BNHA Small Capital Grant Program (SCG)

Content about Small Capital Grant Program (SCG)

The Baltimore Heritage Area Association (BHAA) administers a small capital grant program that makes small, yet strategic, investments in heritage tourism resources within the heritage area. Funded through Baltimore City CIP funds or voter-approved bonds, more than $1.5 million in funds have been awarded to more than 130 projects since 2004.

Eligible projects must be identified in and/or consistent with the strategies and actions outlined in the 2013 Baltimore National Heritage Area Management Plan. The grants are made as one-time awards and not for ongoing projects or activities. Capital projects assisted include acquisition, development, preservation, and restoration. Project activity must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

The following capital projects or activities within the heritage area’s boundaries may be assisted (map below in FAQ).


The acquisition of fee title or interest other than fee title of real property. Note: For acquisition projects, BHAA will fund up to 50% of the average of two appraisals of the subject property.


New construction, or repair or alteration of an existing building, structure, or site which makes possible a contemporary use while preserving those features of the property which are significant to its historical, architectural, and cultural values.


Activities directed to sustain the existing form, integrity, and material of a building, structure, or site.


Activities directed to accurately recovering the form and details of a property and its setting as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of later work or by the replacement of missing earlier work.

Interpretive Signage Guidelines:
Small Capital Grant funds may be used for the creation of interpretive signage.

Interpretive signage in parks operated by Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks (BCRP) must adhere to city specifications and cost estimates as a requirement. Please see application guidelines for projects in city parks and the approval process. Please plan two weeks to receive approval from BCRP and a letter of support. This documentation must be uploaded to the grant application at time of submission.

For all other interpretive signage projects, please review BNHA's recommended guidelines for interpretive signage projects. The National Park Service has also created a comprehensive guide for creating wayside exhibits and interpretive signage. The guide is available for free from the NPS Harper's Ferry Center. Projects that follow these best practices will score higher on their application due to the required due diligence.


Eligible applicants are non-profit organizations in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, qualified to do business in Maryland, and have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations involved under the grant program.


  • BNHA uses an online system for the grant process, which you can access once the grant cycle begins. Create a user account to allow you to save a working version of your application before final submission. 
  • First-time applicants are required to attend an information session on the grant process. Previous grant recipients are welcome to attend the information session on September 25 from 3pm-5pm. Please RSVP to Location will be confirmed with RSVP list.
  • An overview of the grant application and guidelines is available. A link to this document is provided below.
  • Your grant application must include a specific budget form. A link to this form is provided both here and below.
  • The online system has strict word limits. Take a look at this primer on tips for writing with brevity and clarity.


Begin the Grant Application (Opens September 6, 2019)


When does the grant round open? When are applications due?

Can I meet with heritage area staff to discuss my project?

How much grant funding can I request?

Is there a match requirement?

Does a project, such as the design and installation of a permanent exhibit, qualify as a capital project?

Can the grant be used for outdoor signage projects?

BNHA Boundary Map

Previous Awards

2019 Grant Awards ($100,000 total for 9 projects)

2018 Grant Awards ($107,284 for 9 projects)

2017 Grant Awards ($125,000 for 10 projects)

2016 Grant Awards ($100,000 for 8 projects)

2015 Grant Awards ($109,250 for 9 projects)

2014 Grant Awards ($99,954 total for 8 projects)

2013 Grant Awards ($75,000 total for 10 projects)

2012 Grant Awards ($75,000 total for 8 projects)