Literary and Library Program Grants Currently Available

Here's a bonus post to celebrate National Book Month! The following foundations and grants are focused on reading programs with a priority for promoting literacy and improving available book collections!

Please note: this post is part of the MPS Grants archives. Funding opportunities are consistently changing. Please visit the links for the most current information about these grants and their deadlines or feel free to contact us with any questions. We wish you the best of luck finding funding for your project!

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1) The Lisa Libraries 
  • The Lisa Libraries donate new children’s books and small libraries to grassroots organizations working with kids in poor and underserved areas throughout the United States
  • Book donations go toward helping communities that need to build, rebuild, or make additions to a library, or organizations serving children who would benefit from receiving new books to take home.  
  • Eligible grassroots organizations can apply by writing to The Lisa Libraries. Applications must include: 
    • proof of tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. 
    • a current annual budget. 
    • a list of current funding sources. 
    • information about the program. 
    • the number of children served. 
    • the age range of children served. 
    • information about the socioeconomic status of the community your organization serves. 
  • Book donations are awarded.  Amounts are based on need. 
  • Deadline: None
2) National Home Library Foundation
  • The National Home Library Foundation provides grants to fund books for libraries, schools, and literacy programs serving children, teens, or adults in need of reading and learning resources. 
  • While grant requests from across the United States are considered and approved, the foundation gives some preference to requests from the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, area. 
  • Eligible nonprofits must complete an application. The application must include: 
    • the legal name and a full description of your organization, including a list of officers and principal staff who will implement and manage the grant.
    • a clear and brief statement of need for which a grant is requested. (Describe your program, why this grant will help, and what results you expect to get. Additionally, explain why this grant is important to your program and the people you serve and how it will be implemented.) 
    • a detailed proposed budget. 
    • evidence of tax-exempt status. 
    • a financial statement for the previous year. 
  • Awarded grants range from $200 to $5,000 (average is $2,000)
  • Deadline: None, applications are reviewed twice a year.
3) The Pilcrow Foundation: Children’s Book Program 
  • The Pilcrow Foundation’s mission is to provide new, quality hardcover children’s books to rural public libraries across the United States. 
  • The Foundation’s Children’s Book Project supports libraries located in rural areas within the US that have a limited operating budget and an active children’s department. Through this program, a library’s local sponsors can contribute from $200 to $400, which the Foundation matches on a 2-to-1 ratio. 
  • Eligible applicants will be: (1) independent rural public libraries and Native American Tribal libraries; (2) libraries that are part of a county, regional, or cooperative system; (3) branch libraries that serve a rural community; or (4) school libraries that serve as a community’s public library.
  • Applicants are required to mail a completed application by the deadline date. No faxed or emailed applications will be accepted.
  • Libraries are awarded up to $1,200 worth of new hardcover children’s books. 
  • Deadline: April 1st and October 1st (annually)
4) Snapdragon Book Foundation 
  • The Snapdragon Book Foundation seeks to foster children's literacy by providing grants to school libraries serving disadvantaged youth. 
  • As many schools reallocate funds to technology and audiovisual equipment, the Foundation hopes to ensure that school libraries are still offering children good books to read.
  • Grants are awarded to public, private, and experimental schools throughout the United States. 
  • Acceptable uses of grant money include:
    • books that will be used repeatedly by school-aged children through classroom libraries or a central library.
    • processing or cataloging fees from book vendors.
    • reference materials for use by students
    • magazine or newspaper subscriptions.
  • Eligible applicants will need to complete and submit an online application.
  • Awarded amounts range from $500 - $15,000 (average grants range from $2,500 - $10,000)
  • Deadline: February 2020 (exact deadline will be available in November 2019). 

    5) The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation
  • The mission of the Lois Lenski Covey Foundation is to advance literacy and foster a love of reading among underserved and at-risk children and youth. The foundation runs two grant programs.
  • These grants are provided to bookmobile programs throughout the U.S. that serve children from disadvantaged populations.
  • The Foundation will provide awards to purchase books published for children from preschool through eighth grade. 
  •  Bookmobiles operated by 501(c)(3) organizations and other non-taxable agencies, including public libraries or schools, are eligible.
  • Applicants will be required to:
    • Download and complete an application. 
    • Include an interior and exterior picture of your program's bookmobile
  • Please note: only hardcopy applications will be accepted.
  • Grants awarded range from $500 to $3,000. 
  • Deadline: September 1st (annually)

  • Literacy Program Grants
  • These grants are provided to literacy programs that serve children from disadvantaged populations in the following regions:
    • the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay are
    • greater Baltimore, MD
    • New York City
    • Philadelphia, PA, and the surrounding areas
  • The Foundation is interested in literacy programs that engage children in activities that foster a lifelong love of reading or writing. 
  •  Eligible nonprofits, schools, and libraries will need to visit the Foundation's website and find the appointed trustee for their area.
  • To apply, you must email the trustee and include:
    • An attached one page Letter of Intent. 
    • Telephone contact information and a relevant website URL, if applicable. 
  • After your email is received, an informational phone call or site visit will follow. If found eligible, a brief grant proposal will be requested.
  • The amount of funding awarded varies but is not likely to exceed $10,000. 
  • Deadline: None
Have questions? Please contact us anytime and signup for weekly grant updates!

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