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Grant Seeking: First Steps

Information about applying for grants, including specific grants for PALNI libraries

Grant Proposal Development for Libraries

The information in this tab is summarized with permission from a four week online course, Grant Proposal Development for Libraries, taught by Grace Agnew, Special Advisor for Strategic Initiatives, Associate University Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries, June 4-29, 2018.

Ask at the outset:

Does your library want or need a grant?


Do you need the money?


Do you already have in place...

mission / goals?

financial stability?

marketing and outreach capacity?

stable staffing?

stable technology?


Have you sought partners?

(Granting agencies are increasingly interested in funding collaborative endeavors)


If so, have you reached agreement on the impact the grant should have and the outputs that will demonstrate that inpact?

Assessment techniques, at the outset

Past Pattern Exercise

  • What projects did you do of a similar nature in the past?
  • What problems did you encounter?
  • Were the problems fatal to the project or minor problems?
  • What did you learn from your mistakes?
  • What did you do well?
  • Do you still have those strengths?
  • Can you improve on your success and do even better this time?

SWOT Analysis

  • Internal (the Library)
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
  • External (interaction with others)
    • Opportunities
    • Threats (including competing values of partners)

Milestone Analysis
Ask yourself, "What will it take to develop a stable service?" Consider the level of effort required and diversion of resources. Ensure commitment  and support at the outset.

What will the project require at the...

  • start of the grant?
  • midway through?
  • end of the grant?
  • two years beyond?