When seeking funding for early literacy supports and other library projects, consider reaching out to local businesses, applying with your community foundation, and exploring the LSTA Grant program administered by the State Library of Ohio. Also look at these funders which foster literacy programming and support for young people:
Dollar General Literacy Foundation Youth Literacy Grant
The Literacy Foundation Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Competitive grant opportunities are available annually to libraries located within 20 miles of a Dollar General store. The Literacy Foundation also has a Family Literacy Grant program and a Summer Reading Grant program.
The Pilcrow Foundation Children's Book Project Grant
The Pilcrow Foundation, a national non-profit public charity, provides a 2-to-1 match to rural public libraries that receive a grant through its Children’s Book Project.
Ohio Children's Foundation
"The mission of the Ohio Children's Foundation is to enhance the lives of children by providing grants to support services for at-risk children and families, by helping prepare children for kindergarten, and by advocating for public policy that will positively affect children's lives." Grant requests are accepted on a rolling basis year-round.
Half Pint Library from Half Price Books
"The Half Pint Library program is a book drive hosted each year by Half Price Books to collect and distribute children's books to those in need. Books donated through the Half Pint Library program provide an escape from the challenges faced by children, while helping to boost literacy skills outside of school."
First Book is an organization that strives to promote literacy in low-income areas. They provide high-quality children's books and educational materials at deeply discounted prices to registered organizations serving children from low-income families.
Ezra Jack Keats Minigrant Program
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation awards $500 grants to public and school libraries to fund creative programs. This program is currently on hiatus until May 2025.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation offers grants in the categories of Health, Food Systems and Rural Development, Youth and Education, and Philanthropy and Volunteerism. Details and the application can be found on their website. Kellogg also originally funded the SPARK project, which is currently active in the Canton area and several other Ohio communities.
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
To date, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has awarded over $40 million to support the development and expansion of 885 family literacy programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Library Grants Blog
Keep up with additional grant opportunities by following this blog, which makes timely announcements about many different kinds of grant opportunities for libraries and librarians.