USVI Humanities Projects 2021 – Request for Proposals

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities


Since 1990, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has been a catalyst for positive change in the Territory through initiatives committed to youth, learning, family support and the environment. With a professional staff and a volunteer Board of Directors composed of community leaders, CFVI is a trusted advocate and supporter of programs that ensure opportunity and sustainability for current and future generations. CFVI is a registered non-profit organization entirely supported by individual donors, grants, trusts, corporate donations and estate planning. 

In the absence of a humanities council in the USVI, CFVI applied for and was awarded NEH funding that CFVI will subaward to eligible entities throughout the USVI to support humanities programming and activities.

The primary goal of this funding opportunity is to enrich the lives of people throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands through humanities education, lifelong learning, and public humanities programming. CFVI will make dedicated subawards for humanities programming that reflects the unique needs of the Territory’s diverse communities; advances the public’s knowledge and understanding of the humanities, culture, heritage, and preservation; and makes humanities programs accessible to all people throughout the Territory.

Summary of Funding 

Up to $200,000 is available to fund eligible entities.

  • Grants are available to fund humanities programs, projects, and initiatives such as book festivals, literacy campaigns, speaker’s bureaus, teacher development, cultural tourism, humanities publications, films, exhibitions, and projects that preserve and provide access to cultural and educational resources in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Grants will range between $1,000 and $5,000 for individuals, between $1,000 and $10,000 for single organizations, and between $1,000 and $20,000 for organization collaborations. 
  • Organization collaborations are defined as one lead organization and one or more partner organizations. Partner organizations must be integrally involved in the project as proposed.
  • Collaborations are intended to encourage cross-disciplinary humanities initiatives, including opportunities for smaller organizations with more focused/specialized humanities expertise to inform the work of larger organizations with greater operating capacity and access to institutional resources.  
  • Lead organizations must meet all of the eligibility requirements listed below for eligible organizations. Partner organizations must be nonprofit organizations based in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 
  • As required by federal guidelines, organizations will be required to have a DUNS number in order to obligate funds (though applications can be submitted without one). A DUNS number can take up to two business days to receive. You may acquire a DUNS number from the D&B D-U-N-S Request Service for US Federal Government Contractors and Assistance Awardees. 
  • System for Award Management (SAM) registration is encouraged, but not required.
  • Cost sharing/matching is not required.
  • CFVI is committed to equitable grantmaking, and will consider geographic diversity and the importance of reaching underrepresented communities in its funding decisions.
  • Projects that incorporate Virgin Islands history/culture and are led by ancestral/native Virgin Islanders are especially encouraged.

Period of Performance 
The period of performance may begin June 1, 2021 and must end on or before April 30, 2022.

Eligible organizations must be:

  • A U.S. nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service (check your organization’s IRS status here); an accredited institution of higher education; state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments; or a group of persons that have formed an association to carry out a project. 
  • Non-public organizations or groups must be constituted for nonprofit purposes, and donations to them must be deductible under Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 170(c)). It is not necessary that such organizations or groups be incorporated or have tax-exempt status.
  • Examples of eligible humanities organizations include, but are not limited to, museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, and public television
  • A provider of humanities programming to the general public as a significant part of its mission. (See examples of humanities hereor listed below*).
  • Physically located in the USVI and have USVI residents as its primary audience.

Eligible individuals must be:

  • An adult (18 years of age or older) and a resident of the USVI for at least one year prior to application submission date.
  • Individuals do not need to register in the System for Award Management (SAM). 
  • Awards will not be processed for individuals with delinquent federal debt or for individuals who have been suspended, debarred, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from eligibility for covered transactions by any federal department or agency. To see if you have delinquent federal debt or other exclusions recorded in SAM, go to the SAM website; click on “Search Records,” and then on “Advanced Search – Exclusion.”
  • A United States citizen, resident of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign national who has been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline.
  • Able to demonstrate humanities expertise and experience
  • Examples may include: holding a graduate level humanities degree; work experience in a humanities field; a track record of research / publications; recognition as a culture-bearer

The following are not eligible to apply:

  • Nonprofit organizations without 501(c)(3) seeking to use a fiscal sponsor 
  • Fiscal sponsors
  • For-profit organizations
  • Organizations solely focused on the arts
  • Political or advocacy organizations
  • Foreign entities

Funds may NOT be used for the following purposes:

  • Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view 
  • Advocacy for a particular program of social or political action
  • Support of specific public policies or legislation
  • Lobbying
  • Construction, purchase of real property, major alteration and renovation 
  • Preparation of courses for high school students, undergraduates, or graduate students 
  • Commercial, for-profit, or proprietary textbook research or revision
  • Doctoral dissertations, theses, or research pertaining to a graduate degree program
  • Projects that fall outside of the humanities (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically based social science research or policy studies)

Application and Evaluation Process

  • Applications must be submitted using the application in CFVI’s online grant portal.  All returning applicants should log in using their previously created account. All new applicants must create a new account. 
  • There is an application form for organizations and an application form for individuals. Please be sure that you complete the appropriate application. 
  • You may preview the application form for organizations here
  • You may preview the application form for individuals here.  
  • Applications will be received (and reviewed on a rolling basis) beginning March 30, 2021. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm AST April 30, 2021. 
  • The grant portal will not accept applications after the deadline. Once the application has been submitted, an automatic email receipt will be sent confirming that all application materials were successfully received. 
  • Applicants will be notified regarding decisions on or before May 30, 2021
  • All awards will be publicly announced via the CFVI website and circulated to local news media. 
  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee of individuals familiar with the humanities, nonprofit grantmaking, Virgin Islands culture, and/or organizational management.

Evaluation Criteria
Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. The importance of the proposed humanities activities to the applicant’s mission, to the cultural sector, and/or to the general public; and the feasibility of successfully completing the proposed activities within the period of performance.
  2. The experience and qualifications of the individual or project team.  
  3. The integration of humanities advisers or scholars in the project.
  4. The accessibility and appeal of the project to the intended audience. 
  5. Overall evaluation of the quality of the project as a whole. 
  6. The importance/significance of the project to the USVI. 

CFVI staff will review applications for eligibility and completeness. CFVI staff and peer reviewers will evaluate all eligible and complete applications. Peer reviewers are experts in the field with relevant knowledge and expertise to evaluate the types of projects identified in the applications. CFVI and peer reviewers will evaluate applications according to the evaluation criteria outlined above. 
This process may be updated or amended to reflect changing circumstances. For the most up-to-date version, visit

Note: Applications from organizations with past due reports owed to CFVI will not be considered.

Recipients must comply with the following reporting and review activities:

  • Interim financial and performance report, by no later than 12/1/2021
  • Final financial and performance report, due no later than by 5/15/2022 

Supporting Documents

Applicants with additional questions are encouraged to contact Anna Wheatley Scarbriel at

Additional Resources & Information

Press Release highlighting 2020 funding/projects (1/7/21) – CFVI Awards More than $410,000 to Support Humanities Programs and Activities in the Territory

NEH Virtual Grant Workshops – Join a live virtual workshop with NEH program staff to hear about NEH grant opportunities, deadlines, and application information.

CFVI hosted a virtual Virgin Islands Humanities Showcase in celebration of VI History Month in February. If you missed it, the Zoom recording and presentation are available below:

(note: audio/video will not be available in the PDF)

The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life. (Source:

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this announcement do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.