Application Guidelines – FY 2025

Mini-Grants help fund projects that enrich heritage resources and/or events in the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area. Mini-Grants support the efforts of local museums, organizations, and municipalities that advance the mission and goals of the Heritage Area. Projects must be heritage-tourism related. Only non-capital projects are eligible for funding. Examples of projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Research and Documentation
  • Brochures/Marketing
  • Interpretive Planning
  • Interpretation and Education
  • Preservation Planning
  • Events
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Exhibits and Way Finding
  • Natural Resource Projects
  • Professional Development/Conferences

FY 2025 Deadline:

June 21, 2024

Mission of the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area

As one of the Maryland Heritage Area Authority’s 13 regions designated as Certified Heritage Areas, the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area:

  1. Leverages public and private partnerships to assist individuals, organizations and government entities protect, preserve and promote Dorchester County’s unique historic, cultural and natural resources.
  2. Broadens and deepens the beneficial effect of heritage tourism on the local economy through advocacy, interpretation and preservation that enhances assets and people’s awareness, understanding and appreciation of those assets.

Goals of the Heritage Area

  • Enhance heritage resources
  • Raise heritage visibility
  • Practice stewardship

Project Criteria

  • Project must be consistent with the mission and goals of the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area as shown in our Five-Year Action Plan and/or Strategic Plan.
  • Preference will be given to new and innovative projects, rather than to continuing existing programming.
  • Project must be located within the boundaries of the Heritage Area.
  • Applicant must demonstrate ability to manage grants and execute projects within a required timeframe.
  • Applicant must show proof of matching funds.
  • Project’s objectives must be clearly stated.
  • All events must occur after the date of grant awards to allow for MHAA and the Heritage Area to receive recognition for funding at event, and to allow for their logos to be incorporated in recognition of their support of the project.
  • No projects or events will be funded retroactively.

Award Amounts:

Between $500 and $5,000 for projects or between $50 and $500 for professional development


  • Cash and/or in-kind match required (any combination) with proof that the match is equal to (or greater than) the grant request. No grant will be made for more than 50 percent of the total project cost.
  • The match must be from a non-state source.

Mini-Grant Application and Required Documents

A fully completed online application must be submitted online by the stated deadline.

  • All completed Mini-Grant applications should include:
    • Detailed Budget
    • Non-profits must include proof of non-profit status, mission statement, and names of Board of Directors
  • And for project grants of $500-$5,000:
    • Proof of available matching funds from non state-sources; examples of cash and in-kind match documentation:
      • Award letter from non-state grant
      • Pledge or letter of commitment from donor
      • Approved budget from a non-state governmental agency
      • If using cash match, bank statement showing cash, paired with a letter of commitment from the organization’s leadership
      • If using in-kind services, description of organization donating materials or services, with a letter of commitment from that organization
      • If using volunteer hours for in-kind match, a log will be required when the final report is submitted (value of volunteer time)
    • At least one letter of support from a partner organization, elected or governmental official, or other outside party with interest in the project
  • And for professional development grants of less than $500:
    • A letter of commitment from the applicant or the applicant’s organizational leadership for the cash match
    • If using volunteer hours to participate in the profession development, a log is required for the final report (value of volunteer time)


  • Mini-Grant Online Workshops: May 23, 2024 at 10 a.m. or 4 p.m. (contact to register in advance)
  • Applications Due: On or before June 21, 2024
  • Review by HCCHA at Management Board Meeting: Thursday, July 18, 2024
  • Progress Report Due: February 21, 2025
  • Project Completion/Final Report: August 22, 2025

NOTE: No projects or events will be funded retroactively. All events must occur after date of grant award.


  • Grant recipients must complete a Mid-point Progress Report and a Final Report as described in the grant award letter.
  • Grant recipients will prepare a display about their project for the HCCHA awards reception TBD.
  • Grant recipients who use their award for professional development will write a short summary of the experience for the HCCHA newsletter.


This is a reimbursement grant!

  • Project must be complete and Final Report submitted before mini-grant payment will be processed.
  • Mini-grant recipients must be able to pay for the cost of the entire project before grant is awarded.
  • Funds will not be released until copies of invoices and expenditure receipts for the entire project, including award and matching funds, are received with the Final Report.
  • Two copies of final product and/or photos of completed event or project must also be submitted.

Grantor Acknowledgement

Both the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area must be acknowledged in all publicity and products resulting from the award of a mini grant. If you receive an award, contact the office for the appropriate logos and acknowledgement to use.

For Assistance and Questions

Contact Julie Gilberto-Brady,, to discuss projects in advance of completing an application or for any questions.

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