Grants will be awarded competitively and will range between $1000 and $100,000. Funds can be used for preservation and restoration of buildings associated with the Underground Railroad
(UGRR), for interpretation, and for additional historical research related to previous Network to Freedom listings. New Network to Freedom members (sites, programs, or facilities) that are accepted from the January 15, 2023, round will also be eligible to apply fo preservation and interpretation funds. Preference will be given to those listings that have not previously received Network to Freedom grants though members that have already received grants are also encouraged to apply. Preference will be given for proposals with at least 50% matching funds, though matching funds are not required.
This year, the NTF wants to encourage student engagement and education. Education is a pivotal component to the Network to Freedom’s mission, “to honor, preserve and promote the history of resistance to enslavement through escape and flight.” These educational opportunities will encourage collaboration amongst the youth representing our diverse communities today and promote continued preservation of sites and stories of the Underground Railroad for generations to come.
Sites, programs, and facilities previously listed in the may propose projects for these grants. Grants may be awarded to Private and non-profit organizations, as well as, state, tribal, and local governments. Federal agencies cannot receive these grants, but partner organizations can receive a grant for federally owned property with the written consent of the managing agency. A letter of consent from the property owner must be included for all grants.
Grants will also be awarded to research and write applications to list new sites in the Network to Freedom. A letter of consent for including the property in the Network to Freedom must accompany the grant proposal.
Please note that eligible proposals from religious properties listed in the Network to Freedom are restricted to research projects, preservation projects or NTF signs only. These projects
must have a specific connection to Underground Railroad history, rather than religious history.
Proposals submitted under this program are requests for consideration for a grant, and not a promise for funding. No work covered in this proposal is to begin until the applicant has been notified in writing that funds have been awarded and has accepted in writing the terms and conditions of the grant. The owner of the site, program or facility applying must provide written consent. The target date for announcing awards is July 31, but please allow some flexibility.
￼Projects MUST be completed by September 30, 2024.
Grants will be administered in accordance with all applicable Federal and state laws, regulations, policies, requirements and guidelines, including OMB Circular A-102 and A-110 (as applicable), Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, non-discrimination on the basis of handicap (Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973), and equal employment opportunity and labor law requirements of Federal grants.
Congress authorized the creation of the NTF within the NPS to research, interpret, and preserve sites and resources associated with the Underground Railroad. As part of the national network program, the NPS supports projects that achieve the goals of preservation, interpretation, and education of Underground Railroad history. Specifically, the projects should support or enhance the Underground Railroad associations for which site, program, or facility was listed in the NTF. Examples of grant projects that support these objectives and are eligible for consideration include but are not necessarily limited to:
The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program does NOT fund:
1. Include the cost of ins talling a Project Sign in the requested project budget because one must be erected at the site of the grant-assisted preservation work during the duration of the project to acknowledge NPS grant assistance.
2. For non-construction projects, NPS grant assistance must be acknowledged on any products resulting from the grant. Text for this acknowledgement will be in the grant agreement.
3. All grant project work requires monitoring and approval by NTF staff. For interpretive products, markers, websites, etc. NTF staff must approve content and design in the draft stages. Invoices for payment must be approved by NTF staff before submission to ASALH for payment.
4. Grant recipients must ensure that projects are carried out in a timely and professional manner. Grant funds not expended will expire and be “re-captured” by the federal government.
The grant award for fiscal year 2023 is up to $100,000 for the Federal share. The minimum grant award will be $1000.
Matching funds are not required for these grants, though bonus points in the project review are awarded for providing 50% and 100% match to the federal share. . Project proposals are ranked on a 100 point scale. Projects showing a 50% cash match will get 5 bonus points. Projects with a 100% cash match will get 10 bonus points. Matches must be cash, and not “in kind” services or donation. To qualify for these bonus points, applicants must provide documentation that the match is “in hand” by June 30, 2023.
Grant proposals without matching funds are also encouraged. Plenty of proposals without match have been funded because the project was compelling and the proposal well explained.
A committee of reviewers, including NPS Network to Freedom regional program managers, other NPS staff, reviewers selected by ASALH will rank applications and make funding recommendations. Proposals are rated on a 100-point scale. The weight for each section is indicated below. Each reviewer will rank the projects and add bonus points. All scores will be totaled and ranked according to the highest scores.
For Construction Projects- A Project Sign must be erected at the site of the grant-assisted repair work during the duration of the project to acknowledge NPS grant assistance. For non-construction projects- NPS grant assistance must be acknowledged on any products resulting from the grant. Language for the acknowledgement will be in the final signed grant agreement.
Deadline June 30, 2023, 11:59 PM EDT
Proposals must be submitted electronically through the internet portal at www.asalh.org/. If you are unable to submit the application electronically, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (856) 873-0270. To avoid glitches with the internet, submit proposals ahead of the deadline if you can. Applications received after the deadline of Friday, June 30, 2023, 11:59 pm EDT and incomplete applications will not be considered. Additional materials sent separately from a proposal will not be considered part of the proposal and will not be included in the evaluation.
In order to ensure that your proposal receives the best consideration possible, here are some suggestions from our office that you may find useful in preparing your application.
For research projects
For interpretation or sign projects, describe the product that will be created and the source of the information.
Section 5A Project Need (30 Points)
Section 5B Project Work Plan and Timeline (20 Points)
Section 5C Benefit or Outcome (20 Points)
Section 6 Project Budget (15 Points) and Justification (15 Points)
Section 7A Bonus: New Grant Recipients (5 Points)
Section 7B Bonus: Matching Funds (5-10 Points)
Section 7C Bonus: Education (5 Points)
Section 7D Bonus: Youth Engagement (5 Points)
This online application must be submitted in one sitting/session. There is no opportunity to save your work and continue to work on one submission. Our recommendation is that you review this sample form and fill out your answers first in a word processing document.
Applications must be submitted electronically through the portal. If you are unable to submit the application electronically, please email email@example.com or by phone at (856) 873-0270. Applications received after the deadline of June 30, 2023, at 11:59 am EDT and incomplete applications will not be considered. Additional materials sent separately from an application will not be considered part of the application and will not be included in the evaluation of the application.