission
After reviewing proposals and responses to evaluations by the Commission staff, Commission members deliberate on proposals and make funding recommendations to the Archivist of the United States who, as Commission Chairman, has final statutory authority and selects award recipients. Throughout this process, all members of the Commission and its staff follow conflict-of-interest rules to assure fair and equal treatment of every application.

Award Administration Information


Grants are contingent upon available appropriated funds. In some cases, the Commission will adjust grant amounts depending upon the number of recommended proposals and total budget. The Commission may recommend that the Archivist approve the proposal and extend an offer of a grant with applicable terms and conditions, or it may recommend rejection of the proposal.

Grant applicants will be notified within 2 weeks after the Archivist’s decision.

Successful applicants will receive an informal offer of award and be required to verify their acceptance of general terms and condition, and complete a statement on their Financial Capability and Accounting Systems.

For awards that meet or exceed the Federal government's simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), NHPRC staff will first review and consider any information about the applicant that appears in the designated integrity and performance system. This information is accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). After this review, NHPRC staff will follow the procedures in 2 CFR 200, subpart F, Appendix I, part e.3.

Once these are received, reviewed and accepted, the NHPRC will issue an official award notice.

Administrative Requirements

In order to ensure that you can manage a grant, applicants should review the Federal grant administration rules and regulations governing grants from the NHPRC listed in the Administering an NHPRC Grant section.


In most cases, award recipients will report on their performance in narrative reports every six months and submit financial reports once a year.

Agency Contact

Applicants are encouraged to contact Daniel Stokes ( at the NHPRC who may:

  • Advise the applicant about the review process;
  • Answer questions about what activities are eligible for support;
  • Supply samples of successful applications;
  • Read and comment on a preliminary draft. Applicants should submit a draft at least 2 months before the deadline.