Jeffris Heartland Fund Guidelines & Eligibility

The Jeffris Family Foundation invites applications for grants from the Jeffris Heartland Fund, to support the development of important historic preservation projects in the states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The decision to pursue a grant from the Jeffris Heartland Fund must be made in consultation with a Director of the Foundation to discuss your project and request a Jeffris Heartland Fund application form.

Directors can also assist grant-seekers with the application process, provide related technical assistance to guide wise and constructive use of the grant funding, and administer grants once awarded. Applications, once invited, are accepted at any time.  Award notices are issued within approximately 30 days of receipt of the application.

Grants will be made in the range of $5,000 to $50,000 to cover 50% the cost of an Historic Structure Report, and must be matched dollar-for-dollar with cash from sources unrelated to the Jeffris Family.

Projects and their sponsors receiving grants from the Jeffris Heartland Fund, and completing a quality study in a timely manner – usually within one year – may be invited to submit a proposal to the Jeffris Family Foundation for a Capital Campaign Challenge Grant. The Jeffris Family Foundation will invite such proposals on a funds-available, competitive basis.

Foundation Directors

Thomas M. Jeffris
Phone: (608) 757-1039

Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota
Royce A. Yeater
Phone: (312) 399-1410

Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana
Nancy Finegood
Phone: (517) 980-2992

Administrative Contact
Peggy Sheridan, Administrative Assistant
Jeffris Family Foundation
P.O. Box 1160
Janesville, Wisconsin 53547-1160
Phone: (608) 757-1039
Fax: (608) 757-2352

Eligibility & Conditions

Eligible Applicants

Established 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations or government agencies in partnership with a 501(c)(3) organization are eligible to apply.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate the viability of their project through the submittal of early planning studies, and must be ready for the preparation of a Historic Structure Report, leading toward a capital fund drive with a community-centered component.

Grant Conditions

Applicants must be capable of matching the grant amount dollar-for-dollar. A cash match is required and can come from private or public sources, or from cash on hand or fundraising activities. Donated materials and services, staff salaries and organizational overhead costs are not eligible sources of a match.

Other conditions include:

  • Board members of the application organization cannot serve as consultants.
  • Grants or matching funds cannot be used directly or indirectly to influence an elected official to favor or oppose any legislation or appropriation.
  • Any plans for preservation work that result from the project must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
  • Grant funds will not be disbursed until the Foundation has approved the qualifications of the personnel selected to conduct the project.
  • Applicants shall conduct all procurement of services in a manner that provides open and free competition.
  • Grant recipients must include appropriate acknowledgement of Foundation financial support in a local press release and on all printed materials generated for the project.
  • Grant recipients are required to sign a contract agreeing to the conditions of the program.

Within one year and 30 days from the grant disbursement date, a final report and financial accounting of the expenditure of the grants must be submitted. If the project is not completed in accordance with the contract, the grant funds must be returned. Applicants must agree not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or sexual orientation. This obligation also extends to disabled veterans, and handicapped persons.

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Grant Activities

Eligible Activities

Please see Preliminary Planning Documents that must have been completed before a project is eligible for Jeffris Heartland Fund funding. Also see Historic Structure Report.

Ineligible Activities

Ineligible expenses include:

  • Staff salaries
  • Organizational overhead costs
  • Catering, food and beverage, entertainment
  • Expenses incurred prior to award date

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Award Criteria

In selecting recipient projects, the Foundation will consider the following four criteria:

1. Historic Significance of the Site

The site must be individually listed on, or have documentation that it is individually eligible for, the National Register of Historic Places. Contributing structures within a National Register historic district also must be individually eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Priority will be given to sites of documented national and then state historic significance. Sites with local significance only will not be eligible for funding.
  • Priority will be given to sites associated with prominent figures of national, regional, or statewide importance, or with events of national, regional, or statewide significance.
  • Priority will be given to sites with significant architectural merit, including association with designers of national, regional, or statewide importance.
  • Priority will be given to sites with strong elements of the decorative arts.
  • Priority will be given to projects involving historic resources that are extremely rare and/or unique.
  • Priority will be given to projects with a high degree of historic integrity, and to work relating to the restoration of original elements. While work to accommodate contemporary usage is acceptable, all work on the property must conform to The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

2. Proposed Project and Plan

Each applicant organization must have documentation that it has thoughtfully adopted a strategy to preserve, use, and care for the site (e.g. Adaptive Use Study, Stabilization Plan, Feasibility Study, Business Plan). Please see Preliminary Planning Documents for more detailed information.

  • Priority will be given to applicants that can best demonstrate that a Historic Structure Report or other detailed planning study for which funding is being requested is critical to the accurate and appropriate restoration of the property.
  • Priority will be given to applicants that can best demonstrate their intended use will be financially viable and operationally sustainable over time.
  • Priority will be given to applicants that can assure that the project will fully comply with The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic
  • Properties through review and oversight by a local historic preservation commission, state historic preservation office, or preservation consultants thoroughly familiar and experienced with those standards.

3. Project Location

Only projects located in small towns and cities in the eight eligible Midwestern states (IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI) will be considered.

  • Projects in communities with more than 150,000 in population are NOT eligible to apply.
  • Projects located within a major metropolitan area are NOT eligible to apply.

4. Organizational Excellence

The applicant must demonstrate the ability to marshal resources necessary to conduct a community-centered capital campaign in the foreseeable future, typically within three years.

  • Priority will be given to applicants who can demonstrate a pattern of programming and services connected to the site and their stated mission (e.g. educational programs, events, hospitality).
  • Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate a broad base of membership and community support.
  • Priority will be given to applicants with demonstrated success in past capital fundraising efforts.

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How to Apply

First, determine if your project is eligible for Jeffris Family Foundation funding by taking our Eligibility Quiz. If your project meets our eligibility requirements and you pass the quiz, you'll be taken to a page where you can fill out our Preliminary Inquiry form.

If all information in the Preliminary Inquiry form is complete and accurate, all applicants then must complete the Jeffris Heartland Fund application form (we will email the application). Completed applications may be submitted by hard copies (4), email, electronic file-sharing site, or any electronic data-storage device.