Project Director Handbook: Mini Grants

Project Requirements:

  1. The organization's authorized representative must sign and return Conditions of Award form within two weeks. This form must be received before any funds can be released. Keep one copy of this form for your records.

  2. Please review the Mini Grant Final Financial Report. If limited funds or other considerations required us to make the award for less than the amount requested, the grant allocations reflected in the Final Financial Report are those that are approved. Use the Mini Grant Revised Budget form to propose any changes in expenditures of grant funds that will exceed 30% in any one budget category. (See Budget Changes and Budget Revisions.)

  3. If at any time during the project you would like to make changes in your project, you should first submit the proposed changes to HI by letter or email for approval. In addition to budget revisions discussed above, such changes include project scope, objectives, activities, event dates, project director, key personnel or scholars or duration of the grant period.

  4. Provide HI with information about your public programs, so that we can include them on our web site and in our newsletter, Voices from the Prairie. If available, please send photo or graphic image electronically (resolution of 300 dpi).

  5. Send news release to your area news media announcing the grant and public programs. Include recognition for funding from Humanities Iowa and National Endowment for the Humanities. Suggested wording:
    The (your organization's name) has received a grant award of $(grant amount) from Humanities Iowa, a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, in support of a project called (project title).
  6. Provide HI board members with information about event dates and locations in advance. A list of board members' addresses was enclosed with the hard copy of this handbook.

  7. Send a letter to your U.S. Congressional Representative and Senators informing them of the grant-funded project and inviting them to attend program events. The letter should state that the program was funded by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities."

  8. Ensure that any brochures, ads, posters, news releases or other publicity and event material for and at the public programs includes the following information:
    This program is supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The views and opinions expressed by this program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Download an HI Logo.

  9. At the public programs ensure that the following requirements are met:

    • Humanities Iowa brochures are handed out and included in registration packets. Contact us for additional brochures as needed.

    • A public announcement is made during the program, mentioning that the program is funded, in part, by a grant from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as other funders as appropriate.

    • Participant sign-up sheet is in a visible and accessible location to the program audience. Remind participants to sign it. Send completed sign-up sheet(s) to Humanities Iowa.

    • Participant evaluation forms are handed out to the audience. You may create your own. Results (i.e., a summary) of the evaluations should be included with your final report. Do not send the completed evaluation forms to HI.

  10. Ensure that two copies of materials resulting from the program (tapes, books, etc.) are sent to HI and that copyright requirements are met.

  11. Ensure that the following fiscal management requirements are met:

    • Maintain fiscal oversight of all project activities and follow the requirements listed in the Administrative and Fiscal Requirements section and submit all financial reports necessary. You may designate a fiscal administrator, but you and the organization's authorized representative are ultimately responsible for the filing of reports and maintaining accountability.

    • For your own protection, provide and ask all speakers to sign a contractual agreement, specifying terms of payment to a speaker or for services rendered.

    • Keep track of all in-kind contributions, as well as records of all cash expenditures. Retain records for 3 years.

  12. If an extension of the initial grant period is needed, the request for an extension should be submitted by letter or email to HI no later than 30 days prior to the grant end date.

  13. Send HI completed mini grant final report materials within 90 days of the end of the grant period. The final report must include the following:

    • The Mini Grant Final Financial Report, which includes total final grant expenditures and indicates components paid by HI funds, applicant cash funds, and in-kind contributions of third parties. This form must be signed by the organization's authorized representative or fiscal agent and by the project director. Significant changes to the allocations of grant funds must be approved before the submission of the final report (see Budget Changes and Budget Revisions).

    • A Narrative Report, which briefly summarizes the project's humanities content, accomplishments, audience, and community impact.

    • A Program Statistics Report - Please note that project events need to be reported in the calendar year in which they occurred.

    • Two copies of any materials arising out of grant activities--audio or video tapes, books, brochures, etc. One copy of promotional materials, news clippings, and news releases.

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Payment of Grant Funds

Payment requests

Grant funds are generally paid out at the end of the project and upon submission of final report materials. However, the grantee may request up to 90% of the award at any time during the course of the project. Grant disbursements are based on cash needs, and Humanities Iowa retains the right to modify the amount requested. Interim progress reports may also be required in some circumstances.

At least 10% of the award will be retained by Humanities Iowa until receipt of the final report materials.

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Publication and Copyright Requirements

  1. Publication:

    The results of grant activity (written, visual or audio) may be published provided that publications contain an acknowledgment of support by both Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Such publications must include a disclaimer that the findings, conclusions, and opinions do not necessarily represent the view of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

  2. Copyright:

    Except as otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of the grant award, or in HI's "Media Projects" provisions, the author or the recipient organization is free to copyright any books, publications, or other copyrightable materials developed as a result of grant activities; however, Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities shall reserve a royalty-free, non-exclusive and irrevocable right to reproduce, perform, translate, publish, or otherwise use, and to authorize others to use the work for educational purposes.

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Media Projects

The following stipulations apply to grantees that are recipients of grants in support of media projects.

  1. Progress Reports

    Recipients of grant awards for media projects may be required to submit quarterly narrative progress reports to HI staff until the final project has been completed.

  2. Acknowledgment

    Media projects must mention Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities as funders in the credits of the finished product.

  3. Disclaimer

    Media projects must include a disclaimer stating that the project views do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

  4. Ownership and Copyright

    1. The grantee owns the product of the media project, and may copyright that product or assign this right. Transfer of copyright must be approved by Humanities Iowa.

    2. Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities retain a non-exclusive right to use and reproduce copyrighted materials arising out of grant activities. This reservation will continue following any transfer of the product or copyright.

  5. Royalties

    During the grant period, or following its termination, any royalties or proceeds that arise from the sale, rental, or use of a media product funded by Humanities Iowa must be returned to HI in an aggregate sum not to exceed the total amount of HI's award.

    The formula for this repayment will be calculated on the percentage of HI grant funds to the total production costs.

  6. HI Requests for Materials

    The producer will furnish to HI, upon request, a copy of any materials arising out of grant activities. The use of this material by HI or NEH is restricted to internal HI or NEH activities, workshops, conferences, and educational settings.

  7. Final Materials

    Within thirty (30) days after the final date of the grant period, the grantee must submit to HI at least one copy of the media materials produced under the terms of the grant.

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Administrative and Fiscal Requirements Applicable to Grantees

These general grant provisions, in addition to any special conditions incorporated in the grant award letters, are applicable to and binding upon recipients of grants from Humanities Iowa (HI). Grantees should understand that acceptance of an award creates a legal duty on the part of the grantee to use the funds in accordance with the terms of the grant and to comply fully with all provisions and conditions. In the event of a conflict between these provisions and any special conditions of the award letter, the terms of the grant award letter will govern.

Nonprofit Status

The National Endowment for the Humanities authorizes Humanities Iowa to make grants to: private nonprofit organizations; institutions of higher education; state and local government agencies and federally recognized Indian tribal governments; and groups of individuals that form an association to carry out a non-profit project. By accepting this grant, the recipient warrants itself to be a "group" qualified under the above definition. It is the responsibility of the grantee to notify Humanities Iowa promptly of any changes in its status. It should be understood by the grantee that in the event an award is erroneously made to an organization/institution or group subsequently determined to be ineligible for a grant, the award will be terminated and the grantee will be required to repay Humanities Iowa all grant funds received.

Uniform Administrative Requirements

Grants must be administered in accordance with uniform administrative requirements as set forth in (1) OMB Circular A-110 "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations" (available upon request); (2) Humanities Iowa Grant Provisions as stated in this guide, and (3) "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments; Final Rule" (available upon request).

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Nondiscrimination and Awards to Debarred and Suspended Parties

  1. Nondiscrimination:

    All grants are subject to review at any time to determine whether grantees are meeting requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1973, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto by the National Endowment for the Humanities (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Chapter XI) and are thus eligible to continue receiving funding. Every effort must be made to accommodate the participation of handicapped persons at Humanities Iowa-sponsored programs, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

  2. Awards to Debarred and Suspended Parties:

    Awards shall not be made at any time to any party which is debarred or suspended or is otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in federal assistance programs in violation of the regulations implementing Executive Order 12546, "Debarment and Suspension." The regulations are contained in 45 CFR, Part 1169 "Non Procurement Debarment and Suspension" (available upon request).

  3. Certifications

    Grantees are required to sign a certification form regarding the nondiscrimination statutes and debarment and suspension. Humanities Iowa will not release any funds until an executed copy of this form has been received for each funded project.

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Liability, Suspension and Termination

  1. Liability

    The grantee will assume full liability and responsibility for the conduct of the project. No other bonding and insurance requirement shall be imposed other than those normally required by the grantee.

  2. Suspension and Termination

    Circumstances may arise in which either Humanities Iowa or the grantee wishes to terminate a project in whole or in part. If both parties agree that the continuation of the project would not produce results commensurate with the further expenditure of funds, the grant may be terminated by mutual agreement. It is understood that whenever Humanities Iowa finds that the grantee is not complying with the terms and conditions of the grant or has diverted funds for purposes other than those for which they were awarded or paid, it shall make no further grants or payments on current grants until the diversion or the default or failure to comply with such terms and conditions has been corrected.

    When Humanities Iowa determines that a grantee has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of an agreement, Humanities Iowa may suspend or terminate the grant. Normally, this action will be taken only after the grantee has been notified of the deficiency and given sufficient time to correct it, but this does not preclude immediate suspension or termination when such action is required to protect the interests of Humanities Iowa.

    In the event that a grant is suspended and no corrective action is taken within thirty (30) days of the effective date, Humanities Iowa may issue a notice of termination. No costs that are incurred during the suspension period or after the effective date of termination will be allowable except those that are specifically authorized by the suspension or termination notice or those that, in the opinion of Humanities Iowa, could not have been reasonably avoided. Within thirty (30) days of the termination date, the grantee shall furnish Humanities Iowa a summary of progress achieved under the grant, an itemized accounting of charges incurred against grant funds and cost-sharing prior to the effective date of the suspension or termination, and a separate accounting and justification for any costs that may have been incurred after this date.

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Accounting Procedures

  1. Accounting Records

    Accounting records must be supported by such source documentation as canceled checks, paid bills, payrolls, time/attendance records, contractual agreements, and grant award documentation. Records must be retained by the grantee for a minimum of three years following the submission of the Final Financial Report. Receipts and records should be retained by the grantee – DO NOT send receipts to Humanities Iowa.

  2. Audits

    1. Accounts and supporting documentation relating to project expenditures shall be adequate to permit an accurate and expeditious audit.

    2. Federal auditors or auditors designated by Humanities Iowa may inspect and audit the grantee's financial accounts any time during reasonable business hours and with such frequency as may be deemed necessary. Inspection and audit may include pre-disbursement visits to determine the accuracy of the grantee's accounting system.

    3. Grantees of a nonprofit organization that expends $500,000 or more in federal awards during its fiscal year are subject to an A-133 and the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (rev. 8/04).

    4. State and local governments that receive $100,000 or more in federal funds from all sources in a given year are subject to a uniform audit under OMB Circular A-128 "Audits of State and Local Governments."

  3. IRS 1099 Forms

    If an individual is paid $600 or more from grant funds during the calendar year for services or honoraria, a 1099 form must be filed by the Sponsoring Organization with the IRS.

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Financial Reports

  1. ALLOWABLE AND NON-ALLOWABLE COSTS

    Grant funds may be expended only for project purposes and activities as set forth in the budget as originally approved or subsequently amended. Commitment of grant funds must be incurred only during the grant period, as defined by the beginning and end dates.

    1. Subsistence and Travel - No more than actual cost of working meals and lodging up to a maximum of $85 a day may be allowed for subsistence costs. No more than $0.40 a mile is allowed for travel by private automobile. On commercial carriers, actual cost is allowed; tourist class is expected. Humanities Iowa does not provide travel costs outside the United States and Canada.

    2. Capital Items - The purchase of any capital item with grant funds is not allowed. Capital items may include land, buildings, automotive equipment, office equipment, etc.

    3. Amusement - Costs incurred for amusement, social activities, entertainment, and any items relating thereto are not allowed. Alcoholic beverages, travel or rentals for entertainment, and meals, lodging, and gratuities beyond the "subsistence costs" noted above are not allowable.

    4. Other non-allowable costs include:
      1. organized fundraising
      2. pre-award expenses
      3. publications, exclusive of those generated by a public program
      4. acquisitions, such as museum artifacts or library books
      5. curriculum design and review
      6. commercial enterprises
      7. indirect operational costs, including support for general staff
      8. direct social or political action
      9. social services, or social training programs
      10. creative or performing arts, unless they contribute to or provide through performance or exhibit a humanities perspective (historical dramatizations may be allowed)
      11. personal research, unless it is integral to a public program
      12. funding for endowments
      13. fellowships and scholarships

  2. PROGRAM INCOME AND INTEREST

    1. Program Income

      Program income represents gross income earned by the recipient from the project. Such earnings may include, but are not limited to, income from admission fees, service fees, sale of commodities, usage or rental fees, and royalties on patents and copyrights.

      All program income earned during the project may be retained by the recipient and, in accordance with the grant or other agreement, shall be:

      1. used to further eligible program objectives, or

      2. used to pay expenses for the non-federal share of the project (i.e. used as part of the grantee’s cash match)

      3. Note on admission fees: Grantees may charge participants modest registration or admission fees. Board members and staff of Humanities Iowa are to be admitted to any HI sponsored programs free of charge.

    2. Interest

      If a grantee chooses to deposit Humanities Iowa grant funds in an interest-bearing account, it may retain the first $250 in interest earned each fiscal year. Interest earned in excess of this amount must be forwarded to Humanities Iowa.

  3. COST SHARING:

    A sponsoring organization must contribute an amount equal to or more than the award received from Humanities Iowa in cash or in-kind contributions, or combination of both.

    The final financial report should reflect all cost sharing, both cash and in-kind.

    Expenses incurred while developing the proposal, as well as any expenses incurred prior to the beginning date or after the ending date,cannot be charged to the grant or used to meet the cost sharing requirement.

    Cash Contribution includes cash provided by third party donors or sponsors (donations from individuals and grants from corporations and foundations) as well as all contributions made by the sponsoring organization to carry out the project. Anything the sponsoring organization contributes to a project, including salary support for people working on the project, the purchase of supplies, space to carry out project activities, and services related to the project should be included in "cash contribution."

    Indirect costs are allowable as part of the project's cash contributions for cost sharing based on an organization's established rate. Indirect costs are those costs of an organization that are not readily identifiable with a particular project or activity but nevertheless are necessary to the general operation of the organization and the conduct of the activities it performs. The costs of operating and maintaining buildings and equipment, depreciation, administrative salaries, general telephone expenses, general travel, and supplies are types of expenses usually considered as indirect costs.

    In-kind Contribution is the dollar value of services, goods and space contributed to the project by third parties. For example, if a consultant waives his or her normal fee, the fee may be reflected as in-kind cost-sharing, provided that the in-kind contribution is adequately documented.

  4. BUDGET CHANGES AND BUDGET REVISIONS

    Proposed budget changes to the expenditure of Humanities Iowa grant funds must be submitted to HI staff by letter or email prior to submission of the final report in the following instances:

    1. Conditions require changes in the budget which exceed thirty percent (30%) of any budget line/category (HI grant portion only).
    2. Conditions require changes in the budget that eliminate categories of expenditures or open a new line (HI grant portion only).
    3. Insufficient cost-sharing is likely.

    The mini grant revised budget form is available on this web site.

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