A More Perfect Union

Special Grant Initiative


A More Perfect Union: Democracy and Civic Engagement


The West Virginia Humanities Council invites proposals for its special grant initiative “A More Perfect Union: Democracy and Civic Engagement.”  With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council seeks to fund humanities projects that discuss, promote, and educate the public on the necessity of informed civic engagement to a functioning and sustainable constitutional republic.


“A More Perfect Union” grants will be awarded for projects requesting up to $5,000 in support of humanities projects that promote the value of civic engagement or civic education. Applications are due May 2, 2022.


“Civic engagement” refers to projects that discuss how direct individual participation in civic or public life can improve community, local, or national conditions.  Examples of such actions include, but are not limited to, voting; running for or serving in public office; performing volunteer community or public service; performing military service; community organizing; poll working; and more.


“Civic education” refers to projects that seek to educate audiences on American civic history, or on the core principles and values of U.S. government and representative governance.


Examples of eligible types of projects include, but are not limited to, lectures; speaker series; educational programs; brochures and booklets including printing and promotional costs; archival projects; exhibit development and implementation; and the planning, scripting, and production of audio or video materials, podcasts, websites, or a periodical series.


Proposed projects should not campaign explicitly for or against public policy.  Instead, proposed projects should seek to educate the public on the value of informed civic participation to a healthy society.  The project should highlight how, and in what ways, informed civic participation benefits (or has benefited) a constitutional republic, on the community, local, or national level.




Apply online at https://wvhumanitiescouncil.formstack.com/forms/amp_grants by midnight on May 2, 2022.  An application template is available for download here.


Applicants must apply through the Council’s regular grant process for all other projects.


Applicants will be notified of the Council’s decision via e-mail by June 1, 2022.


Cost share is not required.


Applicants will be required to submit a narrative and financial report by within 90 days of the contract end date, which must include a spreadsheet of grant expenditures detailing the item paid, date paid, check/transaction number, and amount paid.  The Humanities Council will provide reporting templates.


The total amount to be awarded is $25,000.


For questions or troubleshooting, contact grants administrator Erin Riebe at 304-346-8500 or riebe@wvhumanities.org




  • West Virginia organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
  • Project must be rooted in one or more of the humanities disciplines
  • Project must involve qualified humanities scholars or expert practitioners, as direct advisors
  • Applicant must provide a comprehensive and adequate plan for publicity and dissemination of information
  • Applicant must supply FEIN # and DUNS # and have an active SAM.gov account, if the grant is awarded (not required for application).
  • Applicant must propose a grant period in which all activities are complete and expenditures made between June 1, 2022 and November 30, 2022 (extensions beyond this date will not be granted).
  • Applicant must propose an appropriate and accurate budget.
  • Applying organization must comply with federal nondiscrimination statutes.




  • Discuss or demonstrate the necessity of civics education and informed civic engagement to the health of a constitutional republic
  • Discuss ways in which informed civic engagement has resulted in improvements to United States law, public policy, or public culture
  • Promote civics education, formal or informal, as an essential component of informed civic engagement
  • Educate audiences, directly or indirectly, on various forms of local, statewide, or national civic engagement



Funds may not be used for the following purposes:


  • unallowable expenses as defined in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E - Cost Principles
  • overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards
  • funds for activities supported by other non-NEH federal funds
  • regranting (including offering discounts/savings or otherwise passing award forward)
  • replenishing savings
  • cancellation costs
  • pre-award costs dating to before June 1, 2022
  • equipment costs in excess of 20% of total project costs
  • construction, purchase of real property, major alteration and renovation
  • environmental sustainability
  • collections acquisition
  • the preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming
  • promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view
  • advocacy of a particular program of social or political action
  • support of specific public policies or legislation
  • lobbying
  • programming projects that fall outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies)