Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Disaster Relief Grants for School Libraries

Posted by Lauren Albright on Thu, May 10, 2018 @ 11:05 AM
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Harvey. Irma. Maria. Communities devastated by these three hurricanes in 2017 are still rebuilding. The massive recovery process takes its toll on a community’s economy, infrastructure, and education system—the latter having a damaging long-term impact on students.

Many grant foundations recognize that learning includes the resources of both classrooms and libraries. By offering funds to rebuild school libraries in these disaster-stricken areas, foundations are investing in the future. Students in schools with endorsed librarians score better on standardized achievement tests (Library Research Service, 2013). Additionally, schools with strong library programs have higher graduation rates, especially for vulnerable or disadvantaged student bodies (Texas Computer Education Association, 2017).

If your school’s library faced severe damage from a recent natural disaster, the following organizations may be able to assist. When applying, emphasize the positive impact of your school library on students and families—for example, better test scores, higher graduation rates, increased cultural awareness, and improved literacy—to demonstrate the importance of your funding request. 

Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Fund

If you work in a public school that has suffered substantial damage due to a natural disaster in the past three years and is located within 20 miles of a Dollar General store, the Beyond Words fund may be able to assist. Money from this grant can help you purchase books, media, and/or library equipment to restock the school library and support student achievement. Awards range from $10,000-$20,000. The Beyond Words grant prioritizes schools with the greatest need in terms of the extent of damage to the school library collection, impact on the library program, and impact on student enrollment, among other factors. Applications, available online, are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Additionally, each year the grant offers “catastrophic awards” of $50,000 to two applicant organizations that have suffered a loss of 90% or greater of their school library resources. No additional application is required to be considered for the catastrophic awards.

Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant

School librarians who are members of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) may apply for an Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant. This fund offers $30,000 annually to public middle school and high school libraries that have incurred damage or hardship due to a natural disaster within the past three years. Funds can be used to replace or supplement books, media, and/or library equipment. Interested applicants should submit a two-page narrative that describes their need and how they will use the funds, along with a project plan and timeline, a list of key staff involved in the grant, and an itemized budget. Applications are accepted year-round.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries

Since 2002, The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries has awarded more than $13 million to 2,500 schools in need. This year, in light of the devastation caused by catastrophic hurricanes and devastating wildfires, the foundation is dedicating its resources to help schools rebuild their book collections. If your school library was affected by one of the 2017 hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, or Maria) or the California wildfires, you may be eligible for this funding opportunity. All schools serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade—including public, charter, private, and parochial schools—may apply. Grants for this special disaster relief project may range from $10,000-$75,000. Funds may be used to purchase books (print or Braille) and magazine subscriptions. The grant application is available online, and grants are awarded on a rolling basis.

For more information about grants for general disaster relief, visit our blog post on this topic. For organizations wishing to focus on disaster prevention and preparedness, a list of resources is available in our blog post from March 2018.


Do you need information about other types of disaster relief grant opportunities? We can help find specific grant opportunities to meet your organization’s needs with our specialized Grant Opportunity Search. Find out more on our services page. Or start a free consultation with one of our grant experts by contacting us today.


Citation

Texas Computer Education Association: https://www.tcea.org/blog/importance-of-school-libraries/

Library Research Service: https://www.lrs.org/documents/school/school_library_impact.pdf

Photo Credit: Lutfi Gaos

Topics: education, natural disaster, grants for disaster relief, disaster relief grants, disaster, Disaster Relief Grants for School Libraries, school library grants, school libraries

Grants for Disaster Preparedness

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Thu, Mar 8, 2018 @ 09:03 AM

In 2017, there were many devastating natural and other disasters around the world. In the wake of such harrowing events, response organizations tend to focus on disaster relief and recovery. But governmental and community disaster prevention and preparedness programs are equally important, as they have broad reach and proactively help save lives, reduce injury rates, and reduce property and environmental damage when disaster strikes.Disaster Prep.jpg There are many grant opportunities for those organizations who focus on disaster prevention and preparedness in addition to disaster relief and recovery.

Before you review and consider applying to the specific disaster preparedness grant opportunities listed below, here’s a quick reminder of some important, general preparatory actions your organization should take before applying for any grant.



Build a Relationship with the Grantmaker:
Many grants require your organization to work with someone at the grant funding entity in order to apply for a grant. Be sure to research if the grant opportunity you’ll apply to has such a requirement. Even when a particular grant does not require connecting with the grantmaker ahead of time, building a rapport with the funder and seeking their input on your project ideas in advance will increase your chance of funding.

Establish Project Partnerships: Many grants require or encourage partnerships with one or more organizations outside your own. It is best to secure collaborators before you begin or early in the project planning process so the partnering institution(s) can provide project planning input. 

Plan the Project: The vast majority of grant opportunities fund specific projects, not general operating costs.  This statement is especially true for disaster preparedness grant opportunities. Be prepared to present data justifying the need for the project, a detailed project description, a project budget, and specific goals and measurable outcomes.


Here are some specific disaster preparedness opportunities to consider, as well as several relationship building, partnership establishment, and/or project planning tips:

FEMA Disaster Preparedness: Hazard Mitigation, Fire Prevention, and Flood Prevention Grant Programs

FEMA offers a variety of grants to help state, local, tribal, and territorial governments fund and sustain programs to help prevent or prepare for a variety of potential safety, health, and security hazards. Under their Hazard Mitigation Grants category, FEMA offers general grants for post-disaster preparedness projects for annual prevention programs and future prevention and planning programs post-disaster. In addition to general Hazard Mitigation programs, FEMA also offers more disaster-specific programs, such as their Firefighters Grant Program intended to enhance firefighting personnel and fire prevention programs or their Flood Mitigation Assistance Program for initiatives that help prevent flooding and flood damage in flood-prone areas. For the grant award amounts and application cycle information for the grant in which you’re interested in applying, see the website above.

  Project Planning Tip: To help prepare a specific, detailed project plan that will appeal to the FEMA grant application reviewers, first review FEMA's "Mitigation Ideas" documents for examples of the specific types of programs FEMA typically funds. Be sure your own program is similarly specific but also includes a new or innovative aspect beyond what is included in FEMA’s sample project ideas.  

 


Hospital Preparedness Program

While most of us think of natural disasters when we hear the phrases “disaster prevention” or “disaster preparedness,” it is also important to prepare for potential healthcare crises, including possible disease outbreaks or healthcare resource and supply shortages. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control awarded over $850 million to state, city, special district, and county governments for initiatives to help build and sustain public healthcare preparedness programs. Grant award amounts range from $300,000 to $42 million. Applications are typically due in April or May.

  Project Planning Tip: This grant requires that the project increase health gains for at-risk individuals or special needs populations. So, be sure to review the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) to confirm which populations this grant program considers “at-risk,” choose a specific special needs population to target for your project, and research the current number of individuals your hospital currently assists within that population, to what extent, etc.  


  Partnership Establishment Tip: Based on your specific project focus, consider partnering with a local health-focused organization or even another healthcare provider toward reaching your project goals.  


State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship® Company Grants

Under their Safety Grants category, State Farm offers grants for auto accident prevention, home safety initiatives, fire prevention education, and other disaster-preparedness programs. Eligible applicant organizations for Safety Grants include educational institutions, non-profits, governmental entities, and some community organizations, such as fire companies. Grant applications are typically available starting in early September, with deadlines at the end of October.

  Relationship Building Tip: Contact your local State Farm Agency. While awarding decisions for this grant are made at the national level within the company, working with your local State Farm representatives can help you gather data on the largest needs in your community and thus help you focus your proposed project. More importantly, showing on your application that you’ve built a relationship with State Farm at the local level will appeal to the national funding decision-makers.
 

 


Need funding for your disaster prevention and preparedness program? The Grant Helpers can help! Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

 Photo Credit: US Army Africa

 

Topics: natural disaster, grants for disaster planning, grants for disaster preparedness, disaster preparedness grants, developing fundable projects, disaster prevention grants, disaster