National Trust Grant Applicant FAQs

Questions about Grant Application Portal

Where is the link to the National Trust grant application portal?

This is the link to the primary grant application portal for National Trust grants: However, some of our programs douse a different submission system, so we recommend thoroughly reading the guidelines page of the program to learn how to submit your application and its requirements. We also recommend bookmarking the portal link on your web browser for easy access throughout your application process.

How do I know if my organization has an existing account in the National Trust grant application portal?

We prefer applicant organizations and entities to use their existing account even if past applications have not been successful. To learn if an account exists, please first check with your colleagues to learn if your organization has applied for National Trust grants before. If you are still unsure or cannot find your login information, please reach out to our Grants Office at to share the name of your organization and EIN, and our staff will let you know if an account exists and share login instructions.

What if I can’t find my organization’s login information to the National Trust grant application portal?

Please reach out to our Grants Office at to share the name of your organization and EIN, and our staff will work with you to gain access to an existing user account or help you set up a new one.

Do I need an access code to access a National Trust grant application?

Most grant applications do not require an access code. National Trust staff will explicitly share an access code with you if one is needed, but it is safe to assume in most cases you do not need one.

Can multiple people from my organization or partner organization work on the National Trust grant application?

Yes, our grant application portal offers a collaboration feature. Learn how to use the tool here.

Does the information entered into a National Trust grant application automatically save?

We always recommend that you manually save your application periodically while working on the draft. To do so, scroll to the bottom of the application and click the “Save” button. This will let you save your work and return to it later as needed.

Can I go back and look at my old National Trust grant applications?

Yes. However, you may only be able to see past applications that you submitted under your user account rather than all the organization's past applications. If a different user under your organization’s account submitted applications, it lives in their account and may only be viewable by them unless you have been given access.

To view your old applications, login to your account in the grant application portal. On the Applicant Dashboard, scroll down until you see two tabs: “Active Requests” and “Historical Request.” Toggle between them as needed and click “View Application” to the right of the application of interest.

How can I get a PDF of my National Trust grant application?

Login to your account in the grant application portal. On the Applicant Dashboard, find the application you wish to download. Then click “View Application.” Within the application, there is a button near the top labeled “Application Packet.” Click that button to download a PDF file of your application.

My email address is linked to an organization’s account, but I am no longer affiliated with that organization or want to apply on behalf of a different organization. How do I change the affiliation of my email address?

Please email our Grants Office at and one of our staff members will assist you.

I have not received email communications about my National Trust grant application. How do I make sure I have not missed something?

If you intend to apply to National Trust grant programs, we recommend as a first step that you add to your address book. This is the email from which you will receive confirmation that your application has been received, notifications about the status of your application, reminders about reporting, and other updates. Note: Occasionally emails from this address go to spam or junk folders, so we recommend following these instructions to ensure you receive our communications.

I received an error message when I tried to submit my National Trust grant application, but I cannot figure out the issue.

Often the issue is you either replied to a question in the incorrect format, exceeded the character limit of a question, or did not answer a required question. If you receive an error message when trying to submit, scroll up in your application until you see the red box below the question(s) with the issue.

I noticed that a former staff member did not complete the necessary follow-up for a National Trust grant my organization received. Can I submit a new grant request, or do I need to figure out the outcome information from the previous grant first?

Please contact our grants office at for assistance with any open grants. We can work with you regarding your specific situation.

Are there word limits on the National Trust grant applications?

Yes, character limits are listed under each question and spaces are included in that number.

Questions About Guidelines/Eligibility

Who is eligible for a National Trust grant?

This will vary by grant program. Typically, grants are provided to non-profit organizations and public agencies, but we recommend reading the guidelines page of the program of interest to ensure your eligibility.

How can I tell the difference between the National Trust’s various grant programs, and which one will be best suited for my project?

The National Trust has a variety of grant programs that support specific resource types such as the National Fund for Sacred Places, geographic areas such as the Eastern Shore of Maryland (Bartus Trew Providence Preservation Fund), cultures or communities such as the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, and so forth. We recommend starting by looking through the grant programs we offer. If you still have questions about the best fit for your project, reach out to our Grants Office at and our staff will assist you.

Do the nonprofits applying to your funds need to have IRS tax-exempt status?

Yes, you will be required to provide your organization’s IRS determination letter as well as your EIN for verification of tax-exempt status.

Does my historic property/site need to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places or designated as a local landmark to be eligible?

No, designation is not a requirement. We define “historic” as being at least 50 years or older.

​Is National Trust funding only available for buildings, or can projects that preserve historic vessels listed on the National Register of Historic Vessels apply for any of the funds?

Funding is available for a variety of preservation efforts, including vessels and landscapes.

​What if I do not own the property that will be the focus of my project?

If your project requires access to the property or results in changes to the property, you will be required to provide a signed letter of consent from the property owner.

​Is a match required for National Trust grants?

Many National Trust grant programs do require a full or partial match, but not all. To determine if the program requires a match, thoroughly read the guidelines page for the program.

I’m a private individual with restoration needs for my historic property. Can I apply for National Trust grants?

Generally, individuals and for-profit organizations are not eligible for National Trust grants.

​Do I need to have a consultant already selected when I submit my National Trust grant application?

This may vary depending on the grant program, but typically we do not require consultants to be secured at the time of the application. However, it strengthens an application when consultant information is included.

Do I need to secure three bids for the work outlined in my National Trust grant application?

If the portion of your work funded by the National Trust Grant (and any required match) is a single expenditure of $50,000 or above, you will need to request three bids for the work. This is a matter of good business practice, and we want to encourage fair and open competition. We do not require you to choose the lowest bid. For example, if you are using grant funds to replace the roof of your historic property and the project costs $75,000, we ask that you request at least three bids from three different companies for this scope of work. Using this example, you would be required to obtain three bids even if the National Trust’s grant was $25,000 toward the overall $75,000 cost.

I am searching for grant opportunities to help preserve collections at my museum or site. Is this eligible for National Trust grants?

Generally, no. Our grants are focused on the built environment. Occasionally a collections related project is eligible if furnishings or lighting were designed for the space by the original architect. Please contact the Grants Office at if you have specific questions about this type of work.

If we are applying for a project that is already in progress, can we use the architect already involved, or would we have to get quotes and start with a new firm? The cost will not reach $50,000.

If your project has an existing relationship with an architect or other consultant, please include their information in the application for approval. At least three competitive bids/quotes must be requested for any procurement of services that does exceed $50,000. This provision applies only to portions of the project supported by National Trust grant funds.

General Questions

When do National Trust grant applications become available?

This will vary depending on the grant program. However, it is typical that an application will become available about six to eight weeks ahead of the application deadline. We recommend keeping an eye on the “Upcoming Deadlines” section of our webpage and signing up for our grants interest list to receive direct email updates about upcoming deadlines.

How do I submit a National Trust grant application?

All grant applications must be submitted in the National Trust’s online grant application portal. Each grant program will have its own unique requirements and deadlines. We recommend reading the program’s guidelines page thoroughly to learn what will be required in the application. Unfortunately, we cannot accept email or mail submissions.

Can I submit multiple applications to the same National Trust grant program?

We do not recommend submitting multiple applications in the same round of the grant program nor does it increase your chances of being awarded a grant. Instead, please determine the project that addresses your most urgent needs or the project you are most prepared to undertake.

Can I apply for another National Trust grant if I have already received one?

Yes. A single organization may receive up to three grants in any two-year period.

The National Trust grant application asks me to describe my “historic resource.” What does that mean?

A historic resource is a historic building, structure, site, landscape, district, or neighborhood. In short, it is the physical property or properties that your project revolves around. The property does not need to have formal designations to be considered a historic resource. Most historic preservation projects involve a historic resource, so please answer this question on the application, or our reviewers will not understand the property you seek funding for. If you are unsure whether you should fill out that section of the application, email our Grants Office at for guidance.

Can the National Trust provide recommendations for consultants?

Unfortunately, because we receive applications from all over the country, we do not have a list of recommended consultants. You might consider reaching out to your state historic preservation office or a local or statewide preservation nonprofit organization, as they have more insight into local vendors and services.

The National Trust grant application asks for letters of recommendation. Who should I request these letters from?

Letters of recommendation should come from members of the community who are familiar with your project and can speak of its importance, its impact, or its necessity. They should be able to describe why they are supportive of the project and what their involvement is, if any. Letters can come from local government officials, external partners involved with your organization or the project, or other members of the public who fit the above description. Not all National Trust grant programs require letters of recommendation. If letters of recommendation are required, this information will be detailed in the program-specific guidelines.

Are grants from the National Trust federal grant dollars?

The National Trust is a privately funded non-profit organization. Most of our grant dollars are private, but occasionally a National Trust grant program may be funded by federal dollars, such as the Telling the Full History Preservation Fund. If this is the case, it will be listed on the program’s guidelines page.

Who should I contact when I have questions about a National Trust grant program?

Start by contacting our Grants Office at Our grants staff will review your inquiry and either respond or forward it to other appropriate National Trust staff as needed.

Can I get feedback on my National Trust grant application before I submit it?

Unfortunately, we do not have the staff capacity to read grant proposals and provide feedback prior to their submission. However, we are happy to answer any specific questions you have about the grant application or program and provide guidance.

My organization’s National Trust grant application was denied. Can the National Trust provide feedback on my application?

Due to staff capacity, we cannot guarantee that you will receive feedback on your grant application. Please email with inquiries, and we’ll do our best to respond. For our high volume grant programs, there may not be anything wrong with your application, but it may just be that other projects were stronger.

If a National Trust grant application is denied, is it possible to resubmit the same application?

We recommend providing information about how your project has progressed or changed since you last applied. For example, have you done more planning or raised more funds? Please be as specific as possible.

The application asks for a project budget. Should I include expenses for the entire project or just what the National Trust grant would cover?

We recommend only including the expenses that would be covered by the grant funding. In your project description, we recommend sharing how these expenses will fit into a larger project budget (if applicable) and additional fundraising you have undertaken to cover your larger project budget.

Is there a specific budget form I should use in my National Trust grant application?

Yes, we require that you use the budget sheet linked within the grant application.

​Are there templates or strong examples of applications we can use when drafting our National Trust grant application?

No, we do not have templates available.

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