What are some grant sources?
This is a big topic, but here’s a start.
- The Library Grants blog is a great place to start. The bloggers post a new grant appropriate for libraries every week or so; it includes many aimed at youth programs.
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services offers multiple funding areas.
- The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) offers a wide range of grants, scholarships, stipends and more to librarians who serve young adults.
- The Association for Library Service for Children (ALSC) also offers many grants and awards.
- The Scholastic website offers a long list of grants for libraries.
There are some fantastic local/statewide/regional organizations that offer grant programs, too:
- The Marshall L. and Perrine D. McCune Charitable Foundation
- The New Mexico Humanities Council
- The New Mexico Library Foundation
- Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation
What resources are available to learn more about grants?
- The State Library provides access to the Candid Foundation Information Network resources, which concentrate on funding from private foundations for non-profit organizations. The Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Grants to Individuals Online databases are available for use at the State Library.
- Webjunction has a recorded free, online webinar Grantseeking for Libraries: Strategies and Tips (Oct 2022)
How can we seek in-kind contributions?
Depending on your library’s situation, it may be best to work closely with your Friends group on these ideas.
- Approach local businesses for in-kind donations, or ask for discounts. Try for everything from pizzas for an end of the SRP teen party to discounts on books to gift certificates to free/ reduced cost ads in the newspaper or radio.
- Ask local organizations, like Kiwanis, Rotary Club, Lions Club, churches, etc, to donate volunteer time or items like bikes and office supplies.
- Seek volunteer help all over your community, including high schools!
- For large events, like an SRP, author programs, or movie series, ask for community sponsors; these can be individuals, businesses, nonprofits, or other organizations.
- Create a wish list or needs list and advertise it in your newsletter, website, and flyers. The list can include specific items like a 3-hole punch or fax machine, a call for volunteers for an event, or general or specific craft supplies. If you don’t mind receiving gently used items, include that info on the lists for a better success rate. For specific items, this approach sometimes works better than a general call for cash donations.
Tips for approaching your community for contributions:
- Present statistics as well as personal anecdotes demonstrating how much your library accomplishes and its essential role in the community. Quotes from your Summer Reading Parent/Caregiver surveys can be a good source of personal impact stories. National studies on library services can be powerful as well.
- Demonstrate the need for the item sought and explain how the library will use it; for instance, ‘The library’s Teen Advisory Group has asked for an iPad to create videos to promote the library’s services to teens; we think it’s a great idea that will go far to attract new YA patrons and get them reading, but we don’t have the funds in the budget.’