The purpose of the Heritage Capital Projects program is to provide public access to history and support the capital needs of facilities and organizations that preserve and interpret Washington’s history and heritage.

Program Background

Heritage Capital Projects (HCP) was established by the Washington State Legislature and began in 1995 and has provided over $96 million in funding. More details about the program can be found in:

The program operates in the same biennial cycle as the Washington State Capital Budget, meaning funding occurs once every two years. After reviewing applications, the HCP advisory panel ranks all applications in order for funding and that ranked list is submitted to the legislature. The legislature is currently authorized to grant up to $10 million in grant funding each cycle.


Program RequirementsOverview 2

  • Grant dollars can support capital costs only, meaning the proposed work must be directly related to facilities.  HCP does not provide funds for any part of an exhibition or education program.
  • HCP dollars are disbursed by reimbursement only, meaning project work must be completed and properly documented before grant dollars are received. Partial reimbursements may be requested throughout the course of a grant project as long as match is also sufficiently documented.
  • Grant dollars can account for up to 33.3% of the overall project cost, meaning a 2:1 match is required. For each dollar you request, you must contribute two dollars in either cash or in-kind match to the project. (No state funding or dollars already used to match other state funding can count toward match for HCP.)
  • Applicants may request is between $10,000 and $1,000,000. For requests $100,000 or less, all match may be any proportion of in-kind or cash. For requests greater than $100,000, up to half of the match provided may be in-kind.
  • No grant-funded work may commence until grantees are under contract with the WSHS, but matching expenses or donations dating up to six years prior to the first day of the funding biennium may be included.
  • Applicants must have site control either by owning the property or through a long-term lease. (“Long-term” is defined as 13 years past the last day of the biennium, which works out to be approximately 16 years past the application deadline.)
  • A 13-year monitoring period after project completion is required. During that  time grantees must retain site control (property cannot be sold), maintain the property (including following historic preservation standards when applicable), and continue providing public access to history through field best practices for interpretation.
  • Applicants must adhere to all applicable state laws, including Executive Order 21-02, which requires consultation with potentially affected tribes and the Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (DAHP).

For more details, please refer to Section 1 of the program guidelines:

Full HCP Guidelines


Application ProcessOverview 1

All applications must be submitted online through the Heritage Portal at washingtonhistory.org/portal. Each person should register their own account and we will connect users to the same organization so multiple people can access the same application.

Eligibility Review (Stage 1)

Are you an eligible applicant with an eligible project?

Eligible applicants include local governments (cities/towns and counties), tribal entities, nonprofits in Washington State with 501(c)3 designation, public development authorities, and ports.

Eligible projects include:

  • Construction of a new heritage facility
  • Rehabilitation of an existing heritage facility or historic building
  • Purchase of historic capital asset (cultural landscape, archaeology site, building, transportation conveyance)
  • Purchase of property intended for a future heritage facility
  • Construction-related design, architectural, or engineering expenses
  • Stabilization of or capital interpretive project for archaeology site

During the Eligibility Review, HCP staff will determine whether you are an eligible applicant with an eligible project, make sure you have initiated outreach to potentially affected tribes and DAHP, and review key organization documents.

Full Proposal (Stage 2)

If your application demonstrates eligibility by passing the Eligibility Review, you will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. In the Full Proposal stage, you will be asked to provide detailed information and documentation (attachments) about your organization and project you are proposing including:

  • A detailed project scope of work, budget, and timeline
  • Documentation of at least 75% of the income that will serve as your match (non-state funding sources)
  • Description of your plan to follow history standards/field best practices
  • A project narrative that will help convey your project purpose and value to the community, your plan to complete it on time, and describe your organizational capacity

For more details about both application stages, refer to Section 2 of the program guidelines and watch our Application Walkthrough video.


Evaluation Criteria

HCP applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • COMMUNITY VALUEDemonstrate that this project is of importance to your community
  • PROGRAM PURPOSEHow does this project support public access to history?
  • PROJECT PLANNINGApplicant has a well-developed project plan and can finish on time
  • ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITYApplicant has the resources and the right team to do the job well and has a proven history of success
  • OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE STABILITYApplicant has a plan to maintain the facility and the project purpose throughout the 13-year monitoring period

More Information

For more information about Heritage Capital Projects, please carefully review the full program guidelines.

If you have questions that you do not see addressed in the guidelines, feel free to reach out to Jay Mortensen, Director of Heritage Outreach, via email or by calling or texting 253-244-1683.