Berkeley Preservation Fund

Grants from the Berkeley Preservation Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation are designed to encourage preservation in Berkeley, California, by providing money for the maintenance, physical improvement and preservation of historic properties located in South and West Berkeley (see “Eligible Applicants” for specific geographical boundaries). Properties must have a clear public benefit and must be open to the public on at least a part-time basis.  

The National Trust will award $87,000 from this grant fund.  Individual grants will range from $10,000 to $25,000.

The review process is generally completed within eight weeks of the application deadline, and applicants are notified via email once the review process is complete.

The application deadline for this grant program is May 15, 2014. This is not an ongoing grant program, and there will not be future grant rounds. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions within eight weeks of the application deadline.

Eligible Applicants
Grant Conditions
Eligible Activities
Ineligible Activities
Eligible Expenses
Ineligible Expenses
How to Apply

Eligible Applicants

Funding is limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Applicants must either own the property that will benefit from this grant, or must have expressed permission from the property owner to undertake the project. If you are not the property owner but are applying for a grant, please contact the National Trust grant office at 202-588-6277 to discuss your situation prior to starting an application.

In order to apply, the property must be located in either South or West Berkeley. For the purposes of this grant program, South Berkeley is defined as the area of Berkeley south of the centerline of Dwight Way between the centerlines of Telegraph Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. West Berkeley is defined as the area of Berkeley west of the centerline of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way south of the centerline of Cedar Street, and west of the centerline of Sacramento Street north of the centerline of Cedar Street.

Berkeley Preservation Fund Map

Click here to see a larger image of the map.

Applicants that have received previous National Trust financial assistance are eligible provided that all grant requirements are current.

Grant Conditions

  • To the greatest extent possible, any documents or plans for preservation work that result from the project must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
  • At least three (3) competitive bids/quotes must be obtained for any procurement of services that exceed $50,000.  This provision applies only to portions of the project supported by this grant fund.
  • National Trust grants cannot be used to pay staff salaries. Board members of the applicant organization cannot financially benefit from this grant unless appropriate conflict of interest procedures are followed and documented.
  • Grant recipients are required to sign a contract agreeing to the conditions of the program.
  • Grant projects must begin within six months of award date. Failure to begin the project in this timeframe may result in the cancellation of the grant.
  • Grant recipients must include appropriate acknowledgement of National Trust financial support in all printed materials generated for the project. Specific language will be provided once a grant award is made.
  • Within one year from the grant award date, a final report and financial accounting of the expenditure of the grant must be submitted. A final report form will be provided. If the project is not completed in accordance with the contract, the grant funds must be returned.

Applicants must agree not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, creed, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, mental and physical disabilities, sex (including pregnancy), personal appearance, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, matriculation, political affiliation or veteran status.

Eligible Activities

Grants will support capital preservation projects (“bricks and mortar” work only) yielding a defined improvement in a historic property. 

Ineligible Activities

  • Property acquisition
  • Academic research
  • Publications
  • Historic resource surveys to create inventories or to list resources in the National Register

Eligible Expenses

  • Hard costs related to the restoration, rehabilitation or maintenance of the property
  • Fees for consultant services

Ineligible Expenses

  • Staff or faculty salaries
  • Organizational overhead costs
  • Expenses incurred prior to award date


The Berkeley Preservation Fund selection committee will place particular importance on the likelihood that the requested assistance will make a significant contribution to the preservation, restoration, or maintenance of a specific historic property.  Related factors to be considered include:

  • The historic significance of the property to be assisted
  • The extent to which the requested assistance will make a difference in preserving, restoring, or maintaining the historic property or site
  • The extent to which the requested assistance will be matched by or will leverage other funding. Matching funds are not required, but the ability to leverage this grant will be considered during the review process
  • The potential of the project to be a catalyst for further positive action to benefit other historic properties and the local community
  • The adequacy of plans for the future maintenance of the property or the continuation of the activity for which grant support is requested
  • The ability and willingness of the applicant to carry out the proposed plans or activity if assistance is awarded

How to Apply

You will need the following items as part of your Berkeley Preservation Fund application:

  • Up to four digital images of high quality with caption and credit information. Must include at least one overall view of the property.
  • A list of the applicant organization's current board of directors
  • Applicant's Internal Revenue Service determination letter of tax-exempt status. If tax-exempt status has not been fully approved by the IRS, please provide evidence of filing for certification and letter of opinion from an attorney concerning the applicant's tax status.
  • Resume of consultant for project (if applicable)
  • Resume of personnel administering project
  • Up to two letters of endorsement
  • Letter of consent from property owner (if applicant does not own property)
  • Completed Berkeley Preservation Fund online application, which includes a budget section that outlines proposed expenses and revenue for the project


Fill out an application for the Berkeley Preservation Fund here. (Please note: you will be taken to our grants application system where you will need to create a user profile for your organization. This is a separate login than your National Trust login.) If you have questions, please email us.