SDHC Encourages Applicants to Apply for CARES Grants Soon

Federal Grant Money is Limited

The South Dakota Humanities Council has long been a resource for cultural institutions, readers, writers, aspiring humanities scholars — people who are dedicated to exploring the human adventure in our state.

Now, through a program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, we are distributing funds to keep the humanities alive and well in South Dakota. We want to help you keep your humanities-related organization or program afloat. However, to maximize your chances of approval, plan to apply soon.

Applications Due June 30, Funding Expected to Run Out Sooner

The South Dakota Humanities Council CARES Act Grant provides unrestricted operating support, humanities program support, or both to cultural organizations that have suffered program financial losses due to COVID-19 in the state of South Dakota.

If your organization has been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can technically wait until the June 30 deadline to turn in your application. However, because funds are limited, we encourage you to submit as soon as possible — especially if your organization has dire needs.

These grants can help you maintain essential functions and retain core personnel during the current public health crisis. Funding for these grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan. You can ask for up to $10,000. Awards will be determined, in part, by financial need and operating budget. A match is not required.

Who is eligible?

To apply for a COVID-19 Emergency Support Grant for non-profit cultural organizations, you must meet the following criteria:

  • U.S. organizations with 501(c)(3) status
  • Public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education
  • Federally recognized Native American tribal governments
  • A core mission to provide humanities programs open to the South Dakota public
  • Maintain a primary business address in South Dakota
  • Have a DUNS number; an active SAMS registration is not required for this grant

Who is not eligible?

The following organizations are not eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Emergency Support Grant:

  • International and for-profit entities
  • Government agencies or institutions
  • Non-profit charitable organizations designated as private foundations by the IRS
  • Religious or primarily faith-based programs or organizations receiving a significant portion of their funding from a religious organization
  • Public, private, or parochial K-12 schools
  • Individuals
  • Groups that do not provide strong humanities programs, including arts organizations whose primary mission is the creation, performance, or display of art

Funding Levels

CARES Act General Operating Support Grants are for the general operating support of South Dakota based humanities and cultural organizations with annual budgets of $500,000 or less. Humanities and cultural organizations with annual budgets greater than $500,000 are encouraged to apply to NEH directly for CARES Act funding.

How to Apply

Complete applications online ( beginning May 1, 2020, and no later than June 30, 2020.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel and will be awarded based on available funds; award notices will arrive via email.

If you apply and do not receive approval initially, your application will remain under consideration for the duration of the grant period — and you could still be approved in the future. There will be no need to reapply.


Please send all inquiries to We will respond by email or call you upon request. You can also visit for more information.