Libraries Turn to Private Funds to Serve the Public Good
As state and federal funding is threatened, Foundation Center introduces new tools to help libraries find philanthropic support.
New York, NY — February 6, 2017. Foundation Center announces the launch of Visualizing Funding for Libraries, the most comprehensive database of library funding that has ever existed, containing grants given to U.S. libraries by U.S. foundations. It is available for free to the public as of today.
Libraries, as community-connectors providing critical outreach and resources, can use this searchable data visualization tool to find foundation grants to fill gaps in government budget cuts, diversify funding sources, and expand programming. Library advocates, foundations, and nonprofits can also use it to understand the funding landscape. A search of the tool will quickly reveal:
- Local, state, and national sources of funding for public, academic, school, special collection, and government libraries
- Demographic information corresponding with library service area
- Regional funding trends
Because many libraries lack grant-seeking experience, Foundation Center will offer free capacity-building training, including:
- Webinars that demonstrate how to use the mapping tool and grant-seeking basics
- A self-paced online course, ideal for libraries with limited resources
- In-person events with Foundation Center's partners, including select Funding Information Network locations nationwide
"Foundation Center has applied its data mapping technologies to libraries because they support a wide range of nonprofit organizations and deserve funding from an equally broad array of funders," said Bradford K. Smith, President of Foundation Center. "I'd encourage all foundations to visit Visualizing Funding for Libraries to explore ways they can support the libraries that support their causes."
The Visualizing Funding for Libraries project is a winner of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's 2016 Knight News Challenge on Libraries, which funds breakthrough ideas that help libraries serve 21st century information needs.
"Libraries are more important today than ever. This tool will help them as they reinvent themselves in the digital age, allowing them to find and track funding opportunities, better understand trends and inform their decision-making with data," said John Bracken, Knight Foundation vice president for technology innovation.
About Foundation Center
Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide, with the most comprehensive database of U.S. and global grantmakers and grants. It operates research, education, and training programs that advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level and connects people who want to change the world with the data, analytical, and training resources they need. Visit foundationcenter.org or call (212) 620-4230.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.