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Special Category Grants

About Special Category Grants 

The Department of State, Division of historical Resources, provides state and federal funds for historic preservation. The purpose of this program is to provide funding to assist local, regional and state-wide efforts to preserve significant historic structures and archaeological sites, and promote knowledge and appreciation of the history of Florida. Funds from the Special Category grant assist major site-specific archaeological excavations, the major restoration or rehabilitation of historic buildings or structures, and major museum exhibits involving the development and presentation of information on the history of Florida. This program does not fund operational support for historic preservation organizations.

Special Category grants are awarded annually to assist in: acquisition of historic properties or archaeological sites; development activities such as restoration, rehabilitation, preservation, and structural analysis; stabilization of historic and archaeological properties; archaeological work such as field work and collection research, field investigation, analysis, and publication of findings; and museum exhibit projects such as those involving research, exhibit design, and fabrication and installation.

The Historic Preservation Grants Program utilizes an online grant system via which prospective applicants submit their applications. Applications from precious solicitation periods will also be available at this site as historical information (for viewing only). The new online system will launch April 1st, 2017.

An Applicant Organization may have no more than one (1) previously awarded grant from the Division (Special Category or small Matching) open at the time of application. Applications from Applicant Organizations with more than one open grant from the Division will not be accepted. Open grants include: Any previously submitted applications that are awaiting funding from the Florida Legislature; any applications that have been appropriated funding by the Florida Legislature but have not yet executed a Grant Award Agreement; and any funded grant that has not completed its Scope of Work or is still in its Grant Period.

Types of Projects

Types of historic preservation projects that can be funded include:
  • Acquisition of historic properties or archaeological site, or group of  historic properties, or archaeological sites, in which all resources have the same owner;
  • Development projects geared at preservation properties regularly open to the public, including restoration, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and site-specific planning required for these activities. Development activities on religious properties are limited to structural integrity work and exterior work;  
  • Archaeology projects including research and field investigation tied to large area surveys or
    excavation, analysis and publication of findings, and collection research at established federal, state or public institutions; and
  • Museum Exhibits projects for Florida History Museums, including the: research of exhibit content, exhibit design, fabrication and installation. 


Eligible applicants include state agencies, universities, local governments and units of local governments, as well as non-profit organizations.

Application Limitations

Applicants may have no more than one (1) previously awarded Special Category Grant open at the time of application. Applications from applicants with more than one open Special Category Grant shall be declared ineligible and such applications shall be returned to the applicant.

An applicant from the same organization may not submit more than one Special Category Grant application under a single application deadline. State, county or city governments, or universities may submit single applications from more than one division or department during any grant cycle provided that those divisions or departments are separate and distinct budgetary units and provided that the applications do not address the same facility, project, or site.

Review Process

Special Category grant applications are evaluated at a public meeting in the fall by the Florida Historical Commission (FHC). The applications are evaluated, on a competitive basis, on historic significance, endangerment, appropriateness of the preservation treatment proposed, administrative capability of the organization, adequacy of technical and financial resources, educational potential, economic benefits, and public good resulting from the project. 

Grant Award / Requirements for Match

Special Category grants provide assistance between $50,000 and $500,000. The grantee is required to provide a matching share of either $50,000 or 50% of the award request, whichever is the higher amount. The match may be any combination of in-kind services, volunteer labor, donated materials, plus cash-on-hand which must constitute a minimum of 25% of the total match.

REDI designated communities are eligible for a reduction of match (please see below).

Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI)

Under the REDI initiative, certain rural or economically distressed counties or communities are designated as REDI qualified pursuant to Section 288.0656, Florida Statutes. This qualification permits a decrease in match for REDI applicants down to 10% of the grant award.

Information about counties and communities eligible for decreased financial match may be found on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's REDI webpage.

If your county or community is REDI designated and you would like to request a decrease in match, please check the appropriate box on the grant application.

Special Category Grant Application Information

If you are considering applying for a Special Category Grant from the Division of Historical Resources the following information should prove useful.

A downloadable PDF version of the How to Fill Out an Application webinar is available on the right hand side of this page and registration for upcoming webinars are located in Upcoming Events in the News and Events section. Please download, print, and become familiar with the Special Category Grants Guidelines. For a sample application click here. To access the new DOS Grants system click here.  

Information and Documents for Current Grantees

Managing your grant Progress Reports
Grant Funds Expenditure Log
Payment Request Form
Schedule of Contract Values Contract Details Amendment Request Single Audit Act
When a project is completed, the Grant Recipient is required is fill out the following document. Restrictive Covenant - For projects where the grant recipient is the owner of the project site Restrictive Covenant - For projects where the grant recipient is not the owner of the project site
Division of Historical Resources Recommended Time Sheets
The following documents should be utilized to document any volunteer, in-kind, or grant worked hours related to your project for which there is no alternate official record. Completed time sheets should be submitted with any payment request which cites these services.
Documents for Survey Projects
Information for Project Identification Sign
Guidelines for the Submission of Photographs
Photographs are requested not only at the time of application but also to evidence the progress and completion of all funded projects. Please refer to these guidelines for required format and size. Development projects must adhere to these guidelines.
Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation (36 C.F.R. 68)
State of Florida Archaeological Reports Standards and Guidelines
Electronic Payments
You can choose to use electronic funds transfer (EFT) to receive your grant payments.
  • If EFT has already been set up with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for your organization, you do not need to submit another form.
  • To download this form visit the Direct Deposit sign-up on the DFS website.
Substitute W9 Form
A Substitute W9 form will be requested of all projects except when organizations are a State Agency or State University.
  • If you already have a current active Substitute Form W9, you can print out a copy of the form by going to the DFS website. Sign in using your user ID and your password to obtain a copy of your Substitute Form W9. Provide a copy of the Substitute Form W9 to DHR with your executed Grant Award Agreement.
  • If you have not completed a Substitute Form W9, go to the DFS website and fill out a Substitute Form W9. Provide a copy of the Substitute Form W9 to DHR with your executed Grant Award Agreement.
  • Example of substitute W9 form (pdf)

Minimum Wage for determining in-kind volunteer match.
For state projects as of January 1, 2015 the Florida's minimum wage is now $8.05 an hour.

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