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Apply for a Grant

The Application Process

1. Search for available grants
Grant programs and deadlines can be searched by name, by eligible institution type, and by project type.

2. Check eligibility requirements
Eligibility criteria will vary by program. Checking the program-specific criteria will help you ensure you're applying for the right grant for your institution. Read more.

3. Read application Notice of Funding Opportunities
Read through the application Notice of Funding Opportunities carefully to get all the information you need on the grant program. Read more.

4. Compose your application
Use the following Applicant Tools & Materials links to help you compose a stronger, more competitive application.

a. Sample Applications - Examples of successful applications from previous years

b. Outcome Based Evaluations - Introduction to and resources for successful program evaluation

c. Shaping Outcomes - An IMLS-funded online course on outcomes-based planning and evaluation, which will help participants improve program designs and evaluations.

d. Grantee Requirements - Administration and dissemination requirements for all grantees

e. Reviewer Materials - Guidelines and handbooks used during application review

5. Contact an IMLS Staff Member
We welcome calls from applicants and are happy to answer any questions about the grant application and review process. Conversations with staff can provide useful guidance and help you to explore how your idea may match the goals of a grant program. To reach an IMLS staff member please click on a link below for the grant program in which you are interested.

6. Submit your application via Grants.gov
Consult our Grants.gov guidelines to ensure we will receive your application, complete and on-time. Read more.

7. What happens next?
Learn how applications are reviewed and when grant announcements are made. Read more.

Search Available Grants

Museums Empowered: Professional Development and Capacity Building Opportunities for Museums
Deadline:
March 01, 2018

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2018 will be posted 60-90 days before the next deadline.  The FY 2017 NOFO is available as a reference document on the IMLS website.
Grant Amount: $5,000–$250,000
Grant Period: Up to three years

Collections Assessment for Preservation Program (CAP)
Deadline:
February 01, 2018

Application: CAP applications will be accepted from November 1, 2017 through February 1, 2018. Please visit www.conservation-us.org/cap for application information.

Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program
Deadline:
December 01, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2018 will be posted in September 2017. The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2017 remains available for reference.
Grant Amount: $5,000 - $75,000
Grant Period: Up to two years
Cost Share Requirement: No cost share requirement

National Leadership Grants for Museums
Deadline:
December 01, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2018 will be posted in September 2017. The NOFO for FY 2017 remains available for reference.
Grant Amount: $5,000–$1,000,000
Grant Period: Up to three years

Museums for America
Deadline:
December 01, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2018 will be posted in September 2017. The NOFO for FY 2017 remains available for reference.
Grant Amount: $5,000–$250,000
Grant Period: Up to three years

Museum Grants for African American History and Culture
Deadline:
December 01, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity will be posted 60-90 days before the next deadline.  The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2017 remains available as a reference
Grant Amount: $5,000 - $150,000
Grant Period: Up to three years

National Medal for Museum and Library Service
Deadline:
October 23, 2017

Application: The instructions and nomination form for fiscal year are now available: Download FY 2018 Nomination Form (PDF, 248KB)

National Medal for Museum and Library Service
Deadline:
October 02, 2017

Application: The instructions and nomination form for fiscal year are now available: Download FY 2018 Nomination Form (PDF, 248KB)

National Leadership Grants for Libraries
Deadline:
September 22, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2018 Cycle 1 is now available.
Program Overview: National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG) support projects that address challenges and opportunities, as well as potentially advance theory and practice.
Deadline Extension: September 22, 2017 for applicants located in presidentially-declared disaster zones.

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
Deadline:
September 22, 2017

Application: Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program – FY18 Notice Of Funding Opportunity.
Program Overview: The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) provides grants to libraries for professional development and education.
Deadline Extension: September 22, 2017 for applicants located in presidentially-declared disaster zones.

National Leadership Grants for Libraries
Deadline:
September 01, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2018 Cycle 1 is now available.
Program Overview: National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG) support projects that address challenges and opportunities, as well as potentially advance theory and practice.
Deadline Extension: September 22, 2017 for applicants located in presidentially-declared disaster zones.

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
Deadline:
September 01, 2017

Application: Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program – FY18 Notice Of Funding Opportunity.
Program Overview: The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) provides grants to libraries for professional development and education.
Deadline Extension: September 22, 2017 for applicants located in presidentially-declared disaster zones.

Museum Assessment Program (MAP)
Deadline:
July 01, 2017

Application: The 2017 MAP deadline is July 1, 2017. Please visit Museum Assessment Program further information.
Program Overview: The Museum Assessment Program (MAP) is designed to help museums assess their strengths and weaknesses, and plan for the future.

Native Hawaiian Library Services
Deadline:
May 17, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2017 is now available.
Program Overview: Native Hawaiian Library Services grant projects may enhance existing library services or implement new library services.

Native American Library Services: Enhancement Grants
Deadline:
May 17, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2017 is now available.
Program Overview: Enhancement Grant projects may enhance existing library services or implement new library services.

Native American Library Services: Basic Grants
Deadline:
April 17, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2017 is now available.
Grant Amount: $6,000 or $7,000
Cost Share Requirements: None
Grant Period: One Year

Activating Community Opportunities Using Museums / Libraries as Assets - A National Leadership Grants Special Initiative
Deadline:
April 03, 2017

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2017 is now available.
Grant Amount: Up to $150,000
Grant Period of Performance: Up to two years.
Cost Share Requirement: 1:1 cost share required.

STEM Expert Facilitation of Family Learning in Libraries and Museums (STEMeX)
Deadline:
May 01, 2016

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2016 is now available.
Grant Amount: Up to $1,000,000
Grant Period of Performance: Up to two years.
Cost Share Requirement: Because these are research projects, no cost sharing is required. Any cost share provided will not be considered in the review of the application.

Grants to State Library Administrative Agencies
Deadline:
April 04, 2016

The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula. SLAAs may use federal funds to support statewide initiatives and services; they also may distribute the funds through subgrant competitions or cooperative agreements to public, academic, research, school, and special libraries in their state.

LSTA Competitive Grants for the Pacific Region and U.S. Virgin Islands
Deadline:
April 01, 2016

Application: IMLS will send application information to eligible entities on a yearly basis. Application review, by peers in the field, is administered by the Regional Educational Laboratory-Pacific (REL-P) at Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL). IMLS awards grants based upon their recommendations.
Grant Amount: Varies*
Grant Period:  Awards are generally made in July with allotments expended over a 14-month period.

Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries
Deadline:
February 15, 2016

Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2016 is now available.
Grant Amount: $10,000 to $25,000
Grant Period: Up to one year
Cost Share Requirement:  No matching requirements.
Program Contact
Tim Carrigan, Senior Library Program Officer
202-653-4639
tcarrigan@imls.gov 

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards
Deadline:
February 01, 2016

Does your museum or library have an outstanding afterschool or out-of-school program that is transforming the lives of young people? 
Slides from January 16, 2014 webinar (PDF, 660KB)