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Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries


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

Nebraska Library Commission Grants:

Continuing Education and Training - due March 1, 2022
- closed November 5, 2021
Library Improvement
- closed October 7, 2021
Youth Grants for Excellence
- closed October 7, 2021

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. Deadline to request Formula Grant Funds: 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

Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant - ALA grant. Open to school, public, academic, tribal, and special libraries in the U.S. or U.S. territories. Library/applicant must hold either an ALA institutional membership OR ALA personal membership. Selected libraries will receive $2,000 to advance their community engagement efforts. Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a community engagement project with a specific theme - for the 2021-2022 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a community engagement project that focuses on a social justice issue of importance in their communities. Applications due February 1, 2022.

Peggy Barber Tribute Grant - ALA grant. For libraries of any type - public, tribal, K-12, academic, special, prison - located in the United States or a U.S. territory. Applicants must have a personal or institutional membership with either the American Library Association OR the Association for Rural & Small Libraries. Selected libraries will receive $2,500 to 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 2021-2022 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a grant to support humanities-based programming. Applications due February 1, 2022.

Penguin Random House Grants for Small & Rural Libraries - Penguin Random House and The Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) rolling grant program to recognize rural, small and tribal libraries that support underserved communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The program will award grants of up to $2,500 to libraries that demonstrate a true need. Grants are not limited to literacy and may be used for everything from library programming and books to resources like hotspots that help community members access important information. Rolling grant application, with batches of applications going under review every 8 weeks beginning December 17, 2021 and continuing at least until June 3, 2022. 

Kreutz-Bennett Donor Advised Fund - For public libraries in communities with a population fewer than 3,000. Requires a 1:1 match. Accredited public libraries are eligible for Enhancement (Programs and Services) and Facilities grants (Construction of a new facility or rehabilitation or expansion of an existing facility). Unaccredited libraries are eligible for the Planning grant to achieve accreditation. Short application was due October 1, 2021.

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".

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.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation - Adult, Family, and Youth Literacy; Summer Reading; School Library Relief. Library must be within 15 miles of a Dollar General store.

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. 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 - Compiled by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. 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.