Grants: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you provide grants to historic homeowners?

No. We only fund nonprofit organizations and government agencies. If you are a homeowner looking for funding for your historic house, we suggest you contact your State Historic Preservation Office.

What is the average size of your grants?

Our grants generally range from $2,500 - $5,000 and require a dollar-for-dollar cash match.

How do I submit an application?

We ONLY accept digital applications. Your application as well as all supporting documents should be submitted through our online grants system. After reading our guidelines, you can create a profile through our online grant application system. This login is different from your login for the National Trust’s website (PreservationNation.org). Once you have logged in, click “apply” on the left-hand side to see a list of applications that are available at this time. You do not need an access code unless you have talked to us about applying for a particular, special program (this is rare).

When are your deadlines?

Our National Trust Preservation Fund—from which most of our grants are awarded—has three annual deadlines of February 1, June 1, and October 1. We also have some special funding opportunities throughout the year. You can learn more about special funding opportunities on our deadlines and special programs page.

Once I have applied for a grant, how long does it take for me to hear back?

We try to get notification out to grant applicants within eight weeks of the deadline.

Do you fund construction and/or acquisition costs?

We never fund acquisition costs, and we rarely fund construction costs. The majority of our funding comes from the National Trust Preservation Fund, and that fund is limited to preservation planning and educational projects. There are a small number of funds whose guidelines allow for construction work. Guidelines for those funds are available on our deadlines and special programs page.

Do you provide emergency funding?

We do have emergency/intervention funding available in extreme circumstances. This funding is very limited and is restricted to emergency situations when immediate and unanticipated work is needed to save a historic structure, such as when a fire or other natural disaster strikes. Funding is restricted to nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Emergency grants typically range from $1,000 to $5,000, but unlike the majority of our grant funding, a cash match is not required for intervention projects.

More information about our emergency funding is available on our deadlines and special programs page.

Do you have to be a member of the National Trust to apply for a grant?

Yes. We require applicants to either be a member of the National Trust at either the Forum or Main Street levels.

How often can I apply for grants from the National Trust?

Organizations can receive up to three grants in a two-year period as long as all of their requirements (i.e., final reports, etc.) are up to date.

I heard there is a fund dedicated to my state. How do I apply for that particular fund?

The National Trust Preservation Fund is made up of many, smaller endowed funds that are specific to states and/or regions. All of these funds use the same, common application form. That form can be accessed here. Once a grant application is received, the grants office will determine the most appropriate source of funding. All you need to worry about is making sure that your project fits the guidelines of the National Trust Preservation Fund program. 

A full list of states with dedicated funding through our National Trust Preservation Fund program can be found here.

I see that my state doesn't have a dedication fund. Can I still receive a grant?

Yes. We have a number of funds--also part of our National Trust Preservation Fund program--that are not specific to a particular state or region and can be used to fund projects in any part of the country.