Version: (6/18/2017 11:44:51 AM)

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Grant Search - Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the source of the data for these searches?

The data source is NEA’s Grants Management System (GMS) database.

Important: Search results will not include the following:

Information on NEA grants before 1998 can be obtained by:

  1. Reviewing the agency’s Annual Reports; or
  2. Filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

You can also find information about NEA grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements on although that site does not provide the same range of search functions you will find here.

2. How accurate are the search results?

The GMS database is updated regularly and is used for the day-to-day work of the agency. Any large database, however, will contain errors and anomalies. NEA is continually working to improve the quality of the data. If you discover errors in your search results, email

Note: Some data in a grant record (e.g., organization name, project description, congressional district) will reflect changes since the award was made (due to name changes, project amendments, congressional redistricting, etc.).

3. How do I search the database?

There are many options for conducting your search based on how broad or narrow your focus is. You must fill in at least one of the fields for a search to work. The form allows you to search in any number of fields simultaneously—the more fields you include in your search criteria, the more specific (and smaller) your list of results will be.

For example, here are instructions to use if you wanted to find a list of organizations that received grants between 2009 and 2010, within a 20 mile radius of the 22202 zip code:

  1. Select "Organizations Only" from the Organization or Individual drop-down list;
  2. Select "2009" and "2010" from the drop-down lists of years; and
  3. Click the "Zip" radio button, enter '22202'; click the "Radius" checkbox and select '20' from the Miles drop-down list;
  4. Click the Display Results button

4. Should I choose "Simple Results" or "Advanced Results" on the Grants Search page?

Selecting the "Simple Results" option displays an immediate listing of your results right on the webpage. However, your results will include only basic information about the grant, such as the grant amount, discipline, category, and a simple description. Because the results are on a single page, the number of records returned is limited to 1000. If you would like more details on the grants, including a more detailed project description, either export the results of your Simple Results search to a text or MS Excel document or choose "Advanced Results" on the Grants Search page.

When you select "Advanced Results," you will be directed to choose to download the results as either a text or MS Excel document. The results will not be displayed on a webpage because the number of results can be quite large, and therefore impractical to list on a single webpage.

Because the NEA annually awards more than 2,500 grants and Simple Results searches are limited to 1000 records, be sure to use Advanced Results if you want all grants for a given year.

5. How should I enter information in the Individual Name field?

You must enter the last name, a comma, a space, and then the first name (Example: Smith, Joseph). Or you can just enter the last name (or first name) only. Your search will not work if you enter the first name then the last (Joseph Smith).

Note: The Individual Name field searches only the names of individual grantees (i.e., recipients of NEA Lifetime Honor awards or Literature Fellowships). To search for artists or other individuals associated with projects funded through organizations, use the Keywords search field.

The GMS includes the full legal names of these grantees, as well as the pen names of Literature Fellowship recipients. Full lists of the recipients of NEA Lifetime Honor awards can be found elsewhere on the NEA website:

NEA National Heritage Fellowships

NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships

6. What disciplines/fields are available to select?

The selections represent NEA’s discipline/field offices. An asterisk indicates a former discipline/field office.

Note: The primary field/discipline of the funded project will display in Advanced Results searches and in Simple Results data exported to MS Excel. To search for artistic disciplines not included in the NEA disciplines/fields listing (e.g., jazz or photography), use the Keywords search field.

7. What grant categories are available to select?

When selecting an award year range (selecting a year value from both the "From" and "To" drop-down lists), the list of available categories is updated to display only categories used during the selected year range. If the year range is not specified, all grant categories will be available for selection.

Note: The categories listing excludes some small funding programs. Grants under those programs can still be identified using other criteria.

Also, some category names reference programs which underwent name changes. For example, Creativity / Presentation encompasses both Creation & Presentation (2000) and Creativity (2001-2004).

8. How does the Keywords textbox work?

By default, all or part of the text you enter in this textbox will be used as search criteria. You can define the keyword search by using the drop-down list to the right of the textbox.

In each case, the text you entered will be searched against the "Grantee Name", "Organization", "Organization Popular Name", "Project Description" and "Additional Project Description" fields.

Note: Sometimes the keyword you entered does not appear in the fields of the Simple Results. This is due to just part of the project description being shown in the results—the keyword most likely appears in the Additional Project Description field that is not shown in the Simple Results. To see the Additional Project Description, export the results to a text or MS Excel file.

9. How do the Sorting Options work?

The default sort order for the search results is by Grantee Name (alphabetical, in ascending order). This is already set for you when you first visit the page, but you can delete it (or any fields for sorting) by selecting the field and clicking the 'X' button. To add additional fields to sort by:

This will add your selected field to the sorting list. You can reorder the fields in the list by selecting a field and clicking the up/down arrows. You can have up to three fields in the sort list.

Keep in mind when using multiple sorting fields that the order in which the fields appear in the list (from top to bottom) determines the order in which the sorting is applied. For example, if your selected sort fields are (top to bottom) "Grantee Name Ascending” and "Cong. District Ascending," the system will first sort all the results by Grantee Name. Then, where there are records with the Grantee Name repeated, those records will be sorted by Congressional District. If there are no duplicate Grantee Names, the Congressional District sort will have no effect.

10. Why are some grants indicated as "Recommended"?

These are applications that have been recommended for funding by the Chairman of the NEA but are still in process; consequently, they do not yet have a grant number. Details of recommended projects are subject to change before they are awarded, contingent upon prior Arts Endowment approval.

11. Why are some columns blank in the exported MS Excel or Text files?

Some data apply only to grants to organizations so these columns will be blank for grants to individuals. In addition, some data is collected only for recent grants (2012 and later), e.g., intended primary outcome and the geography, community type, age range and race/ethnicity descriptors.

12. What if I have questions or suggestions?

We welcome your feedback. If you spot errors in the software or in the data returned or if you have questions, comments, or suggestions for improving the site, email

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