Presentation on theme: "The Peril and Promise of Grants, Or, Why Am I Doing This At All? The Peril Its time-consuming It has lousy odds It can warp your mission through project-oriented."— Presentation transcript:
The Peril and Promise of Grants, Or, Why Am I Doing This At All? The Peril Its time-consuming It has lousy odds It can warp your mission through project-oriented funding It takes a long time for the check to arrive in the mail It doesnt usually help with daily operating costs It usually covers just short-term projects It can concentrate power in the hands of the writer, not the organization
The Promise Its easier than holding bake sales It can bring in big money - in 2011, people, foundations, and corporations gave away $298 billion (2% of GDP and up 4% from 2010) It can finance an effective project that impacts your users and library The planning phase can force the library to reevaluate its services and resources in light of the actual needs of the users It builds partnerships and alliances with the funding community that could help your library in the future Visionary grants can help you control your librarys destiny
Grants are only one funding source for your library Look at your technology needs, then decide if a grant is the best way to raise funds Grants can come with few requirements or many requirements Government grants usually have more eligibility and reporting requirements and take more time Meeting these requirements may be too onerous for the amount of money received through the grant
How does your nonprofit organization cover its technology expenses? Private donations (5%) Foundation grants (17%) Through the general fund (39%) All of the above (27%) From Chronicle of Philanthropy, November 16, 2012, Live Discussion on: How To Convince Donors to Pay for Tech Needs
WISHING WON'T WORK: 10 Things You Need to KNOW and DO When Applying for TECHNOLOGY GRANTS. Stephanie Gerding and Pam MacKellar. Computers in Libraries, July/August 2006, 6-8, 54-60 1. Begin with a technology plan The plan will help you be more effective in meeting tech needs Funders like to see that you have a plan in place This is where you can convince funders that you are able to handle technology successfully
2. Read about technology planning tools and advice Look for books on the subject, such as Technology for Results: Developing Service-Based Plans, by Diane Mayo, 2005 Search Academic Search Premiere on SLED for articles Search internet to find sample library technology plans Figure out what services your community needs and what technology the library needs for these services
3. Create a team to develop a technology-based project that will meet the needs of your community Choose tech savvy staff members and library patrons for the team Look for people outside the library to help develop the project Encourage the team to think outside the box Make sure that the project under development meets the librarys mission statement Make sure the project has clear outcomes for the change that patrons will experience Create a timeline of tasks to be done to complete the project Create a budget showing everything you need for the project
4. Collaborate with other organizations to increase the chances that your project will be sustainable and that it will be funded Form partnerships with other groups for this project Funders favor grants that are partnership efforts Project is more likely to be successful and sustainable if partners are involved Grant could be more compelling if there are partners Partnerships could result in donations of materials or expertise TechSoup and Good360 are two webpages that get donations to nonprofits, including libraries
5. Find grant makers that fund technology projects in libraries Search for grant makers online using Grant Station or Foundation Center at UAA or other libraries that subscribe Ask other libraries how they funded technology projects Find grant books, such as Winning Grants by Pamela MacKellar and Stephanie Gerding, 2010 Keep an eye on Library Grants blog at librarygrants.blogspot.com/ See Grant Station handout for some ideas of funders
6. Understand trends in technology funding Understand that budgets are tight at times (like now) Scan the Institute of Museum and Library Services web page for grant opportunities Be aware of LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) priorities Read the LSTA Alaska State Plan 2013 – 2017 and look closely at the technology activities in the Plan Ask State Library staff about upcoming Gates grants or any national grants that support technology Stay on top of E-Rate with Valerie Oliver Remember that interlibrary cooperation grants can fund technology
7. Know how to justify technology for your library Avoid technical jargon in your application – KIS Describe the benefits to your patrons first and foremost Mention the benefits to staff last, if at all Talk about the benefits of new technology – cost savings, time savings, better service, whatever! Ask the State Library about statistics, reports, and other published materials that describe the benefits of public access technology Take a look at the Pew Internet and American Life Project web page or the reports from OCLC
8. Find out how to apply for a grant Take a grant writing class in person or online Get a book or article that will guide you through the process Make sure that your idea aligns tightly with funders interests Contact the funder and discuss your idea before writing! Follow the application guidelines from the funder slavishly! Do not make them work hard to understand your idea Use clear language and avoid library jargon and tech jargon
Need help with a grant idea or application? Contact Patience Frederiksen at 1-800-776-6566 or at Patience.Frederiksen@alaska.gov Good luck and happy grant hunting!
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