Minnesota Humanities Center

Capacity Building Grants

Through the State of Minnesota 2023-2025 biennial legislation, Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (Legacy), the Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC) will administer $8,850,000 in grants to organizations in Minnesota working to create, celebrate, and teach the art, culture, and heritage of diverse Minnesota communities.


Laura Adams

Capacity Building Grant Snapshot

Open To:Organizations
December 11, 2023
Grant Term:Project activities must be completed no later than May 30, 2025
Grant Reporting:Reporting must be completed no later than June 30, 2025
Download Complete Grant RFP

Grant Goals

Provide funding to cultural organizations that have a history of working with diverse cultural communities, to assist them with grant writing, fundraising, and capacity building to develop into more robust cultural organizations.


MHC will award $750,000 in Capacity Building grants, less an allowable administrative fee to MHC for design, award, and monitoring of the grant program. An organization can be awarded up to $75,000. If you request $25,000 or more, you will need to submit financial documentation with your application. Capacity Building grants to organizations are to be used to:

  • Provide training and assisting staff on grant writing and grant reporting,
  • Assist with capacity building and fundraising capabilities.
  • Retain nonprofit management experts and consultants.

Any organization is eligible to receive grant funding if it is in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in good standing with MHC, has no outstanding open grants with MHC and actively and regularly seeks to create, celebrate, and teach the art, culture, and heritage of diverse Minnesota communities, including but not limited to:

  • African American community,
  • Asian and Pacific Island communities,
  • Indigenous communities with a focus on the 11 Tribes within Minnesota,
  • Latinx communities,
  • LGBTQIA+ community,
  • Somali diaspora and other African immigrant communities, and
  • Other underrepresented cultural groups to celebrate the cultural diversity of Minnesota.

RFP posted: September 14, 2023

Proposal narrative & budget feedback available through: 4:30 p.m. CDT, Monday, December 4, 2023

Applications due no later than: 11:59 p.m. CDT, December 11, 2023

Applications under review: January 2024

Award notifications (grant agreement negotiations begin): January/February 2024

All applicants will be reviewed on a 100-point scale and go through a financial review process. The factors on which applicants will be scored are:

  • Project details – How does the project assist the organization with capacity building, fundraising, grant writing, and grant reporting.
  • Board involvement – How was the senior leadership team and Board involved in the project.
  • Evaluation – Success of the project clearly defined and clear evaluation process.
  • Impact – Audience and impact on the audience clearly defined.
  • Project Management – How will reporting of expenses and hours be correctly reported, compliance with Minnesota competitive bid laws, and will the project be completed on time.

Applicants must submit complete applications to be considered. Applications contain the following sections:

  • Applicant Contact Information
  • Project Overview
  • Project Narrative
  • Project Budget

Please do not submit any additional materials other than what is requested, such as binders or photos, in the application.

Unrequested material will not be reviewed.

Please make sure that your proposal only seeks funding for events and activities that are allowable. Minnesota law does not allow legacy funding to be used to:

  • Cover costs expensed before the grant agreement is fully signed.
  • Start, match, add to, or complete any type of capital campaign.
  • Support capital costs (such as improvements, construction, property, or equipment).
  • Pay for indirect costs or other institutional overhead charges that are not directly related and proportional to, and necessary for, the activities outlined in the project proposal.
  • Support benefits and fundraisers.
  • Purchase promotional giveaway items like t-shirts, keychains, etc.
  • Fund out-of-state expenses, including out-of-state travel.

If you have any questions about this RFP please contact:

Laura Adams
Minnesota Humanities Center
Grants Administrator
987 Ivy Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55016

Logo for Minnesota's Clearn Water, Land, & Legacy Amedment.