Finding a funder to support your project needs is similar to matchmaking. For the highest chance of success, your library grant team needs to seek out eligible funders who’s organizations can identify with your project goals, library mission and partner expectations. Chances increase for a successful partnership and future opportunities if your grant team finds the right match in a funder.

Do not apply for a grant if you do not have a plan for the money. Securing a grant for your library may be impressive for your stakeholders, but substandard administration of grant funds might deter future opportunities with funders.

Evaluate your funding needs and draft a project outline that includes your project goal, how the project supports the library’s mission, project timeline, size of the request, and budget breakdown. Identifying this information will assist in narrowing options for appropriate funders.

While smaller grants can be supported by local organizations such as Lions, Kiwanis, grocery stores, co-ops, gas stations, etc. larger requests such as those for building projects may not be feasible for these groups. A grant opportunity awarding larger amounts specifically for building projects or community projects is more appropriate.

Resources

WVLS Grant Resources webpage:

  •  Grant writing resources
  •  Local, Wisconsin, National grant opportunities
  •  Library building and remodeling grant opportunities

Foundations in Wisconsin, database

  • An online directory of active grant-making foundations in Wisconsin maintained by Marquette University
  • WVLS purchases access for all WVLS member libraries.
  • For access contact Anne Hamland at ahamland@wvls.org

Grant Station

  • A database offered by TechSoup
  • Provides online tools for evaluating your funding needs, determining your best grant strategy, building a grants calendar, researching eligible funders, and then writing your letters of intent (LOIs) and actual applications.

Questions? Please contact Anne Hamland at ahamland@wvls.org or 715-839-5082 ext. 150.