Tag Archives: Funding

New Books (September 13, 2019)

The titles below were recently added to the New Jersey State Library’s collections.

To borrow any of these titles from the NJ State Library, simply click on the “Request Book” link under the title of interest, and use your State Library borrower’s card to request the book directly through the Library’s catalog.  Not sure how to do that? See this short tutorial on how to request a book in the catalog

Borrowers may also request these titles from the NJ State Library by sending an email to: circulation@njstatelib.org or by contacting the Circulation Desk at (609)-278-2640 x104, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00pm.

See the New Books Blog page to view additional titles.

Finding Funding for Your Education

Are you looking for undergraduate scholarships, seeking doctoral support or looking for funding to continue your education?

This class will provide an introduction to the New Jersey State Library Funding Information Center’s collection of resources for education. Learn about different sources of funding, ways to leverage existing connections to funders, and online resources that provide information on scholarships from foundations, including the Foundation Grants to Individuals Online database.  Time will be given at the end of the class to search the Foundation Grants to Individuals Online database for possible funding opportunities.

*Space is limited to 16 registrants*


Fields marked with an * are required

Please indicate the classes you would like to attend by clicking on the appropriate box below.

*You must use Yes to answer the last question*

Humanities Discussions Funding Available

Image of the Liberty Bell to visualize the founding of the United States

There is just a month remaining to apply for the first of two rounds of available 2019-2020 funding through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), “Public Humanities Projects” program. The upcoming application deadline is August 14, 2019.

Potential applicants must review the Notice of Funding Opportunity, which covers project types, funding levels, applicant eligibility, application components, and review criteria, along with other important information. All applications must be submitted through the grants.gov Workspace. Approximately 16 grants will be awarded through this opportunity.

U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments are eligible to apply. Eligible organizations include institutions of higher education. This program supports projects in three categories: Exhibitions (permanent, temporary, or traveling); interpretive programs at Historic Places; and Humanities Discussions related to “A More Perfect Union:” NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Celebrating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary.

Libraries may be particularly interested in applying through the “Humanities Discussions” category. Proposed programs in this category should engage diverse public audiences with humanities resources such as historic artifacts, artwork, or documents, and should be anchored in perspectives presented by humanities experts as speakers, panelists, or discussion leaders, providing context and analysis of program themes. Projects may include, but are not limited to, symposiums, lecture series, reading and discussion programs, analytical discussions of museum collections or theater/musical performances, lifelong learning programs, or other methods of face-to-face audience engagement or informal education. The proposed series should occur over a period of three months to two years. Public Humanities Projects in any category must involve humanities scholars who contribute to all phases of the project.

The Public Humanities Projects program includes two funding levels: Planning and Implementation. Only Implementation awards are available for the “Humanities Discussions” category and such funding will not exceed $250,000. Planning awards in the other categories are typically funded up to $40,000 and Implementation awards in the other categories are funded within a range of $50,000 to $400,000.

As noted above, Public Humanities Projects proposals in the “Humanities Discussions” category must respond to the NEH area of interest, “A More Perfect Union:” NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Celebrating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary. According to the Notice of Funding Opportunity, this agency-wide initiative will help Americans better understand the world’s oldest constitutional democracy and how our founding ideals are met in a modern, pluralistic society. As our nation approaches its 250th anniversary in 2026, NEH encourages projects that promote a deeper understanding of American history and culture and that advance civics education and knowledge of our core principles of government.

Prospective applicants may contact the NEH program staff at 202-606-8269 or publicpgms@neh.gov to discuss potential projects and ask any questions about the application.


Small Business Administration Resources and Services Program Recap

Thank you to Erika Pearson for a very informational presentation on the mission and resources of the Small Business Administration.  Created to help foster the growth of small businesses, the SBA offers a wide range of services, including indirect funding, Lender Match, counseling and training, and disaster assistance on rare occasions.

The SBA’s Learning Center, https://www.sba.gov/learning-center, offers 64 FREE training programs, including Buying a Business, Finding and Attracting Investors, and Savings Plans for Small Businesses.  You can also find free/low cost training from local partners at https://www.sba.gov/NJ.

The SBA also partners with many local and state organizations to provide a wealth of resources for small businesses and their owners.  Local partners affiliates include Small Business Development Center and Counselors to America’s Small Business (SCORE).

Perhaps the most important aspect of the SBA are their loans.  SBA loans are not direct loans to the recipient, but rather a guarantee for a traditional lender, such as a bank, where the SBA provides the funding to the lender, which is then extended to the borrower. For example, you apply to the lender, the SBA guarantees the lender of repaying the loan, then the lender approves the loan and gives you the money.

SBA loans help reduce the lender’s risk if the borrower has an aspect that is considered too risky, such as:

  • unstable cash flow or fear of repayment issues
  • insufficient collateral
  • seeking non-standard repayment terms
  • startups

Lenders generally look for the 5 “C”s:

  • Character
    • your background, education, and experience
    • Feasible Business Plan is critical
    • credit history, both personal and business
  • Capacity
    • Cash flow/business plan
    • can you repay?
    • will you show a profit?
    • is that profit sustainable?
  • Collateral
    • Tangible assets
    • property
    • equipment
    • Inventory
    • Collateral can be personal or business related
  • Capital
    • personal investment in the business
    • grants or gifts to fund business
    • how you are investing any profits
  • Conditions
    • Purpose of the loan
    • Amount requested
    • Length of loan
      • Working capital = 3 – 5 years
      • Furniture, fixtures, and equipment = useful life of the items
      • real estate = up to 25 years
    • Local economic climate of industry

In order to qualify for an SBA loan,  the borrower must be:

  • for profit
  • independently owned
  • legal resident
  • meet SBA size requirement

Disqualifiers include:

  • ineligible for financing
  • non-profit
  • money used to buy and sell real estate
  • pyramid sales
  • defaulted on federal government debt
  • probation, parole, or pending criminal charges

SBA Loans Programs

  • 7(a)
    • Maximum of $5 million
    • Fixed interest rate, but rate is negotiable
      • Less than 7 years = Prime + 2.25%
      • Greater than or equal to 7 years = Prime + 2.75%
    • Uses include working capital, inventory, line of credit, expansion/renovation, land, equipment/fixtures, or refinance debt for compelling reasons
    • Fees
      • Only on guaranteed portion of loan
      • Less than 1 year = 0.25%
      • Greater than or equal to 1 year
        • up to $150k = 2%
        • $150k – $700k = 3 %
        • $700k – $5m = 3. % + 3.75% per million
      • If in a HUB Zone, less than or equal to $150k = 0.06667%
      • Fees can be rolled into total loan and no prepayment penalty if less than 15 years
  • SBA Express
    • line of credit up to 10 years
    • Up to $350k = 50% guarantee by SBA
    • Rates
      • $50k or less = Prime + 6.5%
      • Greater than $50k = Prime + 4.5%
  • MICRO Loan
    • Maximum of $50k
    • No fees
    • Maximum of 6 year repayment
    • No real estate
    • Mandatory FREE pre and post loan counseling
  •  504 Loan
    • Primarily for real estate
    • Maximum of $5 million
    • Contribution breakdown
      • 50% of loan from the lender
      • 40% sold in secondary market
      • 10% put forward by borrower

If you have any questions about the SBA or any of the available loans, please reach out to Erika Pearson at 973-645-6160 or erika.pearson@sba.gov.  For a copy of the presentation, please visit https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/SBA-Resources-and-Services.pdf.

Two National Endowment Deadlines

Spiral of Books

Public libraries and other organizations may now apply to the NEA Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with Arts Midwest. The application deadline is Thursday, January 24, 2019.

NEA Big Read is a community reading program centered on one of 32 selections from the NEA Big Read list. An applicant to participate in the NEA Big Read must propose at least a month-long series of events and programs that are designed around one selected book.

Requested grant funds ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 “may be used for such expenses as book purchases, speaker fees and travel, salaries, promotion, and venue rental.” Grant cost share is required and must be matched on a 1:1 basis in nonfederal dollars.

Applicants must complete two steps specific to the federal grant application process. An applicant must know its organizational DUNS number. An organization may search for or request one through Dun & Bradstreet Each applicant must also have a valid SAM (System for Awards Management) registration.

Several New Jersey libraries have received NEA Big Read awards over the last few years. Both returning and new applicants should be aware of a new application step instituted this year. As noted on the Guidelines and Application Instructions page, to start the process, an applicant must complete an online intent to apply form. After submitting the intent to apply form, an applicant will then receive a link to the full application. The application checklist (which includes a link to an offline application template in Word) will help keep applicants organized during the application process. NEA Big Read staff also developed a new “Survival Guide” to planning a community-wide reading program. The Survival Guide covers partnerships, marketing and promotion, and programming and events. Arts Midwest staff members are available to assist potential applicants by phone: (612) 238-8010 or by email: neabigread@artsmidwest.org.

National Endowment for the Humanities also has funding opportunities with January deadlines.

Small and mid-sized libraries with humanities collections should consider applying for a Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions. Grant funds (typically up to $6,000) help institutions such as libraries, museums, and historical societies to “improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. Humanities collections may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects, and digital materials.”

The application will become available on November 15, 2018 and is due on January 15, 2019. Similarly to the NEA Big Read application process, National Endowment for the Humanities requires an applicant DUNS number, a valid SAM registration and, in addition, a grants.gov registration. NEH staff members in the Division of Preservation and Access are available by phone: (202) 606-8570 and by email: preservation@neh.gov.

Finding Funding for Your Education

Are you looking for undergraduate scholarships, seeking doctoral support or looking for funding to continue your education?

This class will provide an introduction to the New Jersey State Library Funding Information Centers collection of resources for education. Learn about different sources of funding, ways to leverage existing connections to funders, and online resources that provide information on scholarships from foundations, including the Foundation Grants to Individuals Online database.  Time will be given at the end of the class to search the Foundation Grants to Individuals Online database for possible funding opportunities.

*Space is limited to 16 registrants*


Fields marked with an * are required

Please indicate the classes you would like to attend by clicking on the appropriate box below.

*You must use Yes to answer the last question*

Intro to Fundraising Planning Recap

Hands holding money.

Thank you to Susan Shiroma, Senior Social Sector Librarian at Foundation Center New York, for teaching us about the six basic steps for developing a fundraising plan.  During her presentation, Susan emphasized the importance of developing a case statement to describe why an organization deserves funding.  She also explained that, to ensure sustainability, organizations need to have multiple revenue streams, including earned income.  Class participants received tools to take home that they can use to assess their organization, set goals, and develop a fundraising plan.


For more information about fundraising planning, see the following links:

NJSL’s Nonprofit Management Research Guide – http://libguides.njstatelib.org/nonprofits

Into to Fundraising Planning recorded webinar – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WWgQ8nigfA

GrantSpace Topics: Fundraising – https://grantspace.org/topics/fundraising/


For fundraising related books, search the NJ State Library online catalog at the following link:



If you have any questions or would like to set up a one-on-one tutorial on how to use the library’s resources to research funding, please contact me at lclark@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 X 158.

Finding Grant Opportunities for Libraries

US Dollars Money

At the New Jersey Library Association Conference a couple of months ago, Kate Tkacik, Director of Network Engagement at Foundation Center, spoke about a free data tool which can assist libraries in their efforts to finding funding opportunities. By exploring the Visualizing Funding for Libraries data tool, libraries can “see who is funding library projects, analyze funder and library networks, and discover natural collaborators.” You can explore library funding data through maps, charts, and pathways, and other means. The data set includes foundation funding information from 2006 to the present.

A search in the data tool on grants received by libraries in New Jersey yields a result set of 1,246 grants given to 229 recipients from 294 funders worth a total of $47.8 million.

Digging deeper into the data will provide the specific names of the funders — foundations whose interests and mission might align with your library. The Visualizing Funding data tool is a great (free and easily accessible) way to start your grant research process.

New Jersey library grant snapshot
A snapshot of foundation grant funding to New Jersey libraries (after a search in Foundation Center’s Visualizing Funding data tool)


After you’ve started your research in the Visualizing Funding data tool, you might wish to learn even more details about the grantmakers you’ve discovered. Your next step might be research into the Foundation Center’s premier database, Foundation Directory Online Professional (FDO). This database enables research through 140,000 grantmakers (including those who have funded libraries and those who haven’t) and provides detailed information on these grantmakers, including issued grants, funding interests, the application and RFP process, staff, and other details.

One thing to bear in mind: access to FDO Professional is by subscription only (unlike the Visualizing Funding data tool, which you can access from any browser). There are a number of New Jersey public libraries where you can access FDO Professional in person (but call ahead to confirm!): New Jersey State Library, Elizabeth Public Library, Hillsborough Branch of Somerset County Library System, Margaret E. Heggan Library and the Westampton headquarters of Burlington County Library System.

In addition to in-person access to Foundation Directory Online Professional, at the New Jersey State Library (at 185 West State Street in Trenton) you can also find grant writing resources in our print collection on Level Four. Business and Funding Information Librarian Leigh Clark can provide an orientation to FDO and to our grants-related collections during your visit. Contact Leigh via phone at 609-278-2640 ext. 158 or email at lclark@njstatelib.org.

Digital Storytelling for the Non-Profit Sector Program Recap

Thank you to Grace-Anne Alfiero for a wonderful and insightful presentation on digital storytelling and it’s impact for the non-profit sector.  Digital storytelling is a powerful way to engage your audience, call them to action, and leave a lasting impact that will help grow your non-profit.  Audience is a key factor when developing your digital story so it is important to know your audience to ensure that you capture as many as possible.  Knowing where to place your digital story can drastically increase the number of views, and donations, and Grace-Anne recommends studying the Z-Pattern associated with how people view and read computer screens.  While the images in the video can be extremely impressionable, ensuring that you have corresponding music (royalty free) and text to reinforce your message can lead to a greater call to action.  For more tips and resources, please download the items below from the presentation and visit her blog at http://www.artsinactionllc.com/blog.

PowerPoint Presentation

Storyboard Template


Grant Proposal Writing for Libraries – Registration Closed

Are you new to proposal writing or looking to learn more about the grant writing process?  During this class, we will present a general overview of the proposal writing process including:

  • the basic components of a grant proposal
  • some dos and don’ts when submitting a grant proposal
  • how proposal writing fits into the total grant funding process
  • what to do when you receive a decision, whether yes or no

Additionally, we will take a closer look at how to apply to federal grants offered by agencies like the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) by showing you how to navigate Grants.gov Workspace.  Resources on where to find prospective funders and additional grant writing support will also be shared.

Grant Opportunities with March Deadlines

Lightbulb icon

Start planning now for two grant opportunities with March deadlines! Between February 19 and March 16, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) will accept Intent to Apply forms for its next Action Grant opportunity. Submitting an Intent to Apply form is the first required step to submitting a full application for an Action Grant. March 31 is the deadline to submit an application for an Ezra Jack Keats (EJK) Mini-Grant.

What are the humanities? On its Grants FAQ Page, NJCH states, “The humanities examine shared history, culture, values, and beliefs.” Specific humanities fields include (but are certainly not limited to) anthropology, ethnic studies, gender and sexuality studies, history, literature, and political science.

NJCH makes awards twice per year for Incubation Grants (up to $5,000) and once per year for Action Grants ($2,000 to $20,000). See the Grants Overview section of the NJCH website for summary information about both opportunities. Action Grants “help to implement new projects or expand existing programs.” On its Action Grants page, NJCH provides some tips to writing a competitive proposal. A proposal should support one or more of the Council’s four primary goals, such as building new audiences for the humanities or bringing people of different perspectives and backgrounds together. NJCH also expects applicants to emphasize a project’s audience and the significance of the proposed project. In 2017, NJCH awarded $184,000 in Action Grants. Awarded grant projects range from public programs to exhibitions to discussion groups.

If NJCH approves an applicant’s Intent to Apply Form, NJCH will unlock the full application. Applicants are required to discuss their proposed projects with NJCH staff and they are encouraged (although not required) to submit a draft of the application in advance of the deadline. Applicants should contact Gigi Naglak, the NJCH Director of Grants and Programs at gnaglak@njhumanities.org.

Grantmaking to “support arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries” is one of the ways that the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation meets its mission of “bringing the multicultural, creative spirit of Keats into children’s lives and literature.” An EJK Mini-Grant in an amount up to $500 offers the “opportunity to design and implement a creative program for your school or library.” Visit the overview page of the EJK Mini-Grant program and read a description of what makes a “great” program. The Foundation website also provides examples of great Mini-Grant programs.

Potential applicants should review the page concerning how to apply and the program’s FAQs. After submitting the online application by March 31, applicants will receive notice of the status of their applications on or around May 1.


Early January Grant Deadlines

Working at the office

Don’t miss these three grant opportunities for public libraries which have early January 2018 deadlines: the YALSA/Dollar General Summer Learning Grant, the YALSA/Dollar General Teen Summer Intern Grant, and Round Six of the ALA/Dollar General American Dream Literacy Initiative. The YALSA applications are due on January 1, 2018 and the American Dream application is due January 2, 2018.

The two YALSA opportunities particularly focus on the efforts of libraries to help prevent the “summer slide.” Individual library branches within a larger system may apply for these opportunities. Eligibility requirements include personal membership in YALSA and the library’s geographic location within 20 miles of a Dollar General store. Questions about each grant may be emailed to Taylor Crossley at tcrossley@ala.org.

YALSA’s Summer Learning Grant will award 20 libraries $1,000 each to help them “purchase resources or provide services to bolster their teen summer learning program. The program must support teens who speak English as a second language, teens in socioeconomically challenged communities and/or teens who are at risk of failing school.” The online application includes five narrative questions requiring responses of 250 words or less, such as a description of how the grant funds will be used to meet the specific educational and recreational needs and interests of the targeted teen audience (as identified by the applicant). The application also requires a budget template (see the bottom of the link for the form) which must be completed and uploaded to the online application. See the YALSA Blog for an example of a Summer Learning Grantee in 2017, the Pemberton Community Library, a branch of the Burlington County Library System.

YALSA’s Teen Summer Intern Grant offers $1,000 to each of 20 libraries to support their hiring of summer teen interns to assist with summer reading activities. Funds can be used for intern stipends, trainings or other intern related activities. The online application includes six narrative questions requiring responses of 250 words or less, such as, “What role do you envision teen interns playing in helping to plan, implement and evaluate the summer learning program?” As the Summer Learning Grant requires, the Teen Summer Intern Grant application also requires a budget template (see the bottom of the link for the form). See the YALSA Blog for an example of a Teen Summer Learning Grantee in 2017, the Old Bridge Public Library.

The American Library Association is soliciting applications for Round Six of the American Dream Literacy Initiative grant opportunity, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. This grant will “help public libraries in Dollar General communities add or expand literacy services for adult English language learners and/or adults in need of basic education and workforce development.” Funded libraries will receive a one-time grant of $10,000 to develop collections and services for adult learners and/or expand existing programs, add services and foster community partnerships. See the requirements and guidelines page for a link to the online application and contact information for questions about the grant program. Several New Jersey libraries were awarded grants during Round Five of the initiative.