The Art of Getting a Grant for Your School Library

By Dona J. Helmer

These are tough economic times and it certainly doesn’t look like the future of library budgets is getting any better.  What is a librarian to do when you need new books, technology, furniture?

There is grant money available in a variety of places but one of the best, easiest ways to secure funding is from Donors Choose.

What is DonorsChoose?  Over a decade ago, a teacher at a Bronx public high school was making copies of a book when he thought there must be a better way to get the materials his students needed. He created a website for teachers to post classroom projects to see if they could crowd fund their projects.  He posted a project or two and so did his teaching colleagues. It took off and now DonorsChoose has helped to with over 600, 000 projects.

Getting Started is Easy:  Simply go to

The pages will walk you through setting up your account.

Can I see Examples?  Yes, take a look at other requests by clicking on “Find A Classroom to Support” or Click on “Get Project Inspiration”.

How Do I Find Out About Support?  Click on “Find Match Offers”.  You will probably get ideas about things you want—maybe Comic Books or materials to teach Financial Literacy or maybe Media Literacy Projects.

Things to Remember: Keep your project small—under $600 and you have a better chance of getting funded.

Also, remember I have had over 150 projects funded—if I can do it, you can too.







Dona Helmer, Librarian

College Gate Elementary

3101 Sunflower St.

Anchorage, AK  99508


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