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Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries

Resources for Finding Funding


A curated selection of grants. This list is not exhaustive and may be updated with new grants at any time.

2023 Nebraska Library Commission Grants:

Grant applications for all 2023 NLC grants closed on November 18, 2022.

Continuing Education and Training Grants
Internship Grants
Library Improvement Grants
Youth Grants for Excellence

2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Grants - Through the Nebraska Library Commission from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Formula Grants available to legally-established public libraries, tribal libraries, and institutional libraries in Nebraska. Closed: January 14, 2022.

Nebraska Regional Library Systems:

Central Plains Library System Scholarship Grants
Southeast Library System Scholarships
Three RIvers Libvrary System Continuing Education Scholarships
Western Library System Scholarships

ALA Peggy Barber Tribute Grant - Application deadline: February 1, 2023. Awards three libraries $2,500 to support a proposed program, program series, or programming effort. Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a specific type of library programming. 

For the 2022-2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a grant to support programming related to increasing access for groups that are identified as underserved or new library users in the community. Some example proposals could include: 1) a program to increase access to library resources for homebound seniors, 2) a program that builds kits for patrons re-entering society so they can more easily learn about and access local resources, or 3) a program focused on media literacy that helps people learn how to access accurate and important information.

ALA Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant - Application deadline: February 1, 2023. Two grants of $2,000 for a school, public, academic, tribal, or special library to expand its community engagement efforts. Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a community engagement project with a specific theme. 

For the 2022-2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a community engagement project that focuses on connection and reconnection with your community. Your project can be a collaboration with an audience that has not frequented your library in the past or an audience that has not used the library recently (for example, because of the pandemic). Libraries should work collaboratively with community members and at least one partner organization to develop a project that addresses a local issue and builds upon community assets. Please note that, while projects should be community-driven, they must be spearheaded by the library.

National Endowment for the Arts 2023 Grant Opportunities - These grants to organizations support specific projects in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. jurisdictions. Eligible applicants include nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. organizations, units of state or local government, and federally recognized tribal communities or tribes.

Grants for Arts Projects. Application deadlines: February 9 and July 6, 2023.
NEA's largest grant program for organizations, providing expansive funding opportunities for communities across the nation in a wide range of artistic disciplines. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required. 

Challenge America. Application deadline: April 27, 2023.
Offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines to reach historically underserved groups/communities that have rich and dynamic cultural identities. Grants require a cost share/match of $10,000 consisting of cash and/or in-kind contributions. Total project costs must be at least $20,000 or greater.

Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries - Application deadline: February 12, 2023. Administered by the Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) of ALA and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. Recipients each receive a $4,000 programming and collection development grant plus a collection of Will Eisner's works and biographies as well as a selection of the winning titles from the current year's Will Eisner Awards at Comic-Con International.

Three grants will be awarded: two recipients will receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants which provide support to libraries that would like to expand their existing graphic novel services and programs; one recipient will receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant which provides support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service or program.

Eligibility: All applicants must be current members of ALA in good standing at the time of application (personal or organizational). The institution can be a school, public, academic or special library and must be located in North America (Canada, United States, or Mexico).

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grants - Application deadline: February 16, 2023. For programs aimed at enhancing Adult Literacy, Family Literacy, and Summer Reading. Schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations within a 15-mile radius of a Dollar General store are eligible to apply. Other eligibility requirements are specific to each grant type and can be found within the grants themselves. Youth Literacy Grants will open on March 9, 2023.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities - Application deadline: February 28, 2023. Grants to small and rural libraries to increase the accessibility of facilities, services, and programs to better serve people with disabilities. Open to any type of library in the U.S. and U.S. territories that serves a small and rural community - to be eligible, a library must have a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and be located at least five miles from an urbanized area (town/city with a population of 25,000 or greater). Review slides from the Pre-Application Webinar.

FINRA Foundation Library Grants Program - Application deadline: March 1, 2023. Grants up to $50,000 to support public and academic libraries in their efforts to meet financial and/or investor education needs at the community level by providing high-quality education, services, and resources. The program also aims to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in access to personal finance education and information.

ALA Great Stories Club Grants for Teens - Application deadline: March 15, 2023. Libraries will receive copies of books that explore questions of race, equity, identity and history to use in reading and discussion groups, as well as a $500 programming stipend, online training, an array of program resources and support throughout the grant term. Applications will be accepted from all types of libraries (public, school, academic, special, etc.) in the United States and its territories that are located within an organization that reaches underserved, under-resourced, and/or at-risk teens (e.g., alternative high school, juvenile detention facility, tribal library) or working with a partner organization that reaches underserved, under-resourced, and/or at-risk teens.

AARP Community Challenge Grants - Application deadline: March 15, 2023. To fund quick-action projects to make communities more livable for people of all ages. For three project types: Permanent physical improvements in the community; Temporary demonstrations that lead to long-term change, and New, innovative programming pilots or services. Open to the following types of organizations: 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits (Nonprofit organizations must be recognized by the IRS in order to receive funds.); Government entities; Other types of organizations considered on a case-by-case basis. Funds will not be provided to any for-profit company, nor individuals. 

T-Mobile Hometown Grants Program - Grants of up to $50,000 are provided to up to 25 small towns every quarter to help fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections in your town, such as the town square pavilion, a historic building, an outdoor park, a ball field, or a library. Elected leaders, town managers/employees, and nonprofit leaders in small towns with populations of less than 50,000 are eligible to apply. Requests are reviewed quarterly.

Nebraska Library Association:

Louise A. Nixon Scholarship
College and University Section - Professional Development Grant, Research Grant

Humanities Nebraska - Grants to nonprofit organizations, including libraries, in support of projects related to the humanities.

Nebraska Arts Council - Grants to: nonprofit oprganizations; government agencies, including libraries; tribal governments; schools, colleges, universities; and religious organizations. For "art projects and programs of the highest artistic excellence that reflect creativity and innovation while providing opportunities for artists and arts organizations".

Nebraska Community Foundation - grants available from many affiliated funds in over 250 communities across the state of Nebraska.

Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation (NSHSF) Statewide Grants Program - Grants that benefit local historical and educational organizations with programming and learning opportunities in community history. Examples of applying organizations include museums, historical societies, and libraries that use core educational, preservation and interpretive programs.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of facilities. Libraries fall under Public Works and must be Accredited. Requires a 25% match.

Civic and Community Center Financing Fund (CCCFF) from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. To construct and/or improve community facilities such as libraries. Nebraska municipalities, including rural cities and villages, are eligible to apply. A CCCFF grant cannot account for more than 50% of the total project costs. And, at a minimum, local cost-share is 1:1.

USDA Community Facilities Grants and Loans - To purchase, construct, and/or improve essential community facilities, such as libraries, in rural areas - cities, villages, townships and towns including Federally Recognized Tribal Lands with no more than 20,000 residents.

Pilcrow Foundation - Annual application deadlines for grant cycles are April 1 and October 1. Provides new, quality, hardcover children's books to rural public libraries serving a population under 10,000 (priority to community populations under 5,000) across the United States. Children's Book Project Grant - provides a 2-to-1 match to grant recipients who contribute $200-$400 through Friends of the Library or other local sponsors. Disaster Relief Grant - limited number of special non-matching grants to libraries affected by recent tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, or other natural disasters.   

Union Pacific Foundation Local Grants - The Union Pacific Foundation considers support to 501(c)(3) public charities located in communities served by Union Pacific Railroad. Libraries fall under the Community Spaces funding priority - supporting the local economy by building and enhancing community spaces.

BNSF Railway Foundation - Makes grants to charitable organizations and divisions of local government in the communities in which BNSF Railway Company operates.

Peter Kiewit Foundation - Applicants must have a valid 501(c)3 status or be a unit of government in Nebraska. Invests in proven and promising programs, systemic solutions, capital projects, general operations, planning and capacity building, and policy development. Accepts and makes decisions on applications quarterly.

Robert B. Daugherty Foundation - Grants to tax exempt organizations in Nebraska for Capital Construction Projects, General Opperating Support, and Program Support. Accepts requests for funding throughout the year.

Sunderland Foundation - Supports construction projects, awarding grants to nonprofits served by the Ash Grove Cement Company - Nebraska included. Makes grants annually to publicly-supported charitable organizations with tax exempt status under section 501(c)3.

IMLS - Institute of Museum and Library Services - federal support for the nation's libraries and museums.

Resources for Finding Funding

Foundation Resource Directory - Maintained and published by the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation (NCFF). Contact information, brief summaries, fields of interest, limitations, and grant application information on foundations, both in and out of Nebraska.

GrantStation - Sign up for a free weekly newsletter of grant opportunities - current and past issues are at GrantStation Insider. Also check the weekly highlited Funding Alerts - database profiles of local, national, Canadian, and international grantmakers with upcoming deadlines. Watch for TechSoup special promotions on discounted memberships.

Library Grants - announcements of library specific grants. 

ALA Grants - grants awarded by ALA divisions and funding sponsored by major library vendors.

K-12 Grant Opportunities - weekly listings of new funding opportunities for K-12 schools and individual educators.

Grant Resources from NebraskAccess.

For more information, contact Christa Porter.