Community Organization Grants

Grants to improve reading, literacy education or skills building 

Due date:  March 15, 2019
One funding cycle for 2019

Non-profits, civic organizations, and government agencies serving Tompkins County residents are welcome to apply to the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library for Community Organization Grants that support programs or projects that improve reading, literacy, education or skills building.

The primary beneficiaries of these grants are those who do not read or are limited in their reading skills.  Priority is given to those programs or projects that target low-income or high-needs populations, and to those programs or projects which actively encourage learning rather than passively giving books to clients.  Grants should enhance the mission of the library, encouraging a public that can and will use the public library in the future.

This year will see one funding round in the spring.  We have clarified the considerations that guide us in awarding these grants:

Guidelines for consideration:

1. Projects and programs shall focus on (a) helping adults who can’t or don’t read, (b) placing books or reading materials in the hands of people in crisis, or (c) getting books in the hands of children.

2. Books and educational materials and activities shall be considered for grants.

3. Grants may not be used to fund salaries and general operating expenses, nor as an ongoing part of the organization’s budget.  Equipment expenses (such as bookshelves, iPad-type tablets, etc.), consumable supplies (such as pens and paper, performance tickets, etc.), or fees are generally not funded.

4. Organizations must be located in Tompkins County or on its perimeter, and must assist local residents.

5. The grant must be for a specific need.

6. The organization must be non-profit or one established for charitable purposes, or a governmental agency.

7.  Programs/projects shall be considered which require additional funding sources beyond the Community Organization Grant.


Only one funding round is anticipated for 2019.  Applicants are welcome to apply now for spring as well as fall programming.  Programs and projects that focus on those with the greatest need are given preference.  Grant amounts typically range from $100-$1,000.

Download the grant application in Word or PDF format.  The due date is March 15, 2019. Applications are accepted by mail (FOL, Attn: Michael Costello, 509 Esty St., Ithaca NY  14850) or by email at  Email is preferred. For more information or to discuss your proposal, contact Mike Costello at 607-280-4858.

Last updated: February 5, 2019 at 20:21 pm