Cemeteries Grant

The matching Cemeteries Grant fund helps to fulfill the mandate established by the state to collect and maintain digital records of burials and to encourage cemeteries to maintain GIS records and maps. This grant is also available to help maintain and repair cemeteries, grave sites and other historic features.


Individual matching grants can be up to $10,000. The matching requirement will range in terms of percentage required for a match. All matching funds need not be monetary. Volunteer time is allowed to be calculated at a rate of $13.00/hour. Also, in-kind donations or contributions can also be used toward the matching requirement.

Digitization projects must provide the electronic report of burials and any maps produced to the program administrator. Preservation projects must provide proof of work done with photographs and site visit.


Matching requirements will be based on the County Classification used by the Utah State Legislature. This classification is based on population using Utah Code Section 17-50-501*. Applicants can determine their county classification below to identify the percentage of match required.

1st Class county (population of 700,000 or more) – match is at 50%.
2nd Class county (population of 125,000 to 699,999) – match is at 40%.
3rd Class county (population of 31,000 to 124,999) – match is at 30%.
4th Class county (population of 11,000 to 30,999) – match is at 25%.
5th Class county (population of 4,000 to 10,999) – match is at 20%.
6th Class county (population less than 4,000) – match is at 15%.

* County Classifications are determined by the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel of the Utah State Legislature.


Applications are accepted starting February 1st of every year.  All funded projects will start at the beginning of the fiscal year July 1st and must be completed with no new expenses incurred by June 30th of each year.

Grant funds are limited and the full grant request may not be completely funded. Grants will be awarded by the end of June. Applicants are free to apply for consecutive grant cycles.


Digitization – Projects that create digital records for burials are eligible for the grant. Projects that utilize cemetery management software and create GIS maps are encouraged.

Preservation – We encourage entities to submit projects that they believe fulfill the preservation mission stated in the code. Projects focused on preserving the cemetery and its history will qualify.

Restoration projects should incorporate historic restoration principles and will be evaluated using those standards. (See below for standards.) 

Final discretion for project approval is given to the Cemetery & Burial Program Manager. No headstone preservation work can be done without prior approval in order to use this grant.


Historic cemeteries (anything over 50 years old) that embark on a preservation project will need to comply with state and federal law concerning cultural resources. Consultation may be required with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) if the project includes major rehabilitation, restoration, and repair work involving significant changes or replacement of key features and entire markers or other historic structures.


The following standards are adapted from the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties:

  1. Identify and inventory all features, materials, spaces, and spatial relationships that are important in defining the historic character of the cemetery. Features can include grave markers, sculpture, grave decorations, curbing, fences, walks, roads, lights, benches, fountains, pools, land forms (terracing, berms, grading), and vegetation (trees, shrubs, other historic plant material).

  2. Preserve distinguishing original qualities that reflect the integrity of the cemetery. Avoid removing or altering any historic material or distinctive landscape features.
  3. Recognize that landscape features are products of their own time. Alterations that have no historic basis and that seek to create an earlier appearance should be discouraged.
  4. Repair, rather than replace, deteriorated cemetery features when feasible. If replacement is necessary, match the material being replaced with similar composition, design, color, texture, and other visual qualities. Replacement of  missing features should be substantiated by historical,
physical, or pictorial evidence rather than by relying on conjectural designs or on elements copied from other cemeteries.

  5.  Use the gentlest means possible to clean the surfaces of features in the cemetery. Use the “Do No Harm” approach and consult the Utah Gravestone Preservation Guide.
  6. Make every reasonable effort to protect and preserve cemetery features, including unmarked graves affected by or adjacent to any proposed work.


All successful grants will need to provide a end of year report and budget breakdown.


Amy Barry