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Early Literacy Initiative - How to obtain funding
How to obtain funding
Topics covered in this section:
    Successful grant seeking
     - Government funding
     - Private/corporate foundations

Funding prospects for Early Literacy
With the many functions public libraries serve, it can often be difficult to find funding for additional projects. However, the demonstrated value of Early Literacy activities gives you access to a wide range of public and private monies for your projects. We have compiled a list of the best prospects for funding your beneficial work with children. These prospects include Government funding sources and Private/corporate foundations. Successful grant seeking includes a wealth of tips and information to help you apply for grants from these organizations. For longer term projects, Library Support and Development Services' Fund Development Resources may also provide helpful advice.
Foundations and corporations tend to fund organizations within a specific geographic location, as do state and regional governments. A smaller number of the bigger foundations and the federal government fund projects on a national scale.
So, here’s a rule of thumb when using the Government funding and Private/corporate foundations matrices: First look to private and corporate foundations with an interest in your local city or county, then on to the foundations interested in our state, before considering pitching a grant project to funders with a regional (Pacific Northwest) or national interest.

In your efforts to improve Early Literacy awareness in your community, we hope that will consider joining with other organizations concerned with child welfare. Collaboration offers not only a better opportunity to receive funding, but also several other tangible benefits.
An optimist says the glass is half full. A pessimist calls it half empty. A grant seeker says, “Where can I get some more water?”  A collaborative grant seeker says, “If we combine our efforts, there will be more water for us all!”
Collaboration offers you:
  • Access to additional resources
  • Opportunities to cooperate across institutional borders
  • New perspectives and ideas
  • Opportunities to think “outside the box”
  • Access to new target populations
  • Relationships for the future
  • The competitive edge: Grantmakers want to fund collaboration.
Grantmakers want to see organizations and groups working together to solve problems. Collaboration also allows for leveraging possibilities. Collaboration can expand the eligibility of the cooperating partners to seek funds. However, collaboration is not without pain and effort. Sometimes conflict occurs. Sometimes people forget that their success came from the collaboration. You can’t walk away from the game and take all of your marbles. Sometimes collaborators have to cooperate for the greater good, and then benefit from the next round of funding’s new opportunity.
Competition is a myth in grant seeking. We should seek out others who are trying to solve the same problems that we are. We should join forces to put brain power, human effort, and dollars to work in a larger aggregate effort.
If you need help identifying potential collaborators, please don't hesitate to contact us or use the contact information for the nine regional meetings we held around the state. Also, take a look at the responses to the question about collaborations in the June 2006 survey  – your next partner might just be listed there! Whether you decide to collaborate on a grant seeking effort or not, please do coordinate your efforts with others. Convene gatherings of other early childhood agencies and educators to share resources, and to strengthen opportunities for future partnerships. We've included below a sample community meeting agenda to help you collaborate with community partners and help secure funding.

Early Literacy table of contents

• Early Literacy home
• About the Initiative
• Why Early Literacy?
• What libraries can do
• What libraries are doing
How to obtain funding
• Additional resources
• What's next?
• Contact us