Fundraising for your Digital Collection by Tom Clareson
Select your project for funding according to the specific area covered by the fund-granting institution. Research the grants that are available, and tailor your proposal to the grant you are seeking.
Monitor grant activity.
Even in our current economy, there is a lot of funding for digital projects.
Document what you work on, even if you do not complete your project; it might be something someone else could use.
Government Grants: Federal and State
- Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
- National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
- National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)
- Save America's Treasures (SAT) - Grants for historic buildings - lately interested in what is inside those buildings
- National Science Foundation "the digital promise"
Kinds of Grants:
- Grants to Preserve and Create Access to Humanities Collections "brittle books" cataloging prior to digitization
- Challenge Grants - matching money
- Incubator grants like the Joint Urban Studies Center (JUSC)
- Grants for new grant users
Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections $40,000 for planning $400,000 for implementation
This one is do-able:
NEH up to $6,000 springboard
4 pages / 1 page budget
50% - 75% awarding
supplies, equipment , storage furniture
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Digital Resources
National Leadership Grant (NLG) Advancing Libraries and Museums, Leadership in the field
21st Century Librarian Program
Connecting to Collections Call to Action
- what are key issues in preservation conservation
- under-served collections /populations
- Conservation bookshelf best practices print ansd web materials
Massachusetts Connecting to Collections surveys
- where we should go what direction should we shoot for
- voice you concerns
IMLS "WebWise" Conference, Washington D.C. 2010
- real-life stories of how projects have failed lessons learned
- free admission
- some time around Thanksgiving
- general purpose large endowments
- special purpose - usually science, but coming our way
- Company-sponsored foundations Target, American Express, Coca-Cola, H W Wilson (Polar?)
- Community foundations - regional Massachusetts Cultural Council, local - collaboration
- Family foundations - staffed by an attorney / family/ individuals
Fundraising strategies for digital projects (programming)
- Friends groups
- community drives
- corporate gifts
- "hitching on" to other collaborative projects
- subjects/ themes/ other projects nationally that work with your collection
Grant Writing "How To"
STATEMENT OF NEED
- how grant will change people's lives
- what are you famous for?
- what is unique to you?
- market research/focus groups
- in response to a need: why is this project seminal?
- how are funds allocated
- exactly how project is going to come to fruition? be realistic
- guidelines: how project is going to be implement
- what programming you have done - use to get grants
- must be easy to read - no jargon
- asking for other staff to take over your other work
- budgets: look at other projects online
- appendices: documentation
- lack of communication with program officers
- failure to follow guidelines
- quantification of collection formats and size
- ownership and IP rights
- lack of detail in plan of work
- no letters of support or commitment
- missing information on project staff
- budget errors
Tom Clareson offers a free service to review grants