6 Grants Museums Can Use For Our Professional Development Services

Museum Hack
Renegade Tours

Want to work with us but short on funds?

We can help — with grants!

We know that museums have to be careful with their funds — and that grants give them the ability to bring in professional development and create or re-invigorate programs for the public.  Our Audience Development services are custom tailored to meet the needs of your institution– and many are eligible to be partially or fully funded by grants.  

Funding Next Exit sign

We’ve compiled a list of grants available to museums in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada that can help cover the cost of our services.  Read on to find out more.

AIM Training Grants (U.K.)

The Association of Independent Museums (AIM) offers awards of up to £300 to U.K. member museums.  The award may cover fees, accommodations, and travel costs towards courses, seminars, workshops, museum conferences, museum study visits, and mentoring placements.  The grants are awarded on a rolling basis.

AIM Training Grants are perfect for U.K. museum professionals who would like to attend our Museum Hack Boot Camp in NYC!  We’re currently finalizing details of our upcoming Boot Camps this year — to be held in April, June, and November.  To be the first to know when tickets are on sale, email us and we’ll add you to our VIP Wait List.

Alberta Museums Association Grants (Canada)

Available to individual and institutional members of the Alberta Museums Association, these Professional Development Grants fund 50% of eligible costs for a projects that support employees or volunteers accessing professional development services.  Funds may to be used to cover fees for workshops or informal learning programs — such as our Audience Development Workshops or Boot Camps. 

The next deadline to apply is September 1, but members can apply for retroactive funds for projects conducted up to eight months prior to submitting their application.  

Participant presents an object hack during Audience Engagement Workshop
Our Audience Engagement Workshops and Hack Chats invite staff to learn and discuss high-level audience engagement techniques customized to your museum’s needs.

Museums Association of New York Mini Grants (New York State)

Mini Grants are available to museums in New York state for up to $5,000.  Eligible projects can involve staff training and program development, and these grants are recommended for engaging with consultants.  Though their 2016 funding is over, keep an eye out later this year for their 2017 application deadline!

Museums for America (U.S.)

Offered by the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the Museums for America grant program is open to museums in the United States.  You can use the “Learning Experiences” part of this program to support:

  1. interpretive and educational program development and delivery, such as developing Custom Tours or Events for the public;
  2. Training for staff volunteers and educators through our Audience Engagement Workshop; or
  3. Developing a Young Patrons Program.  Our YPP offering combines professional development workshops, a one-year calendar of events, custom content development, and marketing support to develop a robust program specifically targeted to Young Professionals.  This long-term program fosters sustainable audience relationships while meeting the needs of your museum and this emerging donor base.

This grant is also great for museums working under parent organizations, so that you can fund the delivery of our services to multiple museums through collaborative Audience Engagement Workshops.

Museums for America grants are awarded at two funding levels.  The first, for grants of $2,000 to $25,000, does not have a cost share stipulation and is perfectly suited to our Workshops, Custom Tour Development, or Hack-Style Events.  The other, at $25,000 to $150,000, could be utilized for longer-term services, such as developing a Young Patrons Program.

Deadlines will be in late 2016, for projects beginning in 2017 or later.

Kate leading an event tour group
Hack-style events give guests a VIP experience and showcase your museum in a new, engaging way.

National Trust Preservation Funds (U.S.)

Offered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, these grants are intended to provide seed money for preservation projects, including education and outreach.  Members of the National Trust Organizational Level Forum or National Main Street Network are eligible to apply for funds ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 — which must be matched dollar-for-dollar (cash match is required).

Grants could be utilized for our Audience Engagement Workshops, which “employ innovative techniques and formats aimed at introducing new audiences to the preservation movement.”  Our workshops also match one of the National Trust’s preservation priorities, “Reimagining historic sites,” because we train your staff with “innovative, replicable strategies that create new models for historic site interpretation and stewardship.”

Grants may also be used to cover fees for consultant services like Museum Hack, as long as the consultant is approved by the National Trust. (We’ll provide a resume for use in your application!)  Deadlines to apply are June 1 and October 1, 2016 for projects that begin within six months of the award date. 

Preservation Maryland Grants (Maryland State)

For museums in Maryland, the Heritage Fund Grants provide direct assistance for innovative demonstration projects that can be replicated to meet the state’s historic preservation needs.  Grant amounts of $1,000 to $10,000 are available, and must have a cash or in-kind match of at least 10%. 

These grants support a wide variety of projects, including educational efforts and organizational development — such as our Audience Engagement Workshops or Boot Camps.

Curious as to whether our services would be eligible for grant funding? Ready to start drafting grant applications for new projects or professional development? Email us to learn more about our services and discuss applying for grant funding.

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