Winning Grants, Second Edition: A How-To-Do-It Manual For Librarians

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Newly revised and refreshed, this invaluable how-to manual will teach you the skills and strategies crucial for finding, applying for, and winning grants. Whether you're starting from scratch and don't know where to begin, or you're an experienced grant writer looking to tap into new funding sources, this resource offers a proven, easy-to-understand process for grant success. Loaded with a wide variety of forms, worksheets, and checklists to help you stay organized, this book:

  • summarizes the grant process cycle and outlines a clear path to success;
  • shares inspiring grant success stories in action from diverse libraries;
  • offers guidance on gathering knowledge and conducting research, with updated resource lists and links to the various types of funders;
  • covers every stage of planning, including how to cultivate community involvement, methods for needs assessment, advice on organizing the grant team, and exercises to help you write realistic goals and objectives;
  • gives tips on writing the proposal, such as where to find the best statistics and census data to support your statement of needs;
  • advises how to announce a successful grant to the community, and other first steps of implementation, including the basic principles of project management;
  • provides guidance on what to do when you're turned down and how to conduct an effective review session that keeps the process moving forward;
  • highlights ways to stay current through online discussion groups, blogs, networking groups, and more; and
  • features sample RFPs, budget templates, grant partnership documents, and many other helpful tools.

Written by two librarians who are experts in grantsmanship, this all-in-one toolkit for winning grants is a must-have for library directors, grant writers, board members, consultants, and anyone else involved in planning library programs and services.

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List of Figures

Part I    The Grant Process Cycle

Chapter 1    Understanding the Grant Process

Phases of the Grant Process Cycle
Making the Commitment
Gathering Knowledge

Chapter 2    Planning for Success

Planning Is Essential for Success with Grants
Basics of Strategic Planning
Assessing and Prioritizing Community Needs
Common Plan Elements
Strategic Planning Resources
Monitoring and Updating Your Strategic Plan

Chapter 3    Discovering and Designing the Grant Project

What Is a Grant Project?
Teams in Grant Work
Importance of Partners and Collaborators
The Project Planning Process

Chapter 4    Finding Library Funders

Determining a Good Match
Government Funding for Libraries
Private Funding for Libraries

Chapter 5    Researching and Selecting the Right Grant Opportunity

Research Tips and Techniques
Top Resources for Finding Grant Opportunities
Researching Government Grant Resources
Researching Private Grant Resources
Staying Aware of New Grant Opportunities
Talking with Funders

Chapter 6    Creating and Submitting the Winning Proposal

Writing Tips
Collaborating within Your Organization
Role of Partners and Collaborators
Communicating with Funders
Application Review Process
Specifications and Requirements
Types of Applications
Key Grant Proposal Components
Submitting Your Application
Confirmation of Submission

Chapter 7    Getting Funded and Implementing the Project

After You Submit Your Application
When Your Project Gets Funded
What to Do If Your Project Is Not Funded
Implementing the Project

Chapter 8    Reviewing and Continuing the Process
Debrief and Review
Keep Your Project Plans Up-to-Date
Update Grant Proposal Components
Participate in Professional Development and Continuing Education
Foster Partnerships and Build Relationships
Join Fundraising Groups and Associations
Be a Grant Reviewer
Continue to Do the Research
Library Grants Blog
Tips for Grant Success
Good Luck

Part II    Library Grant Success Stories

Staff Innovation Fund™
The Wildcat Spot
Meet the Artist, Be the Artist: A Teaching-Artist in Residence
Muslim Journeys
Every Child Read to Read (ECRR)

Part III    Worksheets, Checklists, and Forms

Making the Commitment: A Checklist for Committing to Library Grant Work
Library Planning Checklist
Grant Partnership Agreement Worksheet
Strategic Plan Worksheet
Project Planning Worksheet
Project Action Steps Worksheet
Project Timeline Worksheet
Personnel Budget Worksheet
Nonpersonnel Budget Worksheet
Project Budget Worksheet
Evaluation Plan Worksheet
Keyword Selection Worksheet
Funder Summary Worksheet
Winning Grants Sources and Resources Handout
Questions for Funders Checklist
Grant Proposal Worksheet
Grant Submission Checklist
Debrief and Review Checklist

About the Authors

Stephanie K. Gerding

Stephanie K. Gerding (she/her), MLIS, is a sought-out library grant expert with success as a grant writer, reviewer, funder, evaluation and needs assessment methodologist, and project manager. Her career includes grant roles with State Libraries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, library schools, university, corporate, and public libraries, and consulting with organizations including ALA, COSLA, PLA, ARSL, TechSoup, and CALL Academy. She has been awarded national grants and has been a program coordinator and evaluator for many grant-funded projects. Her books include Winning Grants and The Accidental Technology Trainer. She manages the Library Grants Blog and has authored over 40 articles on library grants and fundraising. Stephanie finds grant work exciting and challenging and loves helping others learn to succeed.

Pamela H. MacKellar

Pamela H. MacKellar is an author, teacher and library consultant who has been a librarian for 30 years. She has held positions as a library director, assistant librarian, newspaper librarian, health sciences librarian, cataloger, technology consultant and independent consultant in libraries of all kinds including special, school, public, post-secondary, tribal, prison and a state library agency. She has designed and taught online courses and face-to-face workshops on grants for librarians and non-profit staff, written successful proposals for government and foundation grants, administered grant projects and reviewed grant proposals for federal and state agencies. She has also presented at national, regional and state library conferences. She is also the author of The Accidental Librarian and Writing Successful Technology Grant Proposals: A LITA Guide, has written numerous articles, and co-hosts Library Grants, a blog. She is the recipient of the 2010 Loleta D. Fyan Award from the American Library Association for the project, "Online Management Course for New Library Directors in New Mexico."

Susan Hildreth

Susan Hildreth is currently the Inaugural Gates-funded Professor of Practice at the University of Washington Information School. She also serves as an Aspen Fellow in the Communications and Society Program advancing the work of the Dialogue on the Future of Public Libraries. Formerly, she was the Executive Director of Peninsula Library System, Pacific Library Partnership, and the Califa Group in California. She served as the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed position, from January 2011 through January 2015. Hildreth is the former city librarian of Seattle, Washington, where she managed the Seattle Public Library. Prior to Seattle, Hildreth was the state librarian of California, appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She also served as the city librarian of the San Francisco Public Library and in other leadership positions in California public libraries. She began her career as a branch librarian in the Edison Township (New Jersey) Public Library system. Hildreth graduated cum laude from Syracuse University and holds a master’s degree in library science from the State University of New York at Albany as well as a master’s degree in business from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

”The book is organized so that it may be put down and picked up again after an extended period, and so that the reader may jump immediately to the section of particular interest … This book belongs in any library that may be considering a grant. Highly recommended."
— Catholic Library World

”This is a helpful, informative text that will be of great assistance to anyone considering writing a grant. It helps readers create a complete project plan and proposal and provides resources to help them narrow down the best potential donors.”

”Will prove to be an invaluable instructional guide for library directors, grant writers, board members, consultants, and anyone else involved in planning library programs and services."
— Library Bookwatch

”Grant writing for library programs and projects has just gotten easier! … Grant writing is not for the faint of heart and Winning Grants is a comprehensive resource for novice or expert grants writers seeking inspiration, examples, and other useful tools."