What to Expect from the Grant Process

What to Expect

We often hear from librarians or Friends Group presidents who are intimidated by the grant application process and reticent to call us for guidance. We tell every library to call us and discuss your thoughts on a grant application. Tell us about your needs and let our grants manager help you through the process.

chico-under-constructionFirst logical step is to assess your community’s needs, perhaps even take a survey among your patrons and see what they think is the area of greatest need. There are two free tools to help you with this task, one is the Edge Initiative and the other is the IMPACT Survey from Univ. of Wash. iSchool. Take a good hard look at what changes would make the greatest impact and let that inform your grant application.

Next, a phone call to the foundation office is in order. Tell the grants manager about your plans. She may be able to make some valuable suggestions as you move forward or she may save you some time by explaining that your project falls outside of our giving guidelines.

Use our online application. Our website contains a short tutorial if you would like some instruction to de-mystify the digital process. This user-friendly system allows an applicant to work on an application and save it as many times as necessary before actually hitting that submit button. And not to worry, once you submit, the grants manager can still return it to its draft stage with comments for changes or corrections. This dialogue available through the online system has helped many applicants strengthen their request.

If your request requires you to provide vendor quotes, you will need to be able to upload documents from your computer. These quotes can be pdf’s or word docs. Screenshots do not work well.

Once you submit your completed application, the system will send you an automated message that your submission was successful.

Now, you wait. Grant decisions for our January grant cycle are usually released in April and grant decisions for our June cycle are usually released in August. Email notifications go out, followed by letters with grant contracts or declinations. If your library was awarded a grant, you will then need to return the signed contract to us in order to start the process of executing the grant.

Project completion is expected within twelve months of grant notification. A final report (link to the final report form here) will be due at our office at that time. Please be sure to communicate with us if it appears that your project is going to require more time.