Project Narrative: History Fund Application Instructions

The application review committee will base its funding decision on the project narrative and budget. The narrative consists of four sections: 1) Applicant Organization Profile, 2) Statement of Need, 3) Description of Impact, and 4) Project Design & Resources.

In the sections below, answer each question to demonstrate how your project meets the goals of the History Fund (as outlined in the Guidelines in the section “What are the Goals of the History Fund?”)

  • Helpful hint:  assume that the review panelists evaluating your application know little about your organization. Review panelists are experts in their fields, but they are not expected to know details about your organization, other than what is provided in your History Fund application.    

The project narrative section is limited to 12,000 characters (approximately 2,000 words).   

1) Applicant Organization

Briefly describe your organization.

  1. What is your organization’s mission?
  2. How long has your organization existed?
  3. Describe three or four of your organization’s achievements over the past five years.

2) Statement of Need

  1. What do you plan to do?  
  2. Why is the subject of this project historically significant?
  3. Why do you want to take on this project at this time?
  • Tip:  One of the first sentences in the Statement of Need section should concisely describe what you plan to do.  Example:  “With a grant of $3,000 from the History Fund, the XYZ Historical Society will digitize five historic county atlases and publish them on the Society’s website…”

3) Description of Impact

  1. Who will be served by this project?  Why this audience(s)? 
  2. How will you evaluate the effectiveness of the project?
  3. How will the project improve your organization?
  4. How will this project strengthen your community?
  • Note: Use the evaluation measures outlined question b) to explain how you will demonstrate the effectiveness of your project. 

4) Project Design & Resources

Address items a) – d) below to describe how you will complete the proposed project.

  1. Explain how you will complete the project.  Break down the project into steps and describing each step. What the History Fund wants to know is whether you can successfully execute the project. (Show the HF you can by describing each step; do not just tell the HF you can.)
  • Use the work schedule template to describe each significant step, how many “work days”  each step will take, and the date each step will start and end (depending on the project, tasks can take place simultaneously and dates can overlap) 

Reminder:  All projects should assume a start date after May 1, 2014.

Work to be accomplished

Work days

Start date

Completion date













  • Note:  “Work days” refers to the actual number of days spent completing the work activity.
  • Include in your steps the dates for submission of a progress report at the mid-point of the project and a final report at project’s end. Also note that History Fund staff may (at their discretion) request draft products for review during the grant period. 
  • Indicate how you will complete the project if sources of match labeled “pending” on the Match Summary Worksheet do not materialize.    
  1. Identify the professional standards relevant to this project. Explain how this project will meet those standards.  For lists of professional standards and best practices applying to a majority of History Fund projects, go to:
  1. Who will do the work? Explain that qualified people have been secured or will be hired to complete the work and explain why they are qualified for the project.  Attach resumes of any pre-selected principal personnel. If there are any external project partners, explain their role in the project and why it is necessary.
  1. Compile a budget for the project using the form included in this application.  Refer to the Budget Form section for instructions.