Share Your Federal Funding Impact Story

On May 4 Congress approved a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government for the remainder of FY 2017 (i.e., until September 30, 2017). President Trump signed the bill on May 5. Of particular note to the archives community is increased funding for three grant-making agencies:

  • National Historical Publications and Records Commission – from $5 million to $6 million
  • National Endowment for the Humanities – from $147.9 million to $149.8 million
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services – from $230 million to $231 million 

As National Coalition for History (NCH) Executive Director Lee White quipped, only in Washington would a budget delayed for seven months be a cause for celebration! NCH has published two charts that summarize appropriations for archives, history, humanities, and education programs: 

Notwithstanding this good news, funding levels for FY 2018 are being discussed and the Trump administration has already indicated its intention to eliminate IMLS, NEH, and the National Endowment for the Arts in future budgets.

Now is the time to gather the stories that will help our advocacy efforts in the next appropriations cycle! 

By sharing examples of the positive impact of federal funding for the humanities and arts with representatives in the House and Senate, we as a profession can hope to affect their decisions about the federal agencies that fund archival repositories. As archivists, librarians, and museum professionals we know how our collections, institutions, and local communities have benefited from grant funding from these federal agencies. We collect statistics about the work we accomplish under these grants—but we also know that the impact goes far beyond numbers alone.

Consider: Did your federal grant-funded project empower K–12 educators to teach with primary sources, connect family members through genealogical records, or inspire a community art project? Did a federal grant enable your institution to create jobs, contract with an external vendor, or carry out a project that had a fiscal impact on your institution? It is these stories of direct impact, whether personal or fiscal, and at all levels--within your institution, your local community, or even on a national scale—that speak to the true value of federal grant funding for the arts and humanities.

Take a few minutes now—during this brief pause—to share the details of your federally funded project and the story of its impact. We’ll certainly need your story later!  

Need examples? Click here.


Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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