CH CARES Humanities Relief Grants

We are pleased to launch CH CARES Humanities Relief Grants to provide much-needed funds to the Colorado public humanities sector. Living with COVID-19 brings daily challenges to all of us personally and to the organizations we depend on. Shuttering Colorado’s cultural institutions has put them at financial risk.  (Haga clic aquí para obtener información en español o haga clic aquí para obtener la solicitud de organización en español o haga clic aquí para la solicitud individual en español.)

Colorado Humanities is the steward of economic stimulus funds approved by Congress to help mitigate the effects of closures on nonprofit organizations. In recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the public humanities field across the state, Colorado Humanities will direct funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), to meet the emergency needs of organizations and individuals.

Program Purpose
In recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the ability of many public humanities providers and individuals to carry out their work, this rapid response program will direct general support funds for public humanities organizations and practitioners to address the immediate economic impact of the pandemic on their public humanities work. In keeping with Colorado Humanities’ mission to inspire Coloradans to explore ideas and Colorado’s diverse cultural heritage, and, as the home of Colorado Center for the Book, to foster a love of reading and books, Colorado Humanities relief grants aim to provide support to organizations and individuals whose work in the public humanities is currently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CH CARES Humanities Relief Grants are made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the federal CARES Act.

Application Deadline
June 19

July 17

Grant period
July 17 – October 31, 2020

How to Apply
Applications for CH CARES Relief Grants must be submitted through an online process. No hand delivered, faxed, or emailed applications will be accepted. Applications must be submitted by the deadline, 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020. You may initiate an application anytime between May 22 and June 19.

Award Notification
Award decisions will be announced by July 17, 2020. Decisions are final and may not be appealed. Along with notification of award, successful applicants will receive detailed grant management and reporting instructions. Awardees are expected to familiarize themselves with all requirements as outlined in the grant agreement and supplemental grant administration materials, and to attend (or view a recording of) an online orientation session. All funds will be disbursed upon the approval of the signed grant agreement. While we aim to make this process as timely as possible, receipt of grant funds can take up to 14 days.

Grantee Responsibilities
Grantees are required to acknowledge the support of Colorado Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities CARES Act in program and publicity materials, cooperate with Colorado Humanities publicity and evaluation protocols, communicate any major changes to the situation, and submit a final report, documenting activities, expenses, and outcomes at the conclusion of the award period.

Grant Terms
Funds must be expended in the grant period, between the receipt of funds and October 31, 2020.

Review Criteria
Applications are evaluated for completeness, eligibility, and alignment with Colorado Humanities’ mission including geographic and cultural diversity and reaching communities underserved with humanities programming. Be sure your application is complete (no missing elements) and that you provide a relevant response to each of the prompts. Failure to do so may result in disqualification for review.

Review Process
A review committee will assess each complete application received based on the review criteria. All awards depend on availability of funds.


There are two types of Colorado Humanities relief grants available, Individual, and Organizational. Applicants must demonstrate a two-year track record of supporting rich and engaging public humanities work that is accessible to the people of Colorado.

Do you have questions?
We’re happy to help!

Contact Grants Administrator at
303.894.7951 x21 or

Please take time to read
our guidelines and FAQs
before seeking assistance.

Social Media Challenge

Since 1974, Colorado Humanities has sought to inspire the people of Colorado to explore ideas and appreciate our diverse cultural heritage. Today, we couldn’t be more excited to invite you into that mission at a pivotal moment in our shared history.

CH CARES Individual and Organizational Humanities Relief Grants funds are limited, and not every deserving humanities individual and organization will be funded and those that are funded may not get grants large enough to address all their needs. So, what can we do as a network of humanities organizations and individuals to spread the word about our respective needs during these trying times? We can use the collective social media reach of ourselves and our organizations, staffs, boards, volunteers, and supporters to raise awareness of the problem and ask Coloradans for their support.

To this end we invite all CH CARES Humanities Relief Grant applicants to submit a video up to two minutes in length talking about the challenges you or your organization are facing, asking the people in our communities for their support, and providing instructions of how they can give that support. We will then post those videos, provided the content is appropriate, on the Colorado Humanities’ Facebook page, link those posts to your organization’s page and provide a URL for you to share far and wide. We will encourage our staff, board, volunteers, and supporters to like and repost those videos to spread the word. We urge you to do the same.

As a further inducement to participate in this social media challenge, Colorado Humanities has decided to set aside $30,000 in CH CARES Humanities Relief Grant funds to provide up to an additional $5,000 each in bonus grants to up to 10 individuals or organizations that are able to achieve outstanding social media engagement with your video submissions. Social media engagement with your submission video will be the primary determining factor in the selection of the recipients of the bonus grants, so be sure to circulate the Colorado Humanities social media post featuring your video far and wide to maximize reactions, comments, shares, and video views. Those receiving these bonus grants will be eligible to exceed the normal cap on CH CARES Humanities Relief Grant funding ($5,000 for individuals and $15,000 for organizations) and be eligible for a maximum total grant of up to $10,000 for individuals or $20,000 for organizations.

Imagine if every individual, staff member, board member, volunteer, and supporter for all of the individuals and organizations that apply for these grants then liked and reposted those videos to their social media networks. It isn’t difficult to see how through the multiplicative power of social media, your videos asking for help might get viewed and shared by thousands of Coloradans including some that might be unaware that you or your organization exist or that you are in need. Together, we can raise awareness of the challenges you face and reach Coloradans that may be willing and able to help.

Participation in this social media challenge is entirely voluntary and will not impact your eligibility to receive a CH CARES Humanities Relief Grant.

We encourage you to be creative in the production of this video, but please note that message and storytelling are more important in our experience than production quality to generate social media engagement. Truly, a video captured via cell phone will more than suffice.

Tips for capturing good footage with your cell phone:
Make sure that a good light source is in front of you and not behind you.
Make sure you are in a quiet room so that the audio is clear.
Hold your phone however you’d like, either horizontally or vertically.
Keep holding the phone in the same orientation throughout your video.
Try to include an interesting background.
If possible, position yourself in front of a wall or display that illustrates brand or personality.
Be creative.

We look forward to seeing your videos and using our collective social media reach to carry our message of need to as many Coloradans as possible. The social media challenge will run from the date grant applications are received and the videos posted (no later than June 19, 2020) to July 17, 2020, the date that Colorado Humanities will announce the grant recipients, including bonus grant for social media engagement recipients. While the challenge will end at that time, Colorado Humanities will keep the video posts on our social media platforms through the end of 2020 to maximize their exposure unless you or your organization request otherwise.


Application for Colorado Humanities CARES Act Humanities Relief grants is through Submittable, an online application service.  Information about Submittable’s data security is available at


Qualify for an additional $5,000 by accepting our social media challenge.

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