Grants and Financial Incentives
From efforts in research, interpretation of historic sites, preservation project planning, to hands-on preservation work, grant funding can be a valuable financial resource. While not an exhaustive list, we encourage you to explore the links below to learn more about grants and financial resources available in the field of historic preservation.
Please note, in most cases, the grant applicant must be a public agency, government, or nonprofit organization.
Local and State Financial Resources
City of Charleston Housing and Community Development Program: The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) provides local financial assistance through a variety of programs and initiatives, including:
- Substantial Rehabilitation Program: financial assistance for home owners with major housing repair needs (the maximum loan amount is $80K and the owner is required to provide a minimum of 20% of construction costs)
- Roof Replacement Program: roof replacements for homeowners at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI)
- Homeownership Initiative: financial assistance for first-time homebuyers earning 50-120% AMI
- HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME): federal funds for local and state governments to support new construction, rehabilitation, acquisition of standard housing, assistance to homebuyers, and tenant-base rental assistance
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): federal funds for local and state governments to promote sustainability, economic opportunity, and fair housing
Coastal Community Foundation: Coastal Community Foundation’s competitive grants are available to organizations serving these counties along South Carolina’s coast: Berkeley, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton and Jasper counties. See below several relevant grant opportunities and view the full list here.
- N.E.W. Fund [Neighborhoods Energized to Win]: This competitive program provides grants, leadership development and technical assistance to low and moderate-income neighborhoods in Charleston and Colleton Counties. The N.E.W. Fund is designed to support self-sustaining community development, leadership, and pride within neighborhoods.
- REALTORS Housing Opportunities Fund (RHOF): This competitive grantmaking program supports organizations that focus on affordable housing through education, development or repair.
- Lowcountry Unity Fund: Created in response to the attack on Emanuel A.M.E. Church, this fund promotes long-term solutions that address systemic issues contributing to racism and economic inequality affecting African-American communities. A variety of programs targeting racial equity in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties will be considered for mini-grants up to $5,000.
Edmunds Endangered Property Fund: A revolving fund of the Historic Charleston Foundation utilized to purchase, stabilize and re-sell historic properties with protective covenants.
Palmetto Community Land Trust: The Palmetto Community Land Trust (PCLT) is a program of the Charleston Redevelopment Corporation (CRC) that develops affordable housing and secures regional and national funding for the local community.
SC Humanities Grants: SC Humanities offers several types of grant opportunities in support of the humanities: Major Grants (more than $2,000), Mini or Planning grants ($2,000 or less), Fast Track Literary Grants, and council programs ($500 or less for Let’s Talk About It and Speakers Bureau: Humanities Out Loud programs).
African American Civil Rights Grants: The African American Civil Rights Grant Program documents, interprets, and preserves sites and stories related to the African American struggle to gain equal rights as citizens. Grants will fund a broad range of planning, development, and research projects for historic sites including: survey, inventory, documentation, interpretation, education, architectural services, historic structure reports, preservation plans, and “bricks and mortar” repair.
African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Grant Program: Grant program for a wide range of projects with a “focus on African American cultural heritage,” which can include restoration, rehabilitation, stabilization, and/or preservation of historic structures.
History of Equal Rights: Grant program that preserves sites related to the struggle of all people to achieve equal rights in America. Grants fund physical preservation work and pre-preservation planning activities for sites that are listed in or determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark.
Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation: Matching grant that can support a broad range of activities from project planning to physical preservation projects. The fund aims to save historic environments in order to foster an appreciation of our nation’s diverse cultural heritage and to preserve and revitalize the livability of the nation’s communities.
Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program: Grant program to enable the rehabilitation of historic properties and rehabilitate, protect, and foster economic development of rural communities. This program funds preservation projects for historic sites in communities with populations less than 50,000 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places or determined eligible for listing at the National, State, or local level of significance.
National Trust Preservation Fund: Matching grant for preservation planning, or education and outreach intended to encourage preservation at the local level by supporting on-going preservation work and by providing seed money for preservation projects. Building/construction activities are not eligible.
National Fund for Sacred Places: Matching grant for capital projects or support services for houses of worship and their congregations. Recipients are to be congregations that own and occupy buildings that tell a unique story about the landscape of American religion.
Preserving Black Churches Grant: Offered by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, these grants help preserve historic Black houses of worship (with either active or non-active congregations) and advance ongoing preservation activities. Funding will strengthen capacity for historic congregations, preservation organizations, and community groups to better steward, manage, and use their historic structures.
Save America’s Treasures: Matching grant available for preservation and/or conservation work on nationally significant historic structures and sites. Eligible properties must be individually listed as a National Historic Landmark or on the National Register of Historic Places, or a contributing property within a National Historic Landmark or National Register Historic District.
Underrepresented Community Grants: Grant program that works towards diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places. Projects include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development of nominations to the National Register for specific sites.
For more information on funding sources, visit:
Historic Funding Database
National Park Service State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division
National Trust for Historic Preservation Special Grant Funds
SC Grantmakers Network
Federal and state historic tax credits are available for historic properties undergoing rehabilitation projects that meet qualifying standards. The Federal Historic Tax Credit is available to historic, income-producing properties that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The credit equals 20% of the qualifying expenses of a rehabilitation project that are determined to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. Additionally, the State of South Carolina offers 25% tax credits for income-producing properties, homeowners, and abandoned buildings that require similar criteria. On the local level, preservation easements may be donated to a qualified organization, like the Preservation Society, in exchange for a charitable tax deduction.
- Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
- Historic Preservation Fund Grants
- Federal Tax Credit for Low Income Housing
- SC Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit – Income Producing
- SC Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit – Homeowner
- SC Abandoned Building Tax Credit