By congressional mandate, the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency in the executive branch, provides general operating support grants to 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils. Federal/State Partnership is the NEH office designated to work with the councils. The councils are Federal/State Partnershipâ€™s sole grantees. Federal/State Partnership is a collaborative effort that links a national federal agency with the state and jurisdictional humanities councils. It helps the National Endowment for the Humanities realize its two primary strategic goals of advancing knowledge and understanding of the humanities and increasing public awareness of, access to, and support for the humanities in the United States. State humanities councils make humanities education and lifelong learning readily available at the local level, uniquely tailored to local interests and needs and drawing upon local resources and experiences. NEH and the Office of Federal/State Partnership use General Operating Support grants as the primary means of funding the 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils. NEH awards General Operating Support grants for five-year periodsâ€”three years in which the grants provide funding, plus two subsequent years to close out the grants. General Operating Support Grant award amounts are amended each year to reflect the current yearâ€™s budget, provided that funds are available. NEH determines funding for each state and jurisdictional council according to a legislatively mandated formula.