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Community Enhancement Grants


The Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) has awarded grants, totaling $25,000, to eleven Idaho organizations located throughout the state. ISHS and the Community Enhancement Grant (CEG) program serves the history needs of the entire state. Funding for the CEG program is made possible through the support of the Idaho State Legislature. The program is an important way that the ISHS supports Idaho’s historical organizations in preserving and interpreting community history. The CEG program awards funds annually for exhibitions, collections management, educational programming, public access, interpretive enhancements, or heritage tourism.

2022-2023 Community Enhancement Grant awardees:

  • The Music Conservatory, Coeur d’Alene
  • Post Falls Historical Society, Post Falls
  • City of Lewiston’s Historic Preservation Commission, Lewiston
  • Nez Perce County Historical Society, Lewiston
  • City of Caldwell, Caldwell
  • Owyhee County Historical Society and Museum, Murphy
  • Idaho Military Historical Society/Idaho Military Museum, Boise
  • McCall Historic Preservation Commission/City of McCall, McCall
  • Oneida Pioneer Museum, Malad City
  • Samaria Community Foundation Inc., Malad City
  • City of Rexburg/Museum of Rexburg, Rexburg

The Community Enhancement Grant program began in 2008 and during that time has awarded over $440,000 to benefit communities in Idaho.

For more information about the grant process and assistance with the application, call (208) 514-2304. 



How Much Money Can We Get?
The minimum grant amount is $500; the maximum is $2,500. Projects may be partially funded based upon funds available. All grants must be matched on a dollar for dollar basis, either cash or in-kind.

How Long Do we Have to Spend the Money?
All applicants will be notified of award decisions in October. Grant recipients will receive an award letter and report packet. Project completion, grant funds expensed, and final report must be submitted to ISHS by May 15th of the fiscal year in which the grant was awarded. The State of Idaho fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

When Do We Get a Check From ISHS?
ISHS Community Enhancement Grants are reimbursable funds. A reimbursement grant provides funding to grant recipients after expenses have been incurred. Grant recipients will submit a final project packet that will include documented project expenses in the final budget and an invoice for the reimbursable funds (template provided by ISHS). All original receipts for purchases and services are required as part of the final project report to ISHS.

  • Operations and Administration: Membership recruitment, fundraising, development of board policies and procedures, management assessments.
  • Collections Management: Storage materials and shelving, equipment for digitization of collections.
  • Public Access/Interpretation: Improvements in non-permanent exhibit lighting, exhibit design and construction, exhibit signage, educational programming, and heritage tours.
  • Exhibits
  • Publications/brochures and website development (website maintenance and/or hosting costs are excluded)
  • Purchase of supplies and equipment (computers, audio/video/camera equipment, software, conservation materials, archival materials, and storage shelving)
  • Educational programs (symposia, curriculum development, teacher workshops, speakers, programs, traveling trunks)
  • Oral/video history projects
  • Design and construction of outdoor interpretive signs, kiosks, and exhibits (must comply, if applicable, with city, county, state and/or federal signage regulations, including environmental regulations)
  • Support for assistance, including professional contract assistance, for membership enhancement, fundraising, and developing board policies and procedures
  • Events (must be historically accurate if depicting a historical event)
  • Non-structural enhancements to buildings to better preserve and/or exhibit materials such as non-permanent lighting, security systems, and fireproof/waterproof filing cabinets
  • Projects designed to enhance cultural/heritage tourism
  • Cash prizes
  • Website maintenance and hosting costs
  • Land acquisition
  • Building construction, demolition or removal
  • Long-term leasing of real property
  • Infrastructure needs, such as roads, sewers, sidewalks
  • No funding for retroactive projects

ISHS requires a dollar for dollar match from all grant recipients. Example; if an organization receives a grant for $1,000 the match requirement is $1,000. Additional match can be provided by the grant recipients if available and is very much appreciated by ISHS.

Match may be in the form of cash or in-kind. In-kind match is the market value of contributed labor, services or supplies. General volunteer work for writing exhibit label copy, administering a grant, or other activities related to the project is calculated at the current approved federal rate of $22.14 per hour. Professional volunteers’ time is calculated at the actual rate of pay. Example; if an electrician volunteers to install exhibit lighting, the rate used is the electrician’s regular hourly rate. Example of a cash match; organization receives a $1,000 grant for a fireproof safe that costs $2,000. The organization invests $1,000 towards purchase which can be counted as cash match.

Idaho non-profit organizations 501(c)(3) whose mission is focused on history, historic preservation or education, as well as tribal, city, and county governments.  State and federal agencies are not eligible but may partner with an eligible organization. ISHS affiliated sites (Franklin, Stricker, Pierce, Bishops’ House) are ineligible for these funds. Learn More

The Idaho State Historical Society has additional grant programs that can provide funding for historical projects. Learn More

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