Ohio History Connection Logo
Project NarrativeThe application review committee bases its funding decisions on the project narratives & budgets
Share this page:

The application review committee will base its funding decision on the primarily 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 Profile
Briefly describe your organization.
a) What is your organization’s mission?
b) How long has your organization existed?
c) Describe three or four of your organization’s achievements over the past five years.

Note for Bricks & Mortar applications to rehabilitate historic buildings: record, where indicated, the 8-digit National Register reference number for the structure. This number is proof of listing on the Register and is required. To find a reference number, go to the website of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio History Connection.

  • Reminder: A structure that is the subject of the grant must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places or according to local ordinance as of the time of the History Fund application (i.e. by September 9, 2015 for the current application cycle).

2) Statement of Need
a) What do you plan to do?
b) Why is the subject of this project historically significant?
c) Why do you want to take on this project at this time? Is the project part of a long range or strategic plan for your organization?

  • 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
a) Who will be served by this project? Why this audience(s)?
b) How will you evaluate the effectiveness of the project?
c) How will the project improve your organization?
d) How will this project strengthen your community?

  • Note: Use the evaluation measures outlined in 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.

a) Explain how you will complete the project. Break down the project into steps and describe each step. What the History Fund wants to know is whether you can successfully execute the project. (Show the History Fund you can by describing each step; do not just tell the History Fund you can.)

  • Use the work schedule template to describe each significant step, the outcome or “deliverable” that will result from the completion of that 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).
    • "Work days" refers to the actual number of days spent completing the activity.
    • You are welcome to upload a Gantt chart in place of the work schedule to illustrate the project's schedule.
  • Make sure you include time in your schedule to draft Requests for Proposals (RFPs), submit them for review to the History Fund, and solicit and review bids, if required for your project (see “Procurement” under “Budget,” below).

Reminder: All projects should assume a start date after May 1, 2016.

Work to be accomplished Work days Start date Completion date
  • 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.
  • Photographs and images can be worth a thousand words. All applicants are required to upload at least one photograph or image to illustrate their projects. If your project receives a grant, this image will be used to illustrate your project in a PowerPoint presentation during the announcement of grant recipients at the Ohio Statehouse on Statehood Day (in 2016: March 1). Make sure the images you submit show your proposed project and your organization in the best possible light.
    • Images can include photographs, maps, or charts. Provide a “photo key” that describes the images. Include in the key the 1) grant project title, 2) applicant organization, 3) property name and address, 4) photo date and 5) a description of each view or image (sample descriptions: “west elevation," "second floor hallway looking north,”). The total size of uploads must not exceed 5 MB.
    • For Bricks & Mortar projects, photos are required and essential for reviewers as they consider your project. Reviewers cannot visit your site in person and so rely on photos. Images are to show all exterior elevations and interior views of the property, as applicable, as well as close-up views of areas to be affected by the proposed project.

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

Do not attempt to upload multiple photographs directly into the grant software. It will only allow the one photograph. The “workaround,” as indicated above is to save all your photographs into one document (Word or PDF) and upload that one document, which happened to contain many photographs and the “key,” or description of the photographs.

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.

b) 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 our Standards and Guidelines page.

  • Applications for Bricks and Mortar that are successful explain how the project will meet the "Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties:" www.nps.gov/tps/standards.htm
  • Applications for digitization projects that are successful address the standards explained in "A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections:" www.niso.org/publications/rp/framework3.pdf

c) 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. Including the resumes of project principals can demonstrate to project reviewers that you have qualified people to successfully complete the project. If there are any external project partners, explain their role in the project and why it is necessary.

d) Compile a budget for the project using the form included in this application. Refer to the Budget Form section for instructions.

Related Blog Posts and News Stories