A More Perfect Union: 
Understanding the Importance of Culture and Community
in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Since 1990, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has been a catalyst for positive change in the U.S. Virgin Islands through initiatives committed to youth, learning, family support and the environment. With a professional staff and a volunteer Board of Directors composed of community leaders, CFVI is a trusted advocate and supporter of programs that ensure opportunity and sustainability for current and future generations. CFVI is a registered non-profit organization entirely supported by individual donors, grants, trusts, corporate donations and estate planning. 

CFVI applied for and was awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities intended to support the NEH mission to advance civic education and to prepare to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands was one of 56 recipients – states and other jurisdictions - of a grant for the special initiative: “A More Perfect Union: Exploring America’s Story and Commemorating its 250th Anniversary.”  

CFVI invites proposals from humanities scholars and/or organizations to explore the contributions which individuals from the U.S. Virgin Islands have made to the nation and the world. Through the special funding provided in support of NEH’s “A More Perfect Union” initiative, CFVI hopes to deepen understanding of the U.S. Virgin Islands experience – in all its complexities – and enhance the knowledge, skills, and capacities needed to sustain a thriving culture and community in the USVI.
Request for Proposal Summary

CFVI will subaward $50,000 to one grantee (or split the grant between two collaborating applicants) to explore the questions:
“What is it about the mosaic of life in the U.S. Virgin Islands which has produced a contemporary (1917-current day) diaspora with an extraordinary number of successful individuals representing diverse spheres of interest? What can be done to protect, preserve and enhance this mosaic, and sustain a thriving culture and community in the USVI?”

A successful application will provide a plan with: 

  • A review of the literature which gives a scholarly humanities overview of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ heritage, culture, society, families, social mores, traditions, norms, behaviors, natural environment and regional influences during the contemporary period from March 31, 1917, when the United States took formal possession of the Danish West Indies, to the present day U.S. Virgin Islands;
  • A study which encompasses a broad range of spheres of interest including business and industry; arts and literature; civil rights, social justice and philanthropy; science and medicine; music and sports; and government and the military;
  • Profiles/examples (written or oral histories, videos, scholarly pieces, articles, interviews, etc.) of individuals, organizations and institutions which exemplify this phenomenon or have had a significant impact on it; including methodology to document and evaluate these impacts. (Appropriate consent forms/releases must be provided for any photographs and/or digital images and/or any educational materials included in the project.) 
  • A communications strategy which describes the outcomes of the exploration and a plan to share the project findings with an inclusive audience, locally, nationally and beyond, and to encourage thoughtful discussion. 
  • As required by federal guidelines, organizations will be required to have a DUNS number in order to obligate funds (though applications can be submitted without one). A DUNS number can take up to two business days to receive. You may acquire a DUNS number from the D&B D-U-N-S Request Service for U.S. Federal Government Contractors and Assistance Awardees.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) registration is encouraged, but not required.
  • CFVI is committed to equitable grantmaking in its funding decisions. 
Application Format

You can preview the application here. An application must include:

  • Work plan 
  • Biographies of key personnel 
  • Budget 
  • Budget justification 
  • Project title  
  • A description of all proposed activities/events, including the method of delivery (virtual or in-person)  
  • Proposed locations for activities/events (virtually or a combination of on-location and virtual presentations), indicating the areas of the territory that will be served
  • Targeted audiences, specifically noting underserved audiences  
  • A list of the humanists and humanities resources that will inform the project
Period of Performance 

The period of performance may begin January 1, 2022 and must end on or before August 30, 2022.

Eligible organizations must be:

  • A U.S. nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service (check your organization’s IRS status here); an accredited institution of higher education; state, local, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments; or a group of persons that have formed an association to carry out a project.  
  • Non-public organizations or groups must be constituted for nonprofit purposes, and donations to them must be deductible under Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 170(c)). It is not necessary that such organizations or groups be incorporated or have tax-exempt status. 
  • Examples of eligible humanities organizations include, but are not limited to, museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, and public television stations
  • A provider of humanities programming as a significant part of its mission. (See examples of humanities here or listed below*). 

*The term 'humanities' includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life. (Source:

Eligible individuals must be: 

  • An adult (18 years of age or older) 
  • Individuals do not need to register in the System for Award Management (SAM).  
  • Awards will not be processed for individuals with delinquent federal debt or for individuals who have been suspended, debarred, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from eligibility for covered transactions by any federal department or agency. To see if you have delinquent federal debt or other exclusions recorded in SAM, go to the SAM website; click on “Search Records,” and then on “Advanced Search - Exclusion.” 
  • A United States citizen, resident of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign national who has been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. 
  • Able to demonstrate humanities expertise and experience 
  • Examples may include: holding a graduate level humanities degree; work experience in a humanities field; a track record of research / publications; recognition as a culture-bearer

The following are not eligible to apply: 

  • Nonprofit organizations without 501(c)(3) seeking to use a fiscal sponsor 
  • Fiscal sponsors 
  • For-profit organizations 
  • Organizations solely focused on the arts 
  • Political or advocacy organizations 
  • Foreign entities 

Funds may NOT be used for the following purposes: 
  • Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view 
  • Advocacy for a particular program of social or political action 
  • Support of specific public policies or legislation 
  • Lobbying 
  • Projects that fall outside of the humanities (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically based social science research or policy studies) 
Application & Evaluation Process

  • Applications must be submitted using CFVI’s online grant portal. All returning applicants should log in using their previously created account. All new applicants must create a new account.  
  • You may preview the application form here.  
  • Applications will be received (and reviewed on a rolling basis) beginning November 16, 2021. 
  • Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm AST December 15, 2021 
  • The grant portal will not accept applications after the deadline. Once the application has been submitted, an automatic email receipt will be sent confirming that all application materials were successfully received.  
  • Applicants will be notified regarding decisions on or before January 7, 2022.  
  • The awards will be publicly announced via the CFVI website and circulated to local news media.  
  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee of individuals knowledgeable about the humanities, nonprofit grantmaking, and/or Virgin Islands history and culture. 
Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria: 

  1. The appropriateness and importance of the proposed activities to the goals of “A More Perfect Union.”
  2. The feasibility of successfully completing the proposed activities within the period of performance. 
  3. The experience and qualifications of the individual or project team.  
  4. The integration of humanities advisers or scholars in the project. 
  5. The accessibility and appeal of the project to the intended audience. 
  6. Overall evaluation of the project as a whole.  

Applications will be reviewed for eligibility and completeness. CFVI staff and peer reviewers will evaluate all eligible and complete applications according to the evaluation criteria outlined above. Peer reviewers are experts in the field with relevant knowledge and expertise to evaluate the types of projects identified in the applications.   

This process may be updated or amended to reflect changing circumstances. For the most up-to-date version, visit

Note: Applicants with past due reports owed to CFVI will not be considered.  

Recipients must comply with the following reporting and review activities: 

  • Interim financial and performance report, due no later than 5/1/2022 
  • Final financial and performance report, due no later than by 8/30/2022 (or within 90 days of project completion, if the project is completed sooner) 

Applicants with additional questions are encouraged to contact Davica Brathwaite, CFVI Grants and Programs Manager, at
About the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
Since 1990, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has been a catalyst for positive change in the territory through initiatives committed to youth, learning, family support and the environment. With a professional staff and a volunteer Board of Directors composed of community leaders, CFVI is a trusted advocate and supporter of programs that ensure opportunity and sustainability for current and future generations. CFVI is a registered non-profit organization entirely supported by individual donors, grants, trusts, corporate donations and estate planning. For more information, visit
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