Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2018 (PDF, 418 KB) is now available.
Grant Amount: $5,000–$1,000,000
Grant Period: Up to three years
National Leadership Grants for Museums support projects that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. National Leadership Grants for Museums has four project categories. Note that these categories are new for FY 2018 and are different from those in the FY 2017 NOFO:
Advancing Digital Assets and Capacity
Recognizing the dynamic nature of digital technology and its far-reaching benefits for the museum sector, IMLS welcomes applications to fully explore, understand, and optimize the use of digital technology in museums. IMLS encourages innovative approaches that allow museums to further their educational missions, engage effectively and in relevant ways with their communities, and increase capacity to share collections and information in a complex connected world. IMLS supports the creation, use, presentation, and preservation of digital resources and shared platforms as well as the development of tools and networks to enhance access, optimize use, and sustain the management of digital assets.
Diversity and Inclusion
IMLS supports the work of museums in engaging with communities and providing inclusive services to people of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds and to individuals with disabilities. IMLS encourages museums to deeply understand the current status and future trends in the demographics of their communities and to address it in their programs and services. IMLS seeks innovative projects that help museums work with community members and community-based organizations to broaden opportunity and access.
Collections Care and Access
IMLS supports the exemplary management, care, and conservation of, as well as broad access to and use of museum collections. Investments designed to contribute to the long-term preservation of materials and specimens are complemented by skill-building and capacity-expanding programs for museum staff, volunteers, and interns. IMLS welcomes applications for projects that help the museum field address state-of-the-art collections care and collections-information management, curation, preventive conservation, conservation treatments, database creation and enhancement, digitization, and the use of digital tools to facilitate discovery and deepen engagement with museum collections. We welcome projects that demonstrate cross-sector and cross-disciplinary collaboration with libraries, archives, and other collecting institutions.
IMLS supports proposals to create models across multiple institutions and that are applicable field wide for professional development of museum staff, volunteers, and interns, and ensure the highest standards in all aspects of museum operations. This includes, but is not limited to, creating opportunities to encourage a more inclusive and diverse museum professional and volunteer workforce, and building the skills of museum staff at all levels, with emphasis on the development of the next generation of museum professionals.
Eligibility: Museums that fulfill the eligibility criteria for museums may apply. Public or private nonprofit agencies, organizations, or associations that engage in activities designed to advance museums and the museum profession may also apply. In addition, institutions of higher education, including public and non-profit universities, are eligible.