rootsGrant Resources

Funding Opportunities | Grant Announcements | Grantwriting Resources

Funding Opportunities

Please note that this list is not comprehensive and new opportunities are announced frequently. We encourage you to keep updated via grant announcement sites and the FLLS Weekly Bulletin.

Grants Specifically for Member Libraries:

New York State Construction Grants

Public libraries in our service area may apply through FLLS for a construction grant to fund up to 75 percent of a three-year project.

Outreach Mini Grants

New in 2014! FLLS member libraries may receive between $500-$5000 each year to help underserved groups and people with special needs to use their library. Applications will be reviewed annually in March. Please visit for more information and the application form.

Rosen Library Fund

This endowment fund, provided by a generous bequest from Bernard Carl and Shirley Rosen, funds projects at FLLS member libraries which “promote greater and easier access by youth to local libraries.” The deadline for the 2014 award is January 16, 2014.

Local Grant Opportunities:

Allyn Foundation

A private, family foundation that provides grants to charitable organizations primarily in Central New York. Applications are accepted four times per year.

BOOKS Program

Libraries in Senate District 52 can receive funds for youth collection development (primarily available in Tioga County).

Cayuga Community Fund

Grants are awarded to projects that benefit residents of Cayuga County.

Floyd Hooker Foundation

The Floyd Hooker Donor Advised Fund to benefit the youth of Tioga County.

Friends of the Library, Tompkins County

Grants to libraries and reading rooms in and on the periphery of Tompkins County to purchase books, other media, materials, and equipment.

Howland Foundation Grants

Howland Foundation supports grants in the areas of aging, youth, animal welfare, and environmental preservation in Tompkins County.

Mildred Faulkner Truman Foundation

Grants to organizations that enhance and benefit the residents of Tioga County.

Annual State/National Grant Opportunities:

America’s Historical and Cultural Organization: Planning and Implementation Grants

Support for  public programs in the humanities. Grants support the following formats: exhibitions at museums, libraries, and other venues; interpretations of historic places, sites, or regions; book/film discussion programs; living history presentations; other face-to-face programs at libraries, community centers, and other public venues; and interpretive websites. Planning Grants support the early stages of project development; Implementation Grants support final scholarly research and consultation, design development, production, and installation of a project for presentation to the public.

Best Buy Community Grants

This grant provides grants to nonprofit organizations that help teens build technology skills. The average grant award is $5,000. Organizations must be located within 50 miles of a Best Buy to qualify.

The Big Read

Winners receive a grant (ranging from $2,500 to $20,000), educational and promotional materials, and access to online training resources and opportunities to develop and produce community-wide reading programs which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Approximately 75 organizations are selected annually.

Charles Lafitte Foundation Grants

The mission of the Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF) is to provide for and support inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves and others around them to lead healthy, satisfying and enriched lives.

Día Mini Grants

$2000 mini grants t0 start a Día family book club at your library.

Dollar General Literacy Grants

Dollar General provides Summer Reading Grants, Adult Literacy Grants, Family Literacy Grants, and Youth Literacy Grants.

Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grants

Awards of $500 are given to public schools and public libraries for projects that foster creative expression, working together and interaction with a diverse community.

Foundation for Rural Service Grant Program

Grants of $250-$5000 are available annually to support local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural America.

Home Depot Community Impact Grants

Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded in the form of Home Depot gift cards for organizations that use volunteers to improve their community.

Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award, New York State Regents Advisory Council

The award recognizes a NYS library or library consortium that has taken significant steps to improve the quality of library service to its users.

National Center for Family Literacy Libraries and Families Award

This program recognizes innovative library-based literacy programs for high-need families, particularly if they serve intergenerational audiences.  Three libraries will win a $10,000 grant and a trip to NCFL’s annual conference.

National Endowments for the Arts Our Town Program

Organizations may apply for creative placemaking projects that contribute to the livability of communities and place the arts at their core. An organization may request a grant amount from $25,000 to $200,000.

NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

This program is designed to encourage innovative projects in the digital humanities, including innovative uses of technology for public programming and education.

NY State Council of the Arts Decentralization Grant

This statewide regrant program helps non-profit organizations serve cultural organizations and artists locally and regionally.

Project: Connect

Support for youth digital media programs that feature single or multi-day participatory and hands-on learning experiences (labs, hackathons, pop-up events).

Target Early Childhood Reading Grant

These $2000 grants support programs such as library storytimes and family reading nights. Libraries must be located within 100 miles of a Target store to qualify.

Ongoing State/National Grant Opportunities:

Build-A-Bear Literacy and Education Grants

Direct support for children in literacy and education programs such as summer reading programs, early childhood education programs and literacy programs for children with special needs. Grants are a one-time contribution, and range from $1,000 to $10,000.

Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program

The Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program (DUC) distributes books on contemporary art and culture free of charge to rural and inner-city libraries, schools and alternative reading centers nationwide.  Browse and order their available free books through their order form.


Firstbook donates high-quality youth materials (you only pay the shipping) to organizations who serve low-income families.

Honda Foundation

Grants for youth education, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the environment, job training and literacy.

LEGO Children’s Fund

Quarterly matching grants for programs for early childhood education and development that is directly related to creativity; and technology and communication projects that advance learning opportunities.

Libri Foundation Books for Children Program

This foundation donates new hardcover children’s books on a matching funds basis to rural libraries. They will match from $50 to $350 on a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, your library could receive up to $1,050 worth of new children’s books for $350 (about 70 books). Local sponsors have five months (or longer, if necessary) after their library has been selected to raise the matching funds.

Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust

Grants to librarians who “promote the free reading of teenagers” in a creative or innovative fashion.

NY Council for the Humanities Grants

Project Grants, Reading and Discussion Grants, Family Reading Grants and many Special Initiative Grants are available.

Poets & Writers Readings/Workshops Program

Poets & Writers provides up to $1,500 to cover fees for author readings and writing workshops.

USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Loans and Grants for Rural Libraries

The Community Facilities Program provides loans and grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.   Funds may be used to construct, enlarge or improve public libraries.  This can include costs to acquire land needed for a facility, pay necessary professional fees and purchase equipment required for operation as well as to purchase shelving, furniture, computers, audio-visual equipment, distance learning equipment and bookmobiles.

Verizon Foundation

Support for literacy, education, healthcare, and sustainability.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports new ideas about how to engage children and youth in learning and new ways to bring together community-based systems that promote learning.

Wish You Well Foundation

This foundation funds projects which support family literacy  by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs.

Grant Announcements

ProgrammingLibrarian Grant Lists – Grants and awards are listed by deadline.

Library Grants Blog – Grant announcements provided by the authors of Winning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians.

LibraryWorks: Grants – Funding opportunities are listed by deadline.

Grants.govThe access point for over 900 grant programs offered by the 26 Federal grant-making agencies.

The Foundation Center -  The largest and most comprehensive resource for researching foundations.

Funding Resources for Libraries – An excellent overview of resources for finding funding by Pamela MacKellar.

Grantwriting Resources

Tutorials and Tips:

Outcome-Based Evaluation Training- Training in writing Outcome-Based Objectives from the NYS Library.

Winning Library Grants Webinar – Archived 2011 Webjunction webinar and associated links.

Turning the Page Online: Building Your Library Community – A free  library advocacy training course developed and presented by the Public Library Association (PLA).

Grantspace Online Tutorials – Online fundraising webinars by the Foundation Center (many are free).

Grants Champion – Resources for writing grant proposals, including a free Grant Writing Revealed ebook, an assessment quiz, and articles.

Links for Calculating Local Statistics/Data:

NYS Free and Reduced Lunch Statistics  (Select the County, change the Claim Period to Dec, check the Public School box and click Find.  You can copy and paste into a spreadsheet.)

Poverty Rates: Search census data for your area by following the Data Collection Directions pdf icon and Quick Guide pdf icon. Sample Data on Avoca village, New York pdf icon

NYS 2011-2012 Graduation Rates by School District  pdf icon (Statistics last updated 06/17/13. To check for more up-to-date statistics, search the NYSED’s IRS for the year and “graduation rate data”)

Census Quick Facts – Basic statistical data for counties and selected cities.

NYS Dept of Labor Statistics: Unemployment and job rates.

General Statistics/Quotes:

FLLS: Advocacy – Statistics about public libraries. – ALA’s searchable database of quotes about libraries, reading, books, and literacy.


FLLS Professional Development Collection:

FLLS offers grantwriting resources in our professional development collection, available via the catalog.