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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:

Continuing Education and Training Grants - 2nd Round opening in March 2023!

Grant applications for these 2023 NLC grants closed on November 18, 2022:
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 Great Stories Club Grants for Teens - Application deadline: extended to March 29 March 15. Applicants may choose to apply for one of the following themes: "Deeper Than Our Skins: The Present is a Conversation with the Past" and "Finding Your Voice." 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.

2023 Entrepreneurship & Libraries Conference (ELC) Pitch Competition - Application deadline: March 24. Funded by ALA-Libraries Build Business & EBSCO, the 2023 ELC Pitch Competition will award $10,000 total to five libraries (from $500 to $4,000) with a winning pitch for a library project that will support local economic development, job hunters, workforce development, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and/or small businesses. For 2023, the ELC is particularly interested in pitches that focus on local equity issues or marginalized populations and communities. Public, school, special, and academic libraries from the United States and Canada are encouraged to apply.

United for Libraries Outstanding Friend Conference Grant - sponsored by ThriftBooks. Application deadline: April 10. Enables one member of a Friends of the Library group at a public library to attend the 2023 ALA Annual Conference, on June 22-27, 2023, in Chicago, Ill. Applicants must be first-time attendees of the ALA Annual Conference, and must be active in their public library Friends group. The winner will receive a grant of $1000, plus full ALA Annual Conference registration.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation - Youth Literacy Grants - Application Deadline: April 27. Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations, within a 15-mile radius of a Dollar General store, who help students that are below grade level or having trouble reading are eligible to apply. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas:
  • Implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs
  • Purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives
  • Purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs
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.

Challenge America. Application deadline: April 27.
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.

Grants for Arts Projects. Application deadlines: February 9 and July 6. 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. 

NEH Cultural and Community Resilience Program Grants - Application deadline: May 16. Grants of up to $150,000 to support community-based efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change and COVID-19 pandemic, by safeguarding cultural resources, and fostering cultural resilience through identifying, documenting, and/or collecting cultural heritage and community experience. To be eligible to apply, you must be established in the United States or its jurisdictions as one of the following organizational types: a nonprofit recognized as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an accredited institution of higher education (public or nonprofit), a state or local government or one of their agencies, or a federally recognized Native American Tribal government.

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.