Grants for historical societies

2,974 historical societies and organizations received at least $60.6 million in grants for the most recent fiscal year. This includes 3,555 grants made from 2,310 grantmaking organizations, with a median grant amount of $1,000. Of these 2,310 foundations, 76% made just a single grant to historical societies, and 4% made grants to four or more historical societies. This analysis is based on grantmakers that e-file their Form 990s, and likely is an undercount of grants.
$60,630,312
Total grant dollars given to historical societies
3,555
Number of grants made annually to historical societies
2,310
Number of grantmakers funding historical societies
$1,000
Median grant size to historical societies

Foundations that support historical societies and organizations

Out of all grants made to historical societies, 80% came from small foundations with less than $10 million in assets. The top 10 grantmakers accounted for 90% of the dollar-value of grants to historical societies. Foundations funding historical societies also made grants to history museums, art museums, theaters, universities, and land conservation groups.

Foundation size

Foundation sizeNumber of grantmakers
Small
 
1,849
Medium
 
288
Large
 
172
Small foundations have <$10M in assets. Medium foundations have $10M to $50M in assets. Large foundations have >$50M in assets.

Foundation type

Foundation typeNumber of grantmakers
Community
 
57
Private
 
2,023
Corporate
 
100
Other
 
130

Grants made

Grants made to historical societiesNumber of grantmakers
1
 
1,766
2-3
 
439
4-10
 
92
11+
 
13

Top 10 foundations supporting historical societies and organizations

GrantmakerStateGeographic focusPercent of grant dollars to historical societiesNumber of grants made to historical societiesMedian grant size
The Rhode Island FoundationRIMetro0.2%68$1,000
The William G Pomeroy FoundationNYState2.8%58$1,100
Shell Oil Company FoundationTXNational0.1%35$500
Community Foundation of Greater Des MoinesIAState0.1%23$1,625
Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT)TNMetro0.1%21$2,000
Alliant Energy FoundationWIState0.4%19$400
Indiana Humanities CouncilINState11.8%17$5,000
Greater Hudson Heritage NetworkNYState7.4%16$525
Chubb Charitable FoundationPANational0.1%15$100
Abbvie FoundationILNational0.0%14$50

Historical societies and organizations grantees

Historical societies with more than $5 million in total revenues received 91% of all grant dollars. These larger organizations accounted for 12% of all historical societies.

Grant amounts

Size of grantNumber of grants
<$10k
 
3,551
$10k-$25k
 
0
$25k-$100k
 
0
$100k+
 
4

Grant amount by grantee size

Grantee annual revenueMedian grant size
<$100k
 
$1,000
$100k-$500k
 
$1,000
$500k-$1M
 
$1,000
$1M-$5M
 
$1,163
>$5M
 
$1,000

Grantee states

State of granteeNumber of grants
New York
 
522
Massachusetts
 
253
Pennsylvania
 
173
Ohio
 
164
Other
 
2,443

Grantee metros

Metro area of granteeNumber of grants
New York City
 
368
Washington DC
 
138
Boston
 
134
Providence
 
133
Other
 
2,062

Top 25 grants made to historical societies

GranteeGrant sizePurposeGrantmaker
San Francisco Public Library.$16,750,000General SupportInternet Archive
San Francisco Public Library.$16,750,000FMVInternet Archive
San Francisco Public Library.$16,750,000FMVInternet Archive
Edward M Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate$4,000,000Serve People With Intellectual and Developmental DisabilitiesJoseph P Kennedy Jr Foundation
El Dorado County Historical Society$5,000Joint PublicationsEl Dorado Museums Foundation
Historic Denver$5,000Molly Brown House ProjectBuell Foundation
Ausable Club Preservation Foundation$5,000General & UnrestrictedEberstadt Family Foundation
Gillespie County Historical Society$5,000Teaching and Preservation of Local Culture and Heritage of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County, TexasOktoberfest / Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance
Friends of Independence National$5,000Assistance for Charitable PurposeFoundation for Individual Liberty
Sylvester Manor Educational Farm$5,000To Preserve, Cultivate and Share Historic Sylvester Manor To Ensure That Food and Art Remain Connected To Community and the Land.The Orchard Farm Foundation
Wreaths Across America$5,000Program ExpensesThe Phyllis L Schoener Foundation
The Municipal Art Society of New York$5,000General FundRifkind Family Foundation
The New York Landmarks Conservancy$5,000CharitableReed Foundation
Given Memorial Library$5,000General & UnrestrictedThomas R and Kathy S McPherson Family foundation
Historic Odessa Foundation$5,000GeneralDean Foundation
Facing History and Ourselves$5,000General Support of Facing HistoryShimon Ben Joseph Foundation
Elkhorn City Area Heritage Council$5,000Remote Area Medical DonationPikeville Medical Center (PMC)
Stratford Hall$5,000General SupportMary Jane Hipp Brock Family Foundation
Historic Fraser$5,000No RestrictionsSprout Foundation
Historic Oakland Foundation$5,000ContributionTW Price Gilbert JR Charitable Fund
Oregon Historical Society$5,000Provide Support To Build the State History Material CollectionThe Wendy Foundation
New York Yacht Club Foundation$5,000General SupportWinifred M Purdy Foundation
New Canaan Historical Society$5,000General PurposeMLE Foundation
Hawaiian Mission Houses (HMH)$5,000General PurposeMLE Foundation
National Trust for Historic Preservation$5,000General PurposeMLE Foundation
Methodology: To determine grants and grantees, Cause IQ analyzes electronically-filed Form 990, Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF financial disclosure documents, matching grantees to specific organizations using EINs and fuzzy matching logic. The "Historical societies" category for this page is determined by the "A80: Historical Societies, Historical Preservation" National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) code. Cause IQ determines NTEEs for organizations by its own internally-developed secret-sauce algorithms.