Restricted General Operating Support for Qualifying Museums with Annual Operating Budgets over $500,000

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is pleased to announce that it will be awarding just over $1 million in general operating support to qualifying museums. This is a one-year program using funds placed in our operating budget by the state legislature during the 2012-13 budget process and restricted for this purpose only. This is a one-time allocation and is not affiliated with the Museum Assistance Grant program.

Working in concert with legislative leadership to determine the best way to distribute these limited funds, it has been decided to make awards of $3,000 to $50,000 to museums with budgets over $500,000. We wish it could be more and reach more organizations. In the future, museums with smaller budgets will be eligible for grants.

The goals of the General Operating Support Program are as follows:

  • To provide general operating support to selected museums that are not supported by other state agency funding programs
  • To provide general operating support to selected museums that serve a statewide or regional audience
  • To base award amounts on an equation based on a percentage of previous year operating budget
  • To create a simple application process

Applicant institutions must have:

  • at least one fulltime paid staff member
  • been incorporated and in existence for at least two years
  • a minimum annual operating budget of $500,000
  • substantial collections related to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • a primary mission as a general or historical museum or as a historical society that operates one or more museums or historic sites
  • an operating schedule and audience that demonstrates public appreciation of the museums offerings.

Organizations operating multiple sites or museums may apply for only one award.

The maximum award amount for FY 2012-13 will be $50,000.

Grant applications must be received by the PHMC no later than 12:00 a.m., October 19, 2012. The e-Grant system will not accept applications after that date and time.

For questions on General Operating Support funding, please contact Jean Cutler at (717) 705-4035 or

Applicants will be required to complete a GOS e-Grant application. eGrant instructions and link to the application page.