Despite challenging economic times, many resources are available to help library staff research, write, and submit winning government, foundation and corporate grant proposals. Here are a few tips that can help make for a successful grant:

  • Research potential funders before submitting an application.
  • Pick the grant opportunity that matches your project idea.
  • Follow grant application guidelines to the letter.
  • Answer exactly the application questions asked.
  • Use simple, direct language to succinctly answer each question (less is more).
  • Make a case for your library and your proposed project. Be sure you’ve thought through what you’re attempting to do and why, and that this is clearly reflected in the application.
  • Be humble – receiving a grant is a privilege, not a right.
  • Demonstrate what you will do for others with a funder’s money – don’t ask what a funder can do for you.
  • Take advantage of all help the funder offers.
  • Celebrate but also comply with all timelines and reporting requirements, if you do receive a grant.

Learn more about Funders and Grant Writing Resources



Atlantic Philanthropies: Ageing Programme
Works to improve the quality of health care, particularly for low-income older adults with multiple chronic conditions in the United States and those with dementia in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. They also seek to strengthen government policies and standards to better address the economic and social needs and experiences of older adults, primarily the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.


Chronicle of Philanthropy, The
A news source for nonprofit leaders, fund raisers, grant makers, and others who seek news, jobs, and ideas related to the nonprofit sector.


Foundation Center
The leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grant makers and their grants. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level.


Investing in Community Change: A Funder’s Experience – 2007 (0:23)

Carol Kratz