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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 are due 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

Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Grant - Application deadline: November 30, 2022. Provides funds to our Nation's neediest schools so that they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning. Funds may be used for the purchase of print or Braille volumes, audiobooks, e-books, or magazine/serial/e-magazine subscriptions. Eligible applicants: public schools, neighborhood schools, charter schools, and magnet schools that are Title 1 eligible; private and parochial schools if at least 50% of the student population qualify for financial aid. Schools must have a library or designated space on campus where books are accessible to all students to check out.

Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) - Application deadline: January 16, 2023. An Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) program to provide up to $2,000 in seed money for the creation of new circulating science kit collections. Open to public libraries that serve geographic areas inside or partially inside the IEEE-Region 4 - this includes portions of Nebraska - see the green-shaded area of this map: IEEE Regions in the USA

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). Register for the Pre-Application Webinar to be held Nov. 8 at 1pm CT.

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 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.

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.

Pilcrow Foundation - Provides new, quality, hardcover children's books to rural public libraries across the United States. Rural communities serving a population under 10,000 (priority to community populations under 5,000). 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. Annual application deadlines for grant cycles are April 1 and October 1. Disaster Relief Grant - limited number of special non-matching grants to libraries affected by recent tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, or other natural disasters.  

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.