Through the National Book Foundation Capacity-Building Grant Program, nonprofit literary arts organizations may apply for grants to support projects that aim to create a sustainable and effective organization related to fundraising, finance, or marketing; skill-building opportunities for staff and/or Board members; strategic planning consultants; diversity and equity initiatives; leadership development and management training; sabbaticals for long-term staff members and leaders; and succession planning.

Nonprofit literary arts organizations may apply to the National Book Foundation Capacity-Building Grant Program for grants of $5,000 or $10,000 to support capacity-building initiatives. Funding from the Hawthornden Foundation, originally founded in 1983 by the late Drue Heinz, makes this program possible.

Guidelines and applications are available online-only via Submittable. If you successfully complete the initial eligibility questions on behalf of your organization in Submittable, you will then see the application. You can view and download a preview of the application here. Only applications received through Submittable will be considered; we will not be accepting submissions sent through email. Complete applications must be received via Submittable by May 10, 2024 at 5:00pm EDT.

The National Book Foundation and CLMP held an information session about the grants, hosted by LitNet, on April 10, 2024. You can view a recording of the session here.

Read more about the announcement of the National Book Foundation Capacity-Building Grant Program here.

What is this funding opportunity?

Recognizing that nonprofit literary arts organizations need to address sustainability, the National Book Foundation is pleased to offer a special Capacity-Building Grant Program that will award one-year grants of $5,000 or $10,000 to support projects that build organizational capacity.

A grant from the Hawthornden Foundation, originally founded in 1983 by the late Drue Heinz, makes this program possible.

What is “capacity building?”

“Capacity building” as defined by the National Council of Nonprofits is: “Whatever is needed to bring a nonprofit to the next level of operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity, so it may more effectively and efficiently advance its mission into the future.”

Examples of requests for support include projects in areas such as fundraising, finance, or marketing; skill-building opportunities for staff and/or Board members; strategic planning consultants; diversity and equity initiatives; leadership development and management training; sabbaticals for long-term staff members and leaders; and succession planning.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be nonprofit literary arts organizations* based in the United States or US Territories.

Applicants must have 501(c)3 status or have a fiscal sponsor.

*Nonprofit literary arts organizations are understood as those that have missions and programs dedicated to the literary arts and not other artistic disciplines such as dance, theatre, visual arts.

Nonprofit literary magazines and/or presses should apply to a similar program administered by the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses. More information can be found at https://www.clmp.org/capacity-building-grant-program.

The decisions of the National Book Foundation as to eligibility, both initially and throughout the grant period, are final.

Does the National Book Foundation allow indirect costs as part of grant proposals for this opportunity?

The National Book Foundation does not allow the inclusion of indirect costs in project budgets for the Capacity-Building Grant Program. 100% of awarded grant funds must go directly to the project as laid out in the grant proposal.

Where is the application?

Applications are available online-only via Submittable. If you successfully complete the initial eligibility questions on behalf of your organization in Submittable, you will then see the application.

You can view and download a preview of the application here. Only applications received through Submittable will be considered; we will not be accepting submissions sent through email.

Will there be an information session to learn more?

The National Book Foundation and CLMP held an information session about the grants, hosted by LitNet, on April 10, 2024. You can view a recording of the session here.

What are the criteria on which applications will be reviewed?

Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel based on the following criteria:

  • Completeness of application and clarity of proposal
  • Feasibility of capacity-building project as described
  • Potential impact on organizational capacity and/or sustainability
  • Submitted work samples
  • Previous Capacity-Building funding from the Academy of American Poets and CLMP will be considered, in addition to separate Hawthornden Foundation funding.

Who is serving on the independent review panel?

The National Book Foundation Capacity-Building Grant Program panelists are Lilly Gonzales, Michael Holtmann, and Lisa Willis. Read more about the panelists here.

Final award decisions will be approved by a committee of the National Book Foundation Board of Directors.

When is the application deadline?

Complete applications must be received via Submittable by May 10, 2024 at 5:00pm EDT.

The National Book Foundation assumes no responsibility for applications not received due to user error. Applicants may verify the receipt of their application by logging into Submittable.

When will grants be announced?

All applicants will be informed by August 2024, as to whether or not their project has been funded. A full list of grantees will be published on nationalbook.org.

What kind of reporting will be expected by grantees?

Grantees are required to submit a report to the National Book Foundation after the conclusion of the grant period in September 2025.

Accessibility

If you need accommodation for accessibility, please contact grants@nationalbook.org.

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