History Fund Application Instructions

Note: As of May 24, 2014, the Ohio Historical Society changed its name to the "Ohio History Connection." The name has changed, but our mission to connect people to the past, to understand the present, and create a better future has not. The History Fund of the Ohio History Connection is an important part of our mission because our grants provide funding to help history-minded organizations preserve and share Ohio's history. Throughout these Instructions, we have changed references to the "Ohio Historical Society" to the "Ohio History Connection."

Where does the money for the History Fund grants come from?

Thank you for your interest in the History Fund, a grant program for history funded entirely by donations to the Ohio History Connection. The main source of support for the Fund comes in the form of donations from Ohio taxpayers, who contribute a portion of their income tax refunds to the Ohio History Connection through their Ohio IT-1040 tax returns.

The inclusion of a donation box on the IT-1040 for the Ohio History Connection was made possible in the Fiscal Year 2011 State of Ohio budget, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich.

However, the inclusion of the donation box on the IT-1040 is not perpetually guaranteed. The State of Ohio requires that all tax check-offs generate a minimum of $150,000 in contributions each year. If a tax check-off fails to cross that $150,000 two years in a row, it will be dropped from Ohio’s income tax form. The removal of the Ohio Historical Society’s / Ohio History Connection’s tax check off threatens the continuation of the grant program you are applying for.

The tax check-off is the primary source of funding for the History Fund, but donations come from other sources, too. One source is generous contributors who make tax-deductible donations directly to the Ohio History Connection and designate their gifts to the History Fund.

Another source is the proceeds from the sale of the Ohio History “Mastodon” license plate, available since May 2014. Twenty dollars from the sale of each license plate supports the History Fund grant program. To find out how you can purchase an Ohio History license plate, visit the website of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline for applications is September 3, 2014 at 11:59 pm. Grant recipients will be publicly announced on March 4, 2015 at the annual history advocacy event celebrating Ohio’s Statehood, “Statehood Day.” Between these two dates, the History Fund will be in contact with applicants regarding the status of their applications.

All grant recipients are expected to send a minimum of one representative to Statehood Day on March 4, 2015. The recipients will be publicly acknowledged and celebrated for their organizations’ achievements in Ohio’s capitol before an audience that includes other history organizations and state lawmakers. The History Fund grants are highly competitive and to receive one is a great achievement. Statehood Day is also a wonderful opportunity to thank your legislators for creating the Ohio income tax “check-off” that makes History Fund grants possible.
Please read these tips before starting your application:

The History Fund grant application process is entirely online. No paper applications are available. It is possible, however, to save and print all grant materials using your computer. The History Fund strongly recommends that you do this, and that you draft your application using your word processing program on your computer. When it is ready for submission, you can “cut and paste” your draft into the appropriate sections of the online application.

There are seven parts to the History Fund application, plus a helpful checklist:
1) Grant Project Data
2) Applicant Information
3) Elected Officials
4) Project Narrative
5) Budget Form
6) Abstract
7) Signatures
8) History Fund Grant Submission Checklist

For best results, the History Fund recommends that you complete the Applicant Information, Project Narrative, and Budget Form of the application first. This information can then be used to complete the Grant Project Data and Abstract sections. You can complete the Elected Officials section at anytime.

To make the online application process go smoothly, please note:

• Uploads: There are several documents you will need to electronically attach ("upload") to your application. You will need to scan these documents, save them on your computer and upload them to the History Fund application. You may also use the Fax to File tool located in the upper left corner of the application web page to fax documents to a toll-free number, save to your computer, and then upload them to the History Fund application where requested. We suggest creating a folder to hold all of your History Fund application-related documents for easy storage and retrieval.

• Five forms are provided in the application: 1) Budget Form, 2) Construction Budget Form, 3) Match Summary, 4) Work Schedule, and 5) Signatures of Authorization form. To use these forms, click on a form, save it to your computer, complete and save the form on your computer and then upload the saved form to the History Fund application.

Uploading photographs: copy, paste, and save all the photographs that you want to submit with your application into one Word or PDF document. In addition to the photos, this document should also include a ‘key’ or description of the photos contained in the document. Upload that one document where indicated in the History Fund application.

Do not attempt to upload multiple photographs directly into the grant software. It will only allow one photograph or document

Shoot and save your photos at high resolution (300 ppi). Upload low resolution (72 ppi) versions of the photos to your document. If your proposal is funded, high resolution images will be required later.

• When entering information in fields, note that using the enter key after entering data will automatically cause the application to save. Press the "continue" button to proceed/return to the application. To avoid this for each entry, press the Tab key to jump to the next field. However, we suggest that you save your application as a draft (see the Save as Draft button at the end of the application web page) regularly so you do not lose your work.
As you draft your application, keep in mind the job of a grant proposal:
• It outlines a need.
• It describes your solution for that need.
• It describes how support from the History Fund will enable you to implement that solution.
• It explains how that solution will benefit your organization and community.

For the guidelines governing the History Fund, including the goals of the fund, eligibility requirements, funding categories, grant minimums and maximums, and match requirements, see the document Ohio History Connection’s History Fund Grant Guidelines (hereafter Guidelines). Please contact the Ohio History Connection’s Local History Office if you have questions. We are here to help!

Ohio History Connection
Local History Office
800 East 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211
614-297-2340 / 800-858-6878


Table of Contents

Grant Project Data

Applicant Information

Elected Officials

Project Narrative
     Work Schedule Form (Opens in Excel)

Budget Form
     Sample Budget Form (Opens in Excel)

     Budget Form (Opens in Excel)

Construction Budget Form

Match Summary


     Signatures Authorization Form (PDF)

Grant Submission Checklist