Top of page

Support and FAQ for Community Collections program (for Individuals)

Share this post:


Use the information found on this page along with the guidance in the Notice of Federal Opportunity to submit your application for the Community Collections grant program.

Help Understanding this Funding Opportunity and Application Process

Dates to Note

Using the Notice of Federal Opportunity as a Planning Tool

Federal Systems and Forms

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Help Understanding this Funding Opportunity and Application Process

  • Review the summary information about the grant opportunity for a quick overview.
  • Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity fully and carefully to plan your application.  The notice contains detailed guidance about application requirements.
  • Additional help is available by
    • Reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions below
    • Send specific questions to the Library’s grant officer at [email protected]. Answers will be provided in the FAQs below as updates.
      • Answers to submitted questions will be provided publicly to ensure equitable access to information for all applicants.
  • Register to attend an informational webinar if available
    • August 11, 2021 (4pm Eastern Time): Community Collections Grant Information webinar (RECORDING AVAILABLE HERE)
    • August 20, 2021 (3pm Eastern Time): Community Collections Grant Information webinar
    • August 25, 2021 (4pm Eastern Time): Community Collections Grant Information webinar (register here)
  • How to Develop and Write a Grant Proposal” [updated Aug. 28, 2019] Published by the Congressional Research Service (Library of Congress), this guide covers writing proposals for both government and private foundation grants.  In this report, applicants can find a full spectrum of information, including guidance on the actual writing of a proposal (from outlining project goals to developing the proposal budget) as well as information on helpful resources and a listing of free grants-writing websites.

Dates to Note

  • August 13. 2021. Questions about applying for this funding opportunity may be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on the date identified here. No questions will be accepted after this date.  See Section D.2 in the NOFO (Questions and Answers) for more information.
  • September 13, 2021 [UPDATED September 2, 2021].  Applications for this funding opportunity are due by 12:00 p.m. (noon ET) on the date identified here.  See Section D.3 Application Package and Submission Requirements for more information.

Using the Notice of Federal Opportunity (“the Notice”) as a Planning Tool

The Notice of Federal Opportunity (the “Notice”) states application requirements organized across distinct sections.  Each section is important and provides detailed information and definitions related to specific aspects of the application process:

  • Sec. A:   Program Description giving background, the purpose of the grant, program expectations and deliverables, and an overview of the selection process. ***
  •  Sec. B:   Federal Award Information summarizes key elements of the opportunity including the period of performance, estimated start date, and estimated funds available and number of awards.
  •  Sec. C:   Eligibility Requirements details both who may apply for the grant and other conditions affecting a satisfactory application.
  •  Sec. D: Application and Submission Information gives a full description of the needed elements of the application itself, including project proposal information, project budget information, and required forms, as well as details on when and how to submit the application package itself. ***
  •  Sec. E:   Application Review and Award describes how an application will be evaluated and how the Library will notify successful applicants. ***
  •  Sec. H:   Federal Awarding Agency Contacts provides information regarding technical and administrative contacts for the program.

*** While all information is important to the purpose, requirements, and expectations of the grant program, these three (3) sections are critical to helping applicants plan, outline, and create their grant proposal.

The Notice also provides information regarding expectations of grant management and legal considerations that will apply if the Library awards a grant to an applicant, including:

  • Sec. F:   Project Management and Reporting summarizes the Library’s expectations of an awardee including project planning, interim and final reporting, and communications with the Library’s program team.
  • Sec. G:  Federal Award Administration describes the legal and regulatory framework applying to the grant including applicable Library and federal regulations, general terms and conditions, disclosures, and intellectual property right considerations.
  • Sec. I:    Other Information defines the payment schedule for awards

Federal Systems and Forms

As a government agency, the Library of Congress complies with federal rules regarding the distribution of funds.


Grant program overview

  1. What’s the purpose of this program? Through a gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Library will support a multiyear initiative that entails public participation in the creation of archival collections. Specifically, the Library of Congress seeks to award grants to support contemporary cultural documentation focusing on the culture and traditions of diverse, often underrepresented communities in the United States. These projects will result in archival collections preserved at the American Folklife Center and made accessible through the Library of Congress’ web site. The major goals of this grant program are to enable communities to document their cultural life and experiences from their own perspectives, while enriching the Library’s holdings with diverse materials featuring creativity and knowledge found at the local level. As such, successful applications will come from individuals closely affiliated with the community they propose to document.
  2. Can I get more information about the program, the Library’s collections, or the documentation standards, digital submission specifications, fieldwork, or methods relevant to this funding opportunity? Please direct questions to the Program Technical Contact – John Fenn, Email: [email protected].
  3. I’m not sure if this is the right program for me.  Are there other funding opportunities available? Over the next several years, the Library will offer several programs as part of the “Of the People” program.  Areas of interest, funding available, and the number of awards may vary.  All funding opportunities will be listed on the “Of the People: Widening the Path” Funding Opportunities {link to post} page for easy reference.  Bookmark the page or subscribe to blog (RSS or email) to stay informed.
  4. I see there is mention of hosting a public program, and that there is up to $10,000 available in addition to the grant award (up to $50,000). What do you mean by “hosting a public program”? The Library encourages successful applicants to plan and hold a public event in their home community that provides an opportunity to share about the project. This could be a listening session toward the start of the project that will enable community members to learn more about it, a story circle during the project that provides a space for individuals to participate, or a celebration toward the end of the project that recognizes all those who have been involved. Such public events could be held at libraries, parks, community centers, or a number of other spaces and venues. Applicants who envision a public program as part of their proposal should be prepared to describe the basic outline and goals of a program, but there is no need to have it fully planned at the time of application.


  1. Who is eligible to receive this grant? Applicants must be individuals. If a group of individuals wishes to work together on a project, the application must identify one individual as the potential awardee.
  2. Are applicants in the U.S. territories eligible to apply? Yes, applicants located in the U.S. territories meet the eligibility requirements.
  3. Will the Library accept multiple proposals from the same applicant? An eligible applicant may submit only one application under this announcement. Applicants may be included in multiple proposals as members of collaborative partnerships or within a single organization.
  4. May two entities collaborate and submit one proposal? While the Library encourages collaboration among entities and will accept proposals that leverage the resources of two or more organizations, Library grants will be awarded to only one entity. Therefore, applications must identify a single lead recipient, who will be listed as the awardee and responsible for all financial requirements under the grant..

Funding period/length

  1. What are the grant amounts the Library will award? The Library of Congress intends to award up to 10 Grants pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity. The Library’s intention is to make grant awards of up to $50,000, except grants that propose to host a public program in their home community may be up to $60,000.
  2. How long is the funding period? The funding period is 12 months.
  3. If my proposal was selected, when would I receive funds? The Library expects to announce funding decisions on or before December 1, 2021. Once a decision has been made, many factors may affect the specific timing of payments to applicants as outstanding issues are resolved and the Grant Agreement is made available for review and acceptance. Once the Grant Agreement is fully executed, the Grant Officer will share instructions specific to each recipient on how to request payment. See Section F.2 Notice of Federal Award for more information.

Application details

  1. What is the application deadline? All proposals must be submitted electronically via email to [email protected] no later than 12:00 PM (Noon Eastern Time) on September 13, 2021. No application materials can be submitted through
  2. What should be in an application packet? Refer to Section D of the Notice for detailed information.  In brief, the application packet must contain:
    • a SF-424 Application for Federal Domestic Assistance-Short Organizational;
    • a Proposal Narrative of no more than 5 pages describing the proposed project, the organization, key project staff/consultants, a description of past activity relevant to the project proposed, and necessary disclosures
    • a Budget Plan Worksheet, i.e., a completed version of the Excel worksheet attached to the notice
    • a Budget Narrative of approximately 2-4 pages explaining the connection between the proposed project and the budget plan
    • Necessary appendix materials including disclosures and other notices as are relevant to individual applicants.
  3. How should the Standard Form (SF-424) PDFs and the budget narrative excel spreadsheet be submitted in the MS WORD electronic copy version of the proposal? The PDFs may be submitted as PDFs, and the excel spreadsheet budget may remain in excel format, with the MS WORD file(s) of the application. Files may be attached separately to a single or multiple emails to [email protected].  Please make sure each submission email clearly identifies the proposal applicant(s) and proposed project title.  See Section D.6 Email Submission Requirements.
  4. Are the cover page, budget attachments (Budget Narrative Template (excel) and Budget Justification (word/ PDF), the appendices and the standard forms (SF424) considered part of the proposal 5-page count limit? No, these documents, forms, attachments, and the cover page will not count against the 5-page limit.
  5. Appendices: Should the separate appendices be submitted as individual appendix files? The Library does not have a recommendation or preference, and it may depend on the email server or file size (please see the NOFO for the Library’s maximum email size limit). All appendices may be combined into one PDF or submitted as individual PDF files. Please make sure individual files and emails are clearly labeled and connected to your application.
  6. Should the appendices be combined into a single PDF file with the Project Narrative and other attachments? The Library does not have a recommendation or preference and it may depend on the email server or file size (please see the NOFO for the Library’s maximum email size limit). All appendices, project narrative sections, and other forms and attachments may be combined into one PDF or submitted as individual PDF files. Please make sure individual files and emails are clearly labeled and connected to your application.

Proposal Narrative

  1. What information should I include in my project description? Applicants should use the project description to provide a reasonable explanation of the work they would like to perform and to demonstrate how the proposed work would align with the goals of the program overall.  Applicants should also review the factors the Library will consider in evaluating applications to make sure their proposal addresses these points sufficiently. See Section E. Application Review and Reward for more information.
  2. Are project timelines and other visual charts allowed in the proposal? Yes, project timelines and other visual charts are allowed in the proposal and may be included in the body of the project narrative (5-page limit) or as a separate, supplementary appendix.
  3. I don’t want all the materials I collect or include in my project to be shared in the Library’s collections for public use.  What should I do? The Library’s preference is for projects that extend an open license for non-commercial public use to the collection materials, but we encourage applicants to describe in detail any specific limitations they might predict for portions of the collection. See Section G.5 Intellectual Property Rights and Data Use for more information. The Library intends to be attentive to culturally sensitive materials that may be part of documentation gathered during a project, and will work with grant awardees to determine the most appropriate approach regarding access.  In either the proposal or as a separate appendix document, applicants with concerns must describe any limitations on any intellectual property that will affect applicant’s performance of the grant or affect the Library’s (or the public’s) subsequent use of any deliverable under the agreement (e.g. potential documentation of copyrighted cultural material). In particular, the applicant must describe the intellectual property in sufficient detail, clearly state any limitations, and describe how the Library can use the work with the limitations described or proposed by the applicant.

Budget Narrative and Worksheets

  1. Why do I have to explain my budget information in two separate sections and formats?  What’s the relationship between the Budget Plan Worksheet and the Budget Narrative? The Library requests two different perspectives on project budgets to aid in the evaluation of the overall project proposal:
    • The worksheet asks applicants to provide a detailed view on the estimated costs of the project to demonstrate the applicant has fully considered the resources needed for the project and that only allowable expenses are included.
    • The narrative ask applicants explain how the costs included are reasonable and necessary for project performance and demonstrate that grant funds would be used appropriately and wisely to support program objectives.
  2. How do I prepare a proposed budget? Applicants should consider their proposal and identify needed resources, goods, and services using the categories shown on the worksheet as prompts: Salaries Wages & Benefits; Travel; Equipment; Supplies; Contractual; Other.  Items to include should be allowable under federal regulations and as specific as possible.  Amounts to include should be reasonable for the scope of the proposed project – allocating too little money to resource needs can raise as much concern as allocating too much money. More information is also available in the CRS report “How to Develop and Write a Grant Proposal” [updated Aug. 28, 2019].
  3. What are allowable costs? As a general rule, allowable costs are those that are reasonably part of, and of benefit to, the proposed grant project.  Costs that apply to multiple projects or personal expenses are typically not allowed as direct expenses. For example, a camera or printer for applicant’s use in project fieldwork and other documentary work would not be included; reasonable costs of paper or ink for this program could be allowed. For specific questions, contact the Grant Officer to Janet Starkweather at [email protected] as directed in Section D2 Questions and Answers.
  4. Are travel costs allowable in the grant budget? Yes. Applicants should ensure any per diem costs (lodgings or meals and incidentals expenses per day) do not exceed allowable government rates as defined by the U.S. General Services Administration.  For information on permitted per diem rate, applicants can use the GSA’s Per Diem Rates Look Up tool
  5. My project expenses are primarily salary to myself, travel, and supplies.  Do I need to fill in the other categories? For the sake of clarity, applicants should enter $0 for total expenses in categories where they have no planned costs.
  6. Are matching funds required? There is no mandatory cost share or matching requirement for this grant program, however proposals that include matching or cost sharing elements are allowed and may be rated more highly.
  7. What happens if our proposal is selected for funding and there are budget or personnel changes? To make a change to a submitted proposal before the application deadline, contact the Grant Officer [email protected] as directed in Section D2 Questions and Answers. Changes or modifications to a proposal after it has been selected for funding will be handled on a case by case basis by the Library. For modifications to an awarded project, please see the terms of the agreement created for how to proceed. In most cases, minor modifications may be requested as long as the original, funded intent of the award does not change. In extreme cases, grantees who are not able to fulfill the terms of their award may be subject to early termination or other terms as specified in their award agreement.

Selection and award processes

  1. Who will review grant applications? The Library will assemble panels comprising a member of the American Folklife Center Board of Trustees, American Folklife Center staff, and invited panelists. See Section E. Application Review and Award for more information.
  2. When will the Library communicate grant decisions? [UPDATE 12/3/2021] The review process continues and will extend into early 2022. Thank you for you interest in the Library’s Of The People initiative.

Other general questions (submitted via email)

  1. I would like to arrange a time to discuss or get feedback on a project proposal, is that possible? The Library of Congress does not provide one-on-one feedback on project proposals for this grant program. If there is a specific question, please email [email protected], and the response will be posted weekly in the FAQs. The deadline to submit questions is no later than 5:00pm (Eastern Time) on August 13, 2021.
  2. I am having difficulty logging into  How do I get help? Call GRANTS.GOV support at 1-800-518-4726 or email them at [email protected].
  3. The system does not allow me to apply for this grant.  How do I submit the application? As in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, Parts D.3 and D.6 on page 6, all proposals are to be submitted electronically by email to Janet Starkweather at [email protected].
  4. I have questions about whether my project is eligible for the grant. Can you review and provide advice about my particular project before I apply? No. In order to be fair to every applicant, we cannot offer personalized advice.  For guidance on your eligibility, review the NOFO Parts A.2, A.3.1 and Part C (pages 3 – 5).
  5. Can I use other federal funding that supports a scholar of an under-represented group as a cost-share? No.  As indicated in the NOFO in Appendix B: Budget Definitions on page 21, federal funds may not be used for cost-sharing.
  6. I have seen two different dates for the application deadline – September 5, 2021 and September 7, 2021.  Which is the correct application due date?  September 13, 2021 [UPDATED September 2, 2021].
  7. Will the competition award 10 grants each for both organizations and individuals or 10 grants total for the entire competition?   10 grants total.
  8. In terms of the brief resume required as part of the application, is there a required page limit or a recommended page range?  Between two and four pages will be sufficient.
  9. For the application, does the cover page and letters of support from an administrator count towards the 5-page maximum for the narrative? No.  Those documents are separate from the narrative.
  10. To maximize their competitiveness, is it more advantageous for faculty to apply as individuals, or should our faculty be counseled to apply through the University? There is no advantage. Awardees are selected for the high quality of the proposed project within the scope of the NOFO.
  11. Must each university propose only one project?  Or should we submit an institutional project and also note to faculty they are welcome to submit independently?  Yes, a university (or other organization) should propose only one project. Faculty (or other employees) are able to submit proposals as individuals, but such proposals should be for projects distinct from that submitted by the organization with which they are affiliated.
  12. Due to Adobe 8 restrictions, I cannot download Form SF-424 Application for Federal Domestic Assistance – Individual. Can you send me the form?  Yes.  Request an SF-424 form to [email protected].
  13. Is a completed project (self-published book) eligible for consideration?  If not, can I gift you a copy of the book for inclusion in the Library of Congress? No.  To be eligible, projects must be new.  To gift a book contact the Library’s Acquisitions office at (202) 707-0792 or [email protected].
  14. In the NOFO, the expected start date is “December 17, 2021, earliest.”  What would be the latest start date for the project? There is no specific “latest start date,” as such a date will be dependent on details for each project. The proposal narrative should offer a project timeline that offers expected dates for each activity or phase of the project.
  15. We are a new non-profit organization.  We aren’t registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) yet due to the cost of legal retainers and filing fees. We are currently fund-raising to pay for that. Are you willing to allow us to apply as a non-profit pending?   Yes, if your organization is able to register in SAM and obtain a DUNS number.
  16. Are public institutions of higher education eligible as applicants?  Yes.
  17. I am applying for the grant on behalf of an association.  The organization has an EIN number, but not a DUNS number.  May I apply for the grant on behalf of the association using my DUNS number? If the grant is being awarded to an organization, the organization must be registered in SAM, and its DUNS number is required.  If the grant is awarded to an individual, check with regarding the use of other numbers for the SAM registration.
  18. May I apply for a grant as an individual for a project that furthers the work of an organization? Yes.
  19. Is the grant $50,000 divided into 10 grantees or $50,000 per grantee?  Up to $50,000 per grantee. If you propose to host a public program, you may request an additional $10,000.
  20. How many interviews/people do you feel to be an efficient amount?  What is the level of expectation in terms of quantity of material?  The Library does not have a specific number of interviews or quantity of documentation in mind. In reviewing proposals, we will look at the relationship between the level of funding sought and the scale of cultural documentation activities (i.e. interviews, photography, etc) to determine if there is reasonable alignment. Application review will also entail assessing the viability of a project, in terms of both the proposed scale and the allotted timeframe as described in the project narrative.
  21. Can this grant be extended to additional years?  This grant has a period of performance of 12 months.  The timeline and budget should correspond to a 12 month period.
  22. Do individual applicants have to register on, or complete a Vendor Survey Form (VSF) at the time of application?  Individuals may register on during the application process.   Alternatively, individuals may choose to complete a vendor survey form after they have been selected for the award.
  23. For individual applications, the cover sheet stipulates either a DUNS or TIN number. I don’t have either.  A TIN is a Taxpayer Identification Number.  A Social Security Number is a TIN.
  24. What kinds of partners does this grant allow and how many of them should we be working with?  It is up to the applicant to determine the structure of the project.  Note that only one entity may apply for and administer the grant.
  25.  As an individual applicant, is the grant taxable to me and if so, can I deduct all the budgeted expenses for the project?  The Library of Congress is unable to answer tax questions.  Please review IRS regulations or seek the advice of an accountant.
  26. Can I use grant funds for equipment such as a camera or printer purchased for the project?  Yes, you can use grant funds to purchase equipment that directly supports the proposed project.
  27. The majority of my interviews will be in Spanish. Is a translated transcript + audio acceptable? Yes, translated transcript and original audio would be acceptable.
  28. What are the video and audio formats accepted by the Library? The Library prefers to receive born-digital content in non-proprietary and uncompressed formats, such as TIFF (digital image) or WAV (digital audio). Video files should be saved using common formats, such as .mp4 or .mov, and should be HD.
  29. Where can I find the grant requirements for an individual artist? Please refer to the NOFO #030ADV21R0636 for Individuals on
  30. Could you please provide the citation for specific allowable and unallowable costs?  This is the link to 2 CFR 200, Subpart E – Cost Principles: Specific types of costs can be found under General Provisions for Selected Items of Cost (§§ 200.420 – 200.476).
  31. Would new additions to an existing ongoing community project be considered new in your review of proposals?   Funds from this grant program are intended to support new and contemporary cultural documentation efforts, with materials generated through projects provided to the Library for inclusion in our collections. Awardees who may be extending existing projects would discuss with the Library about inclusion of extant materials as part of a collection, as this would be decided on a case by case basis.
  32. On the SF 424 form for individuals, how do we answer Item 3, “Date Received?”  You may leave it blank.
  33. In the SF-424 application, what is #4 “funding opportunity number” for the “widening the path” grant?  For individuals, it is the Notice of Funding Opportunity Number 030ADV21R0636.
  34. Is it acceptable to add a line item for contingencies to the budget? No.  Please use the line items specified in the Budget Plan Worksheet.
  35. Will line items like travel or venue rental be convertible to telecommunications service or software costs in the event of another social shutdown? Any significant change to a grant project’s programmatic scope, or planned budget requires the Library’s explicit consent and approval, which is to be submitted in writing (including email), with a revised budget plan.
  36. In the budget narrative, how detailed do our fundraising plans need to be if our budget exceeds the $50-60,000 range?  Please propose a project with a budget no greater than $50,000 – $60,000.
  37. Does the 5 pages include the budget worksheet provided suffice or does there need to be separate budget worksheet? The 5 pages encompass only the project narrative. The budget worksheet and budget justification/narrative are separate documents.
  38. If the organization does not get a DUNS number, can I as an individual use my number or the other branch associate’s DUNS number?  No.  Applicants who are organizations must have their own DUNS number, and cannot use another entity’s DUNS number.
  39. Can you please clarify whether universities can sponsor applications and whether university sponsorship would in any way undermine an application by a grassroots community history project?  That depends on the project being proposed.
  40. Does the 15% allowed for indirect costs apply to total direct costs or is it 15% of the total amount of the grant?  15% of the total grant.
  41. When do we submit the SF 424 form?  With the application.
  42. Is the SF 424 form the same as the SAM registration?  No, they are different.  The SF-424 is a form.  SAM is a system.
  43. What kinds of partners will this grant will allow and how many of them should we be working with?  It depends on the project.  For a successful application, please review the NOFO.
  44. Under this grant, can we apply for funding to complete the processing of oral histories even though they will have been conducted before the grant period? No.  The projects must be new.
  45. Can the grant also cover some archival research?  Yes, to the extent that archival research informs new cultural documentation activity. Additionally, archival research should not comprise a bulk of the activity supported by grant funds.
  46. When does the 12 month activity period start after the December 1 notification?  You may begin your project no earlier than December 17, 2021, but no later than January 1, 2022.
  47. Are we able to have our project duration from Sept 2022 – Sept 2023?  No.  Please begin your project no later than January 1, 2022. There will be two more annual rounds of funding available.
  48. Where in the Budget Plan Worksheet do we indicate cost sharing?  If there will be no cost sharing, please indicate that in your Budget Narrative.  If there is a cost-share, you may add a cost-share tab to the Budget Plan Worksheet and itemize, or alternatively, describe it in detail in terms of type of cost and amount in your Budget Narrative.
  49. The SF-424 asks for a UEI rather than DUNS Number.  How should we complete the form? The transition from DUNS number to a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) created in was delayed.  The transition date was shifted from 2020 to April 2022.  You may use your DUNS number.
  50. Would this grant consider a project that placed Native American and African American voices within a global context, or a project in the early stages of development? Funds from this grant program are intended to support new cultural documentation projects that foreground a community perspective, and projects should be designed and scaled accordingly.




Comments (52)

  1. Would my work on organizing and making a readable product of the life of Wolf Chief a Hidatsa born in 1839 and died in 1934. His accounts of Hidatsa life start from his boy hood through the period just before WWI. He spoke no English, and he was translated by his nephew to anthropologist Gilbert Wilson. Wilson’s work with the Hidatsa and Buffalobird Woman and Wolf Chief (brother and sister) in particular are first hand accounts of this critical period. I have already written “Hidatsa Uses Of Plants” published by the University of Nebraska.

    • Thanks for the question, and your interest in the grant program. The Community Collections grants are intended to support contemporary cultural documentation projects, such that an historical biography project would be out of scope (unfortunately). The work you describe does sound valuable, though, so hopefully you are able to find support for it!

  2. I am a Native American who is exploring the possibility of applying for an individuals grant. I went to your link to apply for a DUNS number and it is asking for “country or territory where your company is physically located?” I am not a company?

    Also I want to review the application. By following your links I keep going in circles. Is the actual application not published?

    • Thanks for the questions, and for your interest in the grant program. If you are applying as an individual, be sure to read through the “support” post for individuals as a DUNS number may not be necessary. And, the application components are described in the Notice of Funding Opportunity we link to, specifically in section D.3. A few of the components are published forms, but the main narrative of the application will be document created by applicants (and detailed in the NOFO).

  3. How about an American folk music theme with a short recital or concert? Would that be within reach of the goal of this grant?

    • Thanks for the question. The expected outcomes from this funding opportunity are collections of cultural documentation about communities from their perspectives. A short recital or concert wouldn’t be precluded, but likely wouldn’t completely meet the goals of the program on its own. Be sure to look over the Notice of Funding Opportunity document, as well as the support pages, for more complete information on grant requirements.

  4. Hello – can you please confirm that public institutions of higher education are not eligible as applicants? I work with researchers who would likely be interested in submitting a proposal, but it looks like they are not eligible to apply through the institution we work for and would have to apply as individuals. This funding opportunity appeared through, using the filter for public institutions of higher ed as the applicant.

    Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • If a public higher education institution qualifies as a 501(c)3 organization, eligibility requirements would be met. We are seeking internal clarification on this, and suggest you also send a question via email to [email protected].

  5. There is a community that I work with but don’t live in. I am examining how a culture can change from neighborhood to neighborhood therefore looking into intercultural communication. I am examining the history of the culture.

    Is this a topic suitable for this grant?

    • Thanks for reading about the opportunity, and for the question. Applications should demonstrate the ways in which the applicant is connected to the community, paying attention to community involvement in the proposed project. There is no requirement that applicants actually live in the community/communities they are working with, though close relationships are important!

  6. I have registered in and identified the grants for which I want to apply. On the grant site, there is a apply button and a subscribe button. I have not been able to select the apply button. In addition I do not see how to register in Workspace. I registered for the webinar on August 11. Please advise me how I can get to the actual application packet.

    • Thanks for reading about the opportunity, and for posting the question. While the NOFO is hosted on, applications are to be submitted via email. The process is detailed in the NOFO itself, in section D.3, with information on both the content of an application packet and the process for submitting.

  7. Can phd students apply for this opportunity?

    • Thanks for the question! Ph.D. students can apply as individuals, but keep in mind that the grant is not intended to support fieldwork for dissertations. Be sure to read the NOFO thoroughly to determine if any projects you have in mind align with the objectives of the program.

  8. I have a project in mind to interview and document Indigenous individuals working in the Commercial Outdoor Guiding realm. I also work as a guide and am a member of a federally recognized tribe here in the U.S. Would I need to provide a sample form of the Questionnaire and Informed Consent that will be used as part of the interview process? Thank You!

    • Thanks for the question. No need to provide a sample or draft of the questions, and the Library will provide all grantees with release/consent forms.

  9. Need help applying for individuals grants

  10. Are 401 c(4) non profits eligible to receive this grant?

    • Thanks for the question. Eligibility for organizations extends to those that qualify under section 501(c) of the tax code.

  11. Can you provide any links to previous examples of “support contemporary cultural documentation” projects that have been funded? Thank you. Excited about the opportunity.

    • Hello, and thanks for reading! Since this is brand new program, we do not have examples of previously funded projects. The NOFO contains some ideas for inspiration in Section A.

  12. Is this grant considered taxable income for applicants who apply as individuals? I understand that you’re not allowed to provide tax advice, but this is important information that people need to be aware of before applying as it can impact many facets of an individual’s financial situation. Thank you!

    • Unfortunately, the Library is unable to answer tax questions. You should consult the IRS or a tax attorney.

  13. When and where will questions and comments made up to August 13 be published?

    • Greetings, and thanks for the question. Answers to all questions submitted by August 13 are available on the two FAQ posts on this blog, toward the bottom of each post under “Other Questions.” Click on the “FAQ” category in the left hand Category menu to find these posts quickly. One post is focused on Individual applicants, and the other is focused on Organizational applicants.

  14. 1. Do references count as part of the 5-page narrative?

    2. If we decide to include plans for a public presentation of the project, do we need to include detailed information in the budget (excel)? Or can you just mention the plans in the narrative, and not include them in the budget? Thank you very much!

    • Thanks for the questions. References do not count as part of the 5-page narrative. As for a public program, describe plans or ideas as best you can in the narrative and include ideas about budget—but you needn’t put detailed numbers in the Excel document.

  15. I have a four times great grandfather, born in VA in 1769 – died in South Carolina in 1884. He had 45 children (40 girls and 5 boys) with two women. He was not a breeder and was enslaved by his father. The area of SC he lived in was once apart of one of the first districts in SC. We believe every person in what was orginally called the 96 District is related and he plays a huge part in it. Would this type of research be something that a grant would get behind? We have already found 27 out of the 45 children and they have all so far had double digit children.

    • Hello, and thanks for the question. Funds from this grant program are intended to support new or contemporary cultural documentation from a community’s perspective. The project you describe is more inline with genealogical research, and might not be the best fit—though it does sound like a valuable project!

  16. Can a tax-exempt public institution of higher education be an applicant? The entity is not a 501c3 but does have tax-exempt status.

    Does this FOA restrict federally-negotiated F&A rates on awards?

    • Most public institutions of higher education qualify under Section 501c3 because of their educational missions. Indirect costs/F&A rates are limited to 15%, as detailed in the NOFO.

  17. Can an individual applicant compensate other people on a project? If so, should those people be categorized as labor rates or contractual?

    • An individual applicant is allowed to compensate others (including themselves) on a project. Such costs would be listed in the “labor rates” or “contractual” tabs of the worksheet depending on the nature of the relationship between the person/persons being compensated and the project. If there is a formal contract involved, list the costs in “contractual.”

  18. AFC-NOFO-Budget Plan Worksheet Template. The Budget Narrative – Summary math functions do not appear to calculate correctly. The grand total is only totaling the indirect costs. Is it okay to modify the math functions or the column headers in the worksheet?

    • Feel free to modify math functions so that grand total accounts for both direct and indirect costs.

  19. How/Where can I find the “CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER: CFDA TITLE:”for the SF424 Form? Thank you.

    • Thanks for the question. The CFDA number for the Library of Congress is 42.011.

  20. Under “Other general questions (submitted via email)” numbers 14, 46, and 47 all ask about the latest start date but they have opposing answers. Can you clarify?

    • Thanks for your question, and for pointing out the inconsistency. The “latest starting” date has been in flux due to the nature of this grant program, and the current NOFO (amended on Sept. 3, 2021) states that projects should start no later than February 2021.

  21. Can I please get clarification on cost-sharing? The answers to questions 6 and 48 above state that cost-sharing is not required, but allowed. However, p. 6 of the Notice of Funding Opportunity reads: “C.3 Cost Sharing. Cost sharing is not allowed under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).” Can you please provide further guidance? Thank you.

    • Cost sharing is not possible with applications from individuals, but it is allowed in applications from organizations.

  22. If submitting as an organization, should the application include the SF424_Individual or SF424_Short Organizational form?

    • An organizational application should include the SF-424 Short Organizational form.

  23. Most of the process is very clear but- could you share the link to NOFO that is mentioned in the above FAQS please?

  24. Hello,

    We were effected by the hurricane as well as Covid, so we were grateful that the deadline was extended. However, we had initially read that the deadline today closed at midnight, not noon. Is it possible to still submit our application? Thank you!

    • Greetings, and thanks for the interest in the grant opportunity. Unfortunately, the deadline was at noon Eastern time. The Library is planning for two more annual rounds of funding through the Community Collections grant program, so please do keep the program in mind for 2022.

  25. Hello, the FAQ’s state that funding decisions would be announced by 12/1/21. Is there an update as to when they will now be announced? Thank you!

    • Hello, and thanks for the querey. The review process continues and will extend into early 2022. Thank you for you interest in the Library’s Of The People initiative

  26. “The review process continues and will extend into early 2022.” What does that mean? January, February, March? In trying to plan annual commitments, this type of vague and inaccurate information doesn’t help. Instead, you provide misinformation, then change it and fail to provide notice of the change, while ignoring email inquiries. Applicants are required to meet certain deadlines. It seems to me those making the awards should adhere to the same standard.

    • The new grant program generated far more interest than we could have anticipated and choosing fairly among so many excellent proposals requires more time. We appreciate your interest and hope for your continued patience as we work to complete the process.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.