Southwest Intervention Fund

Southwest Intervention Fund: Guidelines & Eligibility

Grants from the National Trust’s Southwest Intervention Fund are intended to further preservation efforts of the traditional cultures of the Southwest region, exclusively in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, West Texas* and Utah. The Fund provides support for preservation planning efforts and enables prompt responses to emergency threats or opportunities in the eligible states. Local partners, nonprofit organizations and government agencies that have strategic opportunities to save sites or help jumpstart preservation projects are eligible for the fund’s small, catalytic grants. Grants generally range from $2,500 to $10,000.

The Fund can support assistance for a single prehistoric or historic place or actions affecting an entire state or part of a state, or several states, so long as all of the states are among the five designated states. Actions aimed at direct intervention to save historic and cultural sites and at capacity building are eligible.

The decision to pursue project funding through the Southwest Intervention Fund must be made in consultation with the National Trust grants office. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your project.   

The review process is generally completed within eight to ten weeks of the application deadline, and applicants are notified via email once the review process is complete.

Application deadlines are February 1, June 1 and October 1.

Only Organizational Level Forum members or Main Street America members of the National Trust are eligible to receive funding from the Southwest Intervention Fund. Organizations do not need to have an active Forum membership to apply for a grant, but selected grantees will be required to become members prior to the release of funds. Learn more about joining Preservation Leadership Forum. To learn more about Forum and to join today, visit our website.

Public agencies, 501(c)(3), and other nonprofit organizations are eligible.  Applicants that have received previous National Trust financial assistance are eligible provided that all grant requirements are current.

No more than three grants will be awarded in any two-year period to a single grantee.  Only one grant will be awarded per organization in any grant round.  Only one grant will be awarded for a particular project phase.

Grant Conditions

Applicants must be capable of matching the grant amount dollar-for-dollar. . Due to the economic impacts caused by COVID-19, the National Trust is temporarily changing its matching fund requirement and allowing for both cash and in-kind donations to count toward the one-to-one required match. 

The required match can come from private or public sources, from income earned from registration fees or sales, or from fundraising activities. In-kind donations of labor, materials or services will also be considered eligible for meeting the matching requirement. Matching funds must be used to fund eligible expenses listed below. Other funding from the National Trust may not be used to match a grant from the Southwest Intervention Fund.

Other conditions include:

  • Grants or matching funds cannot be used directly or indirectly to influence a member of Congress to favor or oppose any legislation or appropriation.
  • Any documents or 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 recipients must include appropriate acknowledgement of National Trust financial support in any printed materials, public releases, and on web sites generated for the project.
  • Consultants, if being used, must be approved by the National Trust before grant funds are disbursed. Board members of the application organization cannot serve as consultants unless appropriate conflict of interest procedures are followed and documented.
  • Grant recipients are required to sign a contract agreeing to the conditions of the program.
  • Grant projects must either begin within six months of award date or a formal extension must be requested by email. Failure to begin the project or request an extension in this time frame may result in the cancellation of the grant and you will need to reapply for funding.
  • Within one year 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, Vietnam-era veterans, and handicapped persons. 

Eligible Activities

Grants from the Southwest Intervention Fund are awarded to preservation efforts of the traditional cultures in the Southwest region.  Grant funds can be used to launch new initiatives or to provide additional support to on-going efforts. Grants awards may be made for activities and projects such as:

  • Strategic opportunities to save sites or help jump start preservation projects
  • Legal resources required to prepare research and/or briefs, and to travel to/from Southwest states for direct legal intervention
  • Advance the protection of important archaeological sites
  • Communications expertise to develop compelling information for press and other public forums in the region

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Commission a survey of an archaeological site
  • Create a series of workshops to raise public awareness of the significance of archaeological sites and the threats they face
  • Host a community workshop with landowners, developers, and governmental officials to help understand the application of historic preservation laws, ethics, cultural resource management field strategies, resource evaluation, National Register evaluations, proposal writing, personnel management, and business practices
  • Prepare a management plan for long-term maintenance of the cultural and physical landscapes
  • Create a workshop to inspire archaeologists and cultural heritage institutions to work together to implement site preservation
  • Develop an archaeology curriculum for teachers and students in grades K-12 to make it clear that archaeological resources are nonrenewable
  • Prepare and publish a report on the status of cultural resources
  • Document historic dwellings and their settings within the historic cultural landscape
  • Sponsor a workshop on the preservation of burial grounds or other cultural landscapes
  • Fund urgent stabilization to prevent injury to the public and to prevent further deterioration of a prehistoric or historic structure or site
  • Protect an archaeological site through the construction of a secured entrance gate, fencing and signage
  • Conduct a water engineering survey for a historic adobe to determine the proper steps needed to reduce the damaging effects of water to the site
  • Fund a structural assessment of a fire damaged structure
  • Prepare a conditions assessment and conduct an adobe repair workshop in a light of a recent weather damage
  • Assist with the financing of a legal analysis to the potential appeal of a site/structure threaten with development

Ineligible Activities

  • Building or other construction activities
  • Equipment purchasing or leasing
  • Fundraising towards general capital campaign goals

Eligible Expenses

  • Fees for consultant services
  • Nonprofit applicants may include staff salaries for staff members directly working on the funded project
  • Speaker/faculty costs (honoraria, travel, and lodging)
  • Mailing costs for distribution of materials
  • Web site development
  • Materials and services such as printing, photographs, telephone, and supplies. With the exception of publications projects, these costs may not exceed 10 percent of the project budget

Ineligible Expenses

  • Organizational overhead costs (i.e., room rentals for conferences)
  • Catering, food, beverage, or entertainment expenses
  • Expenses incurred prior to application date


Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  • The urgency of the need for the project
  • The significance of the project or resource
  • The clarity of proposed project descriptions, including goals and timeline for completion
  • The project budget and the applicant’s ability to secure matching funds
  • The long-range objectives or impact of the project, including plans for future maintenance of the property/resource
  • The project’s visibility and its potential to act as a catalyst to benefit other historic properties, neighborhoods, or communities
  • The project is a solution to a critical need

How to Apply

You will need the following items as part of your application:

  • Up to four digital images of high quality (300 dpi) with caption and credit information
  • A list of the applicant's current board of directors (nonprofit organizations)
  • Applicant's Internal Revenue Service determination letter of tax-exempt status. If tax-exempt status has not been fully approved by the IRS, please provide evidence of filing for certification and letter of opinion from an attorney concerning the applicant's tax status (nonprofit organizations)
  • Resume of consultant for project (if the consultant has been chosen)
  • Resume of personnel administering project
  • Up to two letters of endorsement
  • Letter of consent from property owner (if applicant does not own property)
  • Completed application form, which includes a budget section that outlines proposed expenses and revenue for the project

National Trust grants staff can provide helpful guidance for the application process. If you have questions about your project's eligibility, please contact our grants staff before submitting an application.


The Southwest Intervention Fund uses the same application as the National Trust Preservation Fund. Projects focused on traditional cultures and located in the Southwest region and will automatically be considered for this fund.  Click here to access the application. (Please note: you will be taken to our grants application system where you will need to create a user profile for your organization. This is a separate login than your National Trust login.) If you have questions please email us.

* West Texas is defined as the area west of US Route 281 from the Oklahoma border to San Antonio proper and north of US Route 90 from San Antonio proper to Del Rio.