Arts, Culture; Literacy Funding Available

Grant Advisors Ray Sweeney and Frank Klimko stay on top of funding for art, culture and reading projects. Private funders and the federal government are heavily invested in rolling out these types of funding programs. Here are three to get you started.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Opportunity: Dollar General Literacy Foundation 2015 Youth Literacy Grants; Funding Focus: Education; Geographic Focus: Regional (in the 40 states where the store has locations); Eligibility: Schools & nonprofits; Funding: Up to $4,000 each.

Deadline:  TBD, the next round opens in January.

Grants support projects to help under-achieving students improve their literacy skills. Applicants must be located in and provide direct service within Dollar General’s 40-state market area. The program’s website offers a link to the Nat’l Literacy Directory, which should be helpful as applicants craft or enhance their program prior to applying. Grant funding is provided to assist: (1) implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs; (2) purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives: and (3) purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs.

Other Grants: The foundation will also launch in January its Adult Literacy Grants competition; multiple awards of $15,000 each. Those awards help nonprofits provide direct service to adults in need of literacy assistance. Contact: 615/855-5210.

Institute of Museum & Library Services

The 2015 Museums for America (CFDA Number: 45.301) (Funding Opportunity Number: MFA-FY14) will distribute $20.6 million for 190 awards, ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 each (a 1:1 match is required for grant requests larger than $25,000). Eligibility: Governments and 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

Funding: Deadline: Dec. 1.

These IMLS funds go to help museums better serve their communities. Examples of funding uses include art collection enhancements, public/school programming, research and technology upgrades. Outside-the-box submissions are encouraged. The Museums for America program now incorporates proposals previously solicited through the Conservation Project Support program.

All types of organizations should consider submitting an application. Contact: Sandra Narva, 202/653-4634; e-mail, or Helen Wechsler, supervisory grants management specialist, 202/653-4779,

Fender Music Foundation

The intent of the proposed program must be music instruction, not music appreciation or entertainment; participants/students cannot be professional or career musicians. The organization awards acoustic guitars, electric guitars, acoustic-electric guitars, bass guitars and the equipment necessary to play these instruments. However, other traditional music instruments are sometimes available. Traditional instruments include string instruments, woodwind instruments, brass instruments, percussion instruments and keyboards. No cash grants are awarded.

Schools and nonprofits can apply; Deadline: Rolling. Contact: 818/706-8742 or

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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