October 28, 2014

Find Funding for Emergency/Intervention Preservation Projects


[Preservation Tips & Tools] Find Funding for Emergency/Intervention Preservation Projects

Unexpected damage to a historic building can be devastating, and figuring out the next steps can be overwhelming. The good news: The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Emergency/Intervention Fund (E/I) Grants might be able to help.

While our Grants team hopes you never have a reason to ask about E/I Funds, a grant for planning from the National Trust could be just what you need to kickstart a campaign to return a building to use post-disaster.

This toolkit shares how you can apply for (and hopefully receive) an E/I grant. While funding is limited, we want to help as much as we can, so check out the steps and see if your project fits the bill.

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A fire-ravaged home undergoing repairs in 2013

What kinds of projects are eligible for Emergency/Intervention Funds?

  • The site has been damaged in the last few days or weeks, and
  • It was damaged by an unexpected event such as a fire, flood, or high winds. A roof caving in from heavy snow probably would not be eligible, since the roof failure could have been a previous maintenance issue.
  • Not every emergency is brought on by a natural disaster. Funding can also be used to support advocacy campaigns in response to pending legislation or development pressures. We’re always happy to talk through your situation and help you if your project qualifies and we have funding available.

What do you need to know about Emergency/Intervention Fund Grants?

  • E/I Funds do not require a cash match.
  • Applicants need to be Organizational Level Forum members of the National Trust.
  • Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or a government agency.
  • E/I Funds can only be used for planning purposes. This means they can’t be used to pay for the cleanup of a building after it has been damaged or for bricks and mortar reconstruction. Instead they can be used to bring in professionals, such as a structural engineer, to create a plan for preserving the building.
  • Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000.

If you think your project meets these criteria, contact our Grants Office at 202-588-6277 or grants@savingplaces.org. We’ll talk through your project with you, and if we think it qualifies and we have funding available, we’ll ask you to fill out a brief grant application through our online grants system. Our office will then review the application and reach out to other National Trust staff for their feedback. We try to get an answer back to the applicant as soon as possible, usually within a couple weeks.

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The College Street Congregational Church in Burlington, Vermont, prior to sustaining damage in a 2013 fire.

Case Study: College Street Congregational Church in Burlington, Vermont

On October 23, 2013, a fire broke out in the east bell tower of the College Street Congregational Church, an 1866 Gothic-revival style church in Burlington, Vermont. Learn how E/I funding helped the organization recover important information about its historic steeple. Read more.

Interested in learning about other funding opportunities from the National Trust? Check out this helpful guide, Find Funding: How to Apply for Grants from the National Trust Preservation Fund.

Plus, we have several Disaster Planning and Recovery toolkits you can use to help your project before and after natural disasters strike.

Have tips from your own efforts in planning for or recovering from disasters at preservation sites? Tell us in the comments.

By: Diana Maxwell, Associate Manager, Grants

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