Historic building grants are sums of money given to either historical preservation societies or private investors by the government or independent antiquity associations, with the designation of being used to restore and protect a historic building. Any building can be labeled historic with the right appeals. Funds come either in cash grants or paid-for services and are usually given with specific stipulations regarding how they are to be used. Without historic building grants, many unique and culturally or historically significant landmarks would be left in shambles, unprotected due to a lack of funding. Every preserved historic building, from local residences to well-known monuments, is protected and overseen by a grant and a contract specifying for how the landmark is to be cared.
Obtaining historic building grants for a project of any size is easy if you follow a simple but goal-directed procedure. First, it’s important to have a variety of strong reasons as to why the building should be protected. Historical or cultural significance of some sort is always asked to be defined in the application for a grant. Next, collect information surrounding your building of choice. Take pictures, preferably professional ones if you have the means to do so. Then construct a brief appeal outlining the importance of the building and what precisely needs to be done in its restoration process. This section is particularly effective if you can get estimates on how much each step of the restoration will cost, so that you will already know how much money to ask for when applying for the grant.
Most people then turn to the state government (or national government, depending on the importance of the building) to receive money from state-funded historical societies. States set aside a specific amount of money each year for grants for historic buildings preservation. If you can find this information ahead of time, it is helpful to know how much money is set aside each year, then tailor your itemized budget of restoration plans to fit the designated funding. Many historic buildings are declined for state grants; this doesn’t, however, mean you should give up. There are also a variety of independent historical societies that work to protect the buildings for which the state cannot pay. Appealing to these groups is not unlike appealing to the government and the same steps should be followed.
An effective strategy in achieving funding is to actively involve the community in the process. Solicit donations or sponsorship from local businesses and get community volunteers to help with as much restoration as possible, as this free labor will both save money and keep the community tied to the building. Sometimes buildings that are originally declined for historic building grants can achieve the money they need by turning the building into a protected community facility, like a museum or a children’s club. This allows for historic preservation and a beneficial addition to the local economy or culture. Remember that, above all, staying organized, focused and enthusiastic is the most effective strategy in obtaining historic building grants.