Foundation and individual funding for humanities and the arts varies widely. In the humanities, it appears grantmaking prioritizes art history and conservation; however, grants are available for a variety of areas including, but not limited to, linguistics, theology, philosophy, the visual arts and history. Anthropology, which most believe belongs to both science and the humanities, also receives foundational grants. Many college and university performing arts programs and conservatories likewise rely on philanthropy for a part of their funding.
For the most part, funders do not have specific arts or humanities programs for colleges and universities, although there are a few exceptions. Instead, colleges and universities, as well as individual scholars, usually compete with museums, art conservation nonprofits, theater companies, and research institutions for funding. But that should not discourage fundraisers. All the profiles below are updated regularly. Only paid subscribers can access these resources (subscribe here).
The IP higher education team tracks and analyzes major individual gifts made to colleges and universities for humanities and the arts in our Campus Cash guide. We look at who's giving, who's getting, what the gifts are for, and how performing arts donors are cultivated. READ
The Leonore Annenberg scholarship, fellowship, and school funds award fellowships for visual and performance artists as they transition out of the university and into their professional careers.
Arnhold is deeply dedicated to both higher ed and the performing arts. A slice of that funding goes to outfits where those two interests intersect, but the foundation doesn't have much of a web presence or a clear way to get in touch.
Promising music students at select universities and colleges are eligible to receive ASCAP scholarships for their work.
BMI supports music students—especially composers and lyricists—through scholarships for their work in a range of musical genres.
If you want to gain recognition for your teaching accomplishments, or you're a professor or grad student developing a community-centered project, CMS is a funder worth contacting.
Arthur Vining Davis awards grants to private liberal arts and science colleges and affiliated organizations, with special funding earmarked for undergrad programs at traditionally black colleges, Native American tribal colleges, and colleges in Appalachia.
The Delmas Foundation has programs exclusively focused on the humanities and research libraries, as well as a niche interest in Venetian history and culture. It consistently provides modest grants to support related scholarship, and accepts applications year-round.
The Geraldine Dodge Foundation supports a variety of New Jersey-based organizations in arts, K-12 education, environment and informed communities.
Lately, arts funding for colleges and universities has come from the foundation's Performing Artist Initiative, designed to serve as a catalyst for projects that build interest in the arts with diverse audiences. Funds are also distributed through regranting organizations.
Jessie Ball duPont funding is not technically humanities oriented, but the 42 liberal arts colleges that Jessie Ball duPont supported during her lifetime are eligible to receive support.
The Getty Foundation supports visual arts in higher ed through grants for projects and institutions, individual fellowships, internship funding, and more. L.A.-based applicants receive priority, and many awards are by invitation only, but there is also a running list of open competitive awards.
Not to be confused with the better-known Getty Foundation established by J. Paul Getty (see above), this funder supports higher ed institutions as well as symphonies and opera companies. But they have no web presence or clear grantmaking guidelines.
Guggenheim funds scholarly research in the humanities, social, and natural sciences that examines "problems of violence, aggression, and dominance." Its interests are diverse.
Hearst has given out only a few recent awards at the intersection of its Education and Culture programs, but its deep pockets and open application process bode well for established, high-budget grantseekers.
JEN's higher ed awards support jazz students and performers and the occasional researcher to support their studies.
Higher ed arts and humanities funding from Knight is available through its arts, community initiatives, journalism, and innovation in media programs. Support is open to a wide range of fund seekers, but some programs and initiatives have geographic restrictions.
European art "from antiquity to the 19th century" is where the Kress Foundation focuses the majority of its art history grants. And although Kress is a smaller funder, its consistent support makes it a big-time resource for art history scholars.
Art history, cultural studies, and theology are major focus areas of the Henry Luce Foundation, and there's a particular emphasis on American and Asian art. The foundation also has a higher ed program for projects outside of its core interests.
The Mellon Foundation is one of the most important funders of the arts and humanities in the U.S., with funds supporting a wide range of research, projects, fellowships, and more.
NAMM gives a handful of higher ed grants in music making and music research, and offers modest scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students.
If your passion lies in preserving historically significant films for posterity, this is the foundation for you.
Established by the widow of Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, this foundation gives higher ed funding to support individual students in dance, theater, and film.
Shubert is an important funder for theater grad student scholarships at select private universities.
The Surdna Foundation supports arts and cultural groups, including higher education institutions, through four sub-programs of its Thriving Cultures program.
The Templeton Foundation's Science and the Big Questions program consistently supports scholars, with a particular emphasis on philosophy and religion, life and human sciences, mathematics and cross-disciplinary approaches.
Terra primarily supports postdocs, and scholars who work on American art and its relationship to American culture through research, travel, and publication support.
The Time Warner Foundation’s performing arts education giving has mainly supported performing-arts-focused institutes, fellowship, or workshop programs within performing arts companies.
The six regional nonprofits that make up USRAO give higher ed grants to colleges, universities, and other presenting organizations that host touring performers from across the U.S. and around the world.
Performing arts research and audience outreach are key components of this funder's higher ed performing arts agenda. Most grants are by invitation only, but the Wallace Foundation does accept inquiries.
A major anthropology funder, Wenner-Gren supports Ph.D. candidates, post-doc research, workshops, symposia, expanding doctoral programs in countries where the field is under-represented and under-funded, and other general efforts to advance the field.