The COVID-19 pandemic caused several organizations to offer grant opportunities in order to respond quickly to the pandemic through support to libraries and cultural organizations. Below is a sampling of some of the grant opportunities that have come to our attention for WiFi/connectivity, unemployment programming, and staffing. Please note the rapid turnaround time to apply for these grants and to complete the projects. Due to the shortened grant period, many of these organizations are offering a simplified application process.
We wish your library luck should you choose to apply. We’d love to hear from any of the Wisconsin grant recipients should you be awarded and also if you know of any other grant opportunities that are open to Wisconsin public libraries throughout the state. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information to share.
Grant name: Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant
Description: Grants are available for general operating expenses only. These include expenses such as salaries, rent, utilities, supplies, and equipment. Libraries are eligible.
Link to grant opportunity: https://wisconsinhumanitiescares.org/
Deadline to apply: Applications must be submitted by 4:30pm on May 15.
Grant name: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) CARES Cultural Organizations
Description: The purpose of this emergency relief program is to assist institutions and organizations working in the humanities that have been affected by the coronavirus. Libraries are eligible.
Link to grant opportunity: https://www.neh.gov/program/neh-cares-cultural-organizations
Deadline to apply: May 11, 2020 10:59 p.m. Central Time
Grant name: Public Service Commission's (PSC) Universal Service Fund (USF) Nonprofit Grant Program
Description: The project must assist customers in areas of the state that have relatively high costs of telecommunication services, low-income customers or customers with disabilities in obtaining affordable access to essential telecommunications services. 501(c)(3) nonprofits (i.e., friends groups) are eligible.
Link to grant opportunity: https://psc.wi.gov/Pages/Programs/NonProfitGrants.aspx
Deadline to apply: Application deadline May 26, 2020
Grant name: Public Library Association (PLA) and Google Libraries Lead with Digital Skills
Description: This funding program is now open to any library, in any state, that would like support for their virtual library programming to continue supporting job seekers and small businesses in your community. Libraries are eligible.
Link to grant opportunity: http://www.ala.org/pla/initiatives/google
Deadline to apply: Apply now by June 1.
Grant name: Public Library Association (PLA) and Microsoft Public WiFi Access Micro Grant Program
Description: Microsoft will provide $120,000 to help public libraries in rural communities with hardware and support to install public WiFi access points on or near library grounds. Rural libraries in specific counties are eligible. (DPI recently contacted eligible library directors who had not indicated they already offered the service the grant would provide.)
Link to grant opportunity: http://www.ala.org/pla/initiatives/publicwifi
Deadline to apply: Mondays at 10:59 PM Central until funds are exhausted. Next opportunity Monday, May 11, 10:59pm Central.