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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Foreword by Patricia “Patty” Wong

Combining easy‐to‐understand advice with a toolkit of practical worksheets and checklists, this book offers a proven, immediately applicable method for success that will enable libraries to find the funding and resources they need.

Newly updated and comprehensive, this invaluable manual is a must-have for library directors, grant writers, board members, consultants, and anyone navigating the intricacies of library grant funding. 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, you’ll find this book an invaluable resource. Authored by a well-respected library grants expert with a keen knowledge of the current state of libraries’ needs and funder priorities, Winning Grants

  • explains the grant process cycle and outlines a clear path to success;
  • shares inspiring grant success stories in action from diverse libraries;
  • presents a Grant Proposal Deconstruction template, new to this edition, that distills the often-complex grant proposal guidelines into a succinct outline that will help you ensure eligibility, track important details, and measure compliance;
  • offers guidance on gathering knowledge and conducting research, with updated resource lists and a comprehensive list of the various types of library 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;
  • provides insightful tips for proposal writing, such as where to find the best statistics and census data to support your statement of needs;
  • features ready-to-use tools such as grant project and needs statement worksheets, budget templates, a decision matrix, and grant partnership documents;
  • advises how to announce a successful grant to the community, and other first steps of implementation, including the basic principles of project management; and
  • provides guidance on what to do when you're turned down and how to conduct an effective evaluation that keeps the process moving forward.

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use. Supplementary materials can be found at

List of Figures

Part I        The Grant Process Cycle
Chapter 1    Understanding the Grant Process
Overview of the Grant Process Cycle
Key Commitments for Winning Grants
Tips for Grant Success

Chapter 2    Plan for Success
Getting Started: Leadership, Grant Team, and Partners
Assess Community Needs and Priorities
Needs Statements
Strategic Plans: Grant Time-Saver and Key to Success

Chapter 3    Design Winning Grant Projects
Project Definitions
The Project Planning Process
Outcome-Based Evaluation and Logic Models
Example Grant Project Plan 

Chapter 4    Research Funders and Grant Opportunities
Overview of Grant Sources and Grant Matchmaking 
Sources for Library Grant Funding
Top Resources for Finding Grant Opportunities
Optimizing Grant Research: From Keywords to Funders 
Recording and Organizing Your Research
Determining the Best Match
Staying Aware of New Grant Opportunities

Chapter 5    Create the Winning Proposal
Overview of Proposal Writing 
Types of Applications and the Review Process
Key Grant Proposal Components
Grant Application Deconstruction: Determining Specifications and Requirements
Writing Tips
Communicating with Funders
Submitting Your Application

Chapter 6    Implement, Evaluate, and Continue
Proposal Outcome: What to Do Next
Winning Proposal Strategies: Avoiding Common Pitfalls
Grant Project Implementation and Management
Reviewing and Continuing the Process

Part II        Library Grant Success Stories
Mobile Chromebook Lab
Haddonfield (NJ) Public Library

Scott County Community Memory Project
Scott County (IA) Library System

Iconic America Micro-Grant
Ridgeland (MS) Public Library

Transnational Dominican Activism: Documenting Grassroots Social Movements
Bronx (NY) Community College

Present in the Past: Connecting National and Local History with Primary Resources
Gwinnet County (GA) Public Library 

Accessible Narrative Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University Library

Reaching Out: Meeting the Needs of Rural School Librarians
LAN Crew Colorado 

Community Room Remodel and Digital Literacy Courses
Carnegie-Evans (IA) Public Library

Wokini Knowledge Circle: Creating Library Space Honoring Oceti Sakowin Culture
South Dakota State University Hilton M. Briggs Library

Part III    Worksheets, Checklists, and Forms
Key Commitments for Winning Grants Checklist 
Grant Partnership Agreement Worksheet
Data and Statistics Handout
Needs Statement Worksheet 
Library Planning Checklist
Grant Project Planning Worksheet
Logic Model Worksheet
Grant Opportunity Decision Matrix
Grant Application Deconstruction Worksheet
Funder Summary Worksheet
Winning Grants Sources and Resources Handout
Grant Proposal Worksheet
Sample Cover Letter and Proposal
Questions for Funders Checklist
Grant Proposal Submission Checklist
Project Charter Worksheet


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.

Praise for previous editions

”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."