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Believe in Reading Grants
C - Funds little to no technology
Believe in Reading
Believe in Reading will consider funding programs that serve any age or aspect of supporting reading and literacy, including adult literacy or English as a second language projects. The funder's favorite thing to help applicants purchase are books and materials, especially for the building of libraries or to give away to readers (e.g. using grant funds to stock a book vending machine but not purchasing the machine itself).
Believe in Reading Funding Priorities
- Believe in Reading considers projects that support its mission and philanthropic objectives and considers only projects that specifically and substantially address its funding priorities.
- Believe in Reading targets successful literacy programs that serve populations that show out of the ordinary needs, such as geographic areas with low reading scores and high poverty levels. Applicants serving high-need populations are favored.
- Believe in Reading will supply funds only if they are earmarked for literacy, not just a general campaign. Reading must be the prime activity.
History of Funding
Previously funded projects can be seen at https://www.believeinreading.org/projects-2/.
Believe in Reading will not award grants for
- Organizations without tax exempt status.
- Organizations that discriminate on the basis of age, national origin, race or color, marital status, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.
- Expenses that are not directly related to the project for which funding is sought.
- An organization's operating and administrative expenses (i.e. overhear or logistics costs).
- Salaries of permanent staff, unless DIRECTLY related to the project for which funding is sought.
- Capital costs for building and construction, or basic infrastructure costs (such as electricity, rent, telephone, etc.), general-purpose or office equipment.
- Funding for needed equipment such as computers will be considered if directly tied to the proposed project.
- Software costs are generally not favored but may be considered if it is devoted to reading facilitation and directly tied to the proposed project.
- Pass-through funding, such as using the funding to award scholarships, or to pass on to a consultant.
- Budget deficits.
- Projects which have a potential conflict of interest; for example, when a board member or employee might serve as a vendor for the project.
- Projects containing commercial or for-profit elements.
- Start-up funding for new programs unless the applicant is a public or school library.
- Believe in Reading prefers to fund projects that have already been piloted and found to be successful. If you're proposing a brand new project which has never been tried--especially if you're asking for thousands of dollars--your chance of being funded is small. If you have a small project that you personally have not tried, but you know has been successful for other groups, you are encouraged to explain this in your application.
- Lobbying, political contributions, or any other activity designed to influence legislation or affect political campaigns.
- Direct or matching payments to members of the public.
- Speaker fees.
Believe in Reading awards grants to existing and provably successful literacy programs. Believe in Reading awards grants only to organizations that have been designated as having tax exempt status according to the IRS Code Section 501(c)(3), or its equivalent for educational institutions, including public libraries. (A pending status does not fulfill this requirement.)
Applications are accepted throughout the year starting in February and reviewed in the order they are received. Interested applicants should first submit a letter of inquiry with a summary of your proposed project. LOI submissions will be acknowledged by staff within 1 or 2 months. Qualified applicants will later be invited to submit an application.
Award amounts vary. Awards range from $1,000 to $10,000. The funder rarely makes a grant more than $3,000 to a first-time applicants, although, if the project is successful more could be requested in the subsequent two years. Believe in Reading currently funds up to three years for any one organization, but the grant must be requested each year.
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