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Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries

Resources for Finding Funding

NCompass Live: Winning Grants for Your Library Programming - recorded webinar and presentation slides - March 13, 2024, 1 hour 17 minutes.


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

2024 Nebraska Library Commission Grants:

Grant applications for the 2024 NLC grants have closed:

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

Nebraska Regional Library Systems:

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

Nebraska Library Association:

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

Dollar General Literacy and Summer Reading Grants - The next cycle for grant applications will open in January 2025. Nonprofit organizations as determined by the IRS, a public library, school, or college providing direct literacy services are eligible to apply. The applicant organization must be located within 15 miles of a Dollar General store. Other eligibility requirements are specific to each grant type and can be found within the grants themselves. For the Adult and Family literacy grant programs, the maximum grant amount is up to $10,000. The Summer Reading maximum is $3,000 and the Youth Literacy grant is $4,000.

Humanities Nebraska - Grants to nonprofit organizations, including libraries, in support of projects related to the humanities. Requires at least a 1:1 match between HN grant funds and cash or in-kind budget items. Applications are accepted and reviewed throughout the year.

Nebraska Arts Council - Grants to: nonprofit organizations; 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". Multiple grants categories, deadlines vary.

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. 2024 Application deadline: April 30, 2024.

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. 2024 Application deadline: September 15, 2024.

Civic and Community Center Financing Fund (CCCFF) from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Annual deadlines: Letter of Intent to Apply due January 15. Full Application due February 15. 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 - Program Period: Open Year Round. 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.

T-Mobile Hometown Grants - is a $25 million, five-year initiative, through 2026, to support small towns, villages, and territories across America by funding community projects. Grants of up to $50,000 are given every quarter to up to 25 small towns to help fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections in your town, such as the public library, the town square pavilion, a historic building, an outdoor park, or a ball field. Elected leaders, town managers/employees, and nonprofit leaders in small towns with populations of less than 50,000 are eligible. Recipients are selected and awarded quarterly.

4imprint one by one Grants - $500 grants for promotional products to organizations making a difference in their communities. Donation recipients must be a 501(c)(3) organization, a school, a religious organization or a registered Canadian charity. Several grants are awarded each business day.

Rural Technology Fund - No specific deadlines - gratns awarded every 30-60 days. Grants for $500- $2,500 for Rural Technology Education projects and Assistive Technology equipment to increase accessibility for students with disabilities in public schools and libraries.

Ash Grove Charitable Foundation - Grants of up to $25,000 to charitable, educational, and scientific organizations, which are 501(c)(3) public charities, for capital and special projects, such as construction, renovation, repairs, and restoration of facilities. Accepts and makes decisions on applications throughout the year.

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 - 2024 Application deadline: May 31, 2024. 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. Open application system - you may apply at any time.

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 Operating Support, and Program Support. Accepts requests for funding throughout the year.

Sunderland Foundation - Makes grants annually to registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations for capital building construction projects within a certain geographic scope. In Nebraska, grant applications are only accepted from the 'Metro Areas of Omaha & Lincoln.' Applications are accepted and reviewed throughout the year.

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 highlighted 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.