Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources


DHR does not have grants available for property owners of historic houses or buildings, or for applicants for historical highway markers.

Federal grant opportunities are available through the National Park Service, which offers various grants from the Historic Preservation Fund. Grants are also available from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Grants Managed by DHR

The following three grants pertain to historical graves and cemeteries:

African American Cemetery & Graves Fund (Revised Documents)

Headstones and grave markers in the cemetery.
Peoples Cemetery, Petersburg.

Va. Historical African American Cemetery & Graves Fund

At the beginning of each state fiscal year on July 1, DHR announces the availability of funds for the care and maintenance of historical African American cemeteries and graves, defined by Virginia Code (§ 10.1-2211.2) as “a cemetery that was established prior to January 1, 1900, for the interment of African Americans.”

The deadline for grant applications for the current state fiscal year (SFY), which runs from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 is May 30, 2021.  In order to be eligible for these funds, the eligible cemetery must be currently codified in § 10.1-2211.2.

Please use these updated (July 1, 2020) and revised forms and manual:

Program Manual, and Application and Maintenance Agreement forms.

See a list of organizations and cemeteries that have received the grants.

Please note: Organizations having received funds in the prior state fiscal year (2019-2020) must successfully complete the reporting requirements for that fiscal year as agreed to in the Acknowledgement of Reporting Requirements document before disbursal of SFY 2020-2021 funds. A template to assist in completing the reporting requirement is available here.

If you have questions about the graves grant program, please contact either Stephanie Williams (804 482-6082) or David Edwards (540 868-7030).


Confederate Graves and Cemeteries Fund

State funds for Confederate Graves and Cemeteries ended as of State Fiscal Year 2022, which began July 1, 2021.


Revolutionary War Graves and Cemeteries Fund

of the Code of Virginia (§10.1-2211.1) authorizes DHR to disburse funds to eligible organizations for the maintenance and care of  Revolutionary War patriot graves. Only those Revolutionary War graves and cemeteries listed in the statute are eligible to receive annual appropriations. Adding a cemetery to the list in §10.1-2211.1 of the Code of Virginia requires the assistance of a member of the General Assembly who must introduce a bill adding the organization / cemetery / church to the list during a General Assembly session. Funds must also be appropriated each year in the budget bill. Such funds may only be disbursed to Revolutionary War memorial associations caring for such graves and cemeteries.

For more information, see these Frequently Asked Questions about the Revolutionary War graves fund or contact David Edwards at 540 868-7030.


Certified Local Government Grants (CLG)

CLG designation also allows a jurisdiction to apply for CLG grants through federal Historic Preservation Funds (HPF). Ten percent of all HPF monies that come to the Commonwealth of Virginia must be distributed to CLGs. DHR does this through a competitive grant process, open only to CLGs. 

For information on CLG grants, please visit the CLG webpage or contact Aubrey Von Lindern at (540) 868-7029.


Cost Share Grants

DHR’s Survey and Planning Cost Share Program assists local governments in meeting their preservation planning goals through identification of historic resources. Annual funding for Cost Share is limited. Localities must compete to participate in the program.

In addition to match funding, Cost Share benefits localities since DHR handles administrative functions for the selected projects. We secure the consultants to do the work, and we pay bills, monitor work, and ensure delivery of the products.

For more information regarding the survey program, see these Frequently Asked Questions or contact Blake McDonald at (804) 482-6086.


ESHPF Disaster Relief Assistance Grants

The ESHPF Grant Program provides assistance to historic properties (including archaeological sites) damaged by hurricanes Florence and/or Michael in September and October 2018 that are listed or are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Funding is limited to damaged historic properties in the 52 counties and cities in Virginia identified in FEMA Major Declarations Declarations 4401 and 4411.

Please visit the ESHPF webpage or contact Jim Hare at (804) 482-6445.


Threatened Sites Grant Program

Archaeological sites are some of Virginia’s most fragile resources. Threatened Sites grants offer emergency funding for archaeological sites endangered by erosion, impending development, or vandalism. The program has saved archaeological remnants at sites across Virginia, providing important information about our past that would have been lost.

For more information, contact state archaeologist Elizabeth Moore (804) 482-6084.


Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund

Looking along the barrel of a Civil War-era cannon.The General Assembly established the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund (VBPF) in 2010, and authorized DHR to administer the fund by evaluating and disbursing grant awards to eligible recipients for the protection of battlefield lands associated with Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.

In accordance with VBPF stipulations, recipients must be nonprofit organizations. Any such organization awarded a battlefield grants must donate an easement to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources on any acreage acquired with the state grants. The easements restrict or forbid development of the acreage, allowing for perpetual protection of the land.

In selecting the awards, DHR considered each battlefield’s significance and ranking in Congress’s mandated “Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields,” issued in 1993 and subsequently updated. Additionally, DHR weighed factors in the grant applications such as the proximity of a battlefield parcel to already protected lands; the threat of encroaching development that could transform a parcel’s historic look and feel at the time of a battle; and the potential for education, recreation, research, or heritage tourism in connection with a battlefield tract.

DHR is now accepting applications for the 2020 VBPF grants. See the announcement for the 2020 grants; download the VBPF application and 2020 VBPF Program Manual.


Preservation Incentives

The following historic preservation incentives are available through DHR:

Easements. By donating a historic preservation easement on a property, landowners may be eligible for several financial incentives.

Rehabilitation Tax Credits.  Interested in rehabilitating a historic building? Property owners who complete a certified rehabilitation of a significant historic building can receive an income tax credit on 25% of their eligible expenses through the Virginia Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program and an additional 20% credit through the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program.

Other Preservation Funding

Virginia Land Conservation Fund. The Virginia Land Conservation Fund, managed by the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, offers grants to cultural projects seeking to preserve a variety of resource types including battlefields, viewsheds, and structures. For more information, contact the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Virginia Main Street Program. Communities can put the traditional assets of downtown, such as unique architecture and locally owned businesses, to work as a catalyst for economic growth and community pride through the Virginia Main Street Program, administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Updated July 12, 2021