High-School Humanities CFP


Call for Proposals: Humanities in High Schools


The Whiting Foundation invites grant proposals from organizations with established track records sparking robust engagement with the humanities among US high-school students.


Vision: The humanities are the bedrock of an education that prepares students for meaningful lives, work, and citizenship. But far too many young Americans lack opportunities to unlock the power of history, philosophy, and the study of literature and other arts – and the challenge of fostering deep engagement with these fields has only increased in classrooms upended by the coronavirus pandemic. With a modest slate of new grants, the Whiting Foundation will support proven interventions that bring students into the heart of the humanities.


Grants and eligibility: In 2021, the Foundation anticipates making 3-5 grants of $20,000-35,000 each in the form of general operating support. These grants may support organizations undertaking interventions such as teacher training, enrichment activities in or outside of school, or the development or dissemination of curricular resources. Work funded may occur anywhere in the US and must be based in the core humanities disciplines of history, philosophy, or the study of literature and other arts, or in fields like classics that combine those disciplines. The scope of this program excludes literacy and language learning, the practice of arts (e.g., creative writing), and civics per se (as opposed to history). Applicants must have US 501(c)(3) non-profit, public-charity status and a strong track record of engaging high-school students richly in the humanities.


Application process: To apply, submit by May 3 to highschoolhumanities@whiting.org: a) a cover letter of no more than 3 pages, b) your most recent organizational budget covering at least three years of operations and your most recent audited financial statements, and c) any relevant off-the-shelf information about your work you would like to include (e.g., annual reports, testimonials). Your cover letter should incorporate the following components:

  • Request amount: The grant amount you seek (between $20,000 and $35,000)
  • Overview of work and outcomes: A description of how and when the funds will be used and the specific outcomes to be achieved. You should make clear how the funds will meet the needs of students and advance the vision for these grants outlined above
  • Organizational background: A summary of your organization, including its mission, qualifications for this work, and how the organization fits into the wider landscape of high-school humanities engagement. Be sure to summarize your track record in this field and specify how you have measured your success over time


Review process: We will review proposals in collaboration with a group of outside experts, following up with grantees for clarification as needed. We anticipate making grants by early fall.


Questions about eligibility, applications, or the review process may be submitted to the Foundation at highschoolhumanities@whiting.org. To see this CFP as a PDF, click here.