- COVID-19 Grant Response Program -

In a year defined by a pandemic and its fallout, your library is doubtless facing challenges and uncertainties on an unprecedented scale. You want to help. We want you to, as well.

As one means to that end, the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) is proud to announce its COVID-19 Grant Response Program (form).

What’s the catch? There isn’t one. 
Our newest grant program is intended to be broad and responsive in nature. After all, even in good times, library systems and the Friends groups supporting them are each a little different. As we inch towards recovery and a new normal, it stands to reason that each will do it a little differently.

As a way of priming the pump, here are examples of expenses that Friends might seek assistance from the COVID-19 Grant Response Program to defray.

  • Operational Costs. In this age of social distancing, most of us are doing things a little differently: videoconferencing instead of meeting in person, hosting fundraisers in the virtual space for the first time, forgoing print newsletters in favor of online ones, and so on. Are the subscriptions and other start-up costs prohibitive for you? Consider this grant. Costs incurred after March 1, 2020 are eligible.

  • Virtual Programming. Libraries everywhere are experimenting with virtual programs to fill the vacuum left by the closure of their brick-and-mortar facilities. So, too, are many enterprising Friends groups. Author honoraria, instructor compensation, and indirect costs like platform maintenance fees are all eligible for consideration.

  • Direct Library Support. Odds are high that your traditional Friends fundraisers have been, or will be, impacted by the pandemic. Perhaps this puts you in a position where you cannot fund a long-ago-identified library need that the Friends had previously intended to bankroll. Similarly, perhaps COVID-19 introduces brand new funding needs that you wish to assist the library with.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants are Friends of the Library organizations that (1) serve a Minnesota-based public, school K-12, college/university, or special library, (2) are 501(c)3 nonprofits eligible to receive tax-deductible donations, and in good standing with the IRS and Minnesota Secretary of State, (3) are current in their annual MALF membership dues, and (4) are willing to report back on expenditures and impacts using a 1-page template provided by MALF.

Application Instructions

Applications for this inaugural cycle of the COVID-19 Grant Response Program will be accepted, on a rolling basis, through Friday, June 19, 2020 and until cap limits are reached.* Early submissions are encouraged, as the MALF Board of Directors will evaluate proposals and award funds on a monthly basis (and only until caps are hit). Simply email a .docx or .pdf of Page 2 to info@mnlibraryfriends.org, using the email subject line “MALF COVID-19 Grant Response Program.” Questions about eligibility can be routed to this same address.

*In total, ten grants (each capped at a max of $500) are available in this initial phase of the program. MALF will reevaluate needs and resources later in 2020, and communicate a determination about a future for this fund by year’s end.



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