Finding Potential Grants, Sponsors, and Partners

Listed below are sources for potential grants available for book festivals. However, locating possible sponsors and partners goes hand-in-hand with looking for a grant to defray the cost of your event.

1.  AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2012, more than $131 million was contributed through corporate, employee, and AT&T Foundation giving programs. http://www.corp.att.com/edu/k12/grants_k-12_include.html

2.  Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 
The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. It provides leadership through research, policy development, and grant making. http://www.imls.gov/
For available grants, applications, and guidelines go to:
http://www.imls.gov/applicants/search.aspx

3.  National Endowment for the Arts 
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that funds and promotes artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. http://www.arts.gov/

4.  National Endowment for the Humanities 
The National Endowment for the Humanities promotes excellence in the humanities through grants supporting research, education, preservation and public programs. http://www.neh.gov/

5.  New York Council on the Arts
The New York State Council on the Arts is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York's citizens. The Council believes in supporting artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure and the rights of all New Yorkers to access and experience the power of the arts and culture, and the vital contribution the arts make to the quality of life in New York communities. http://www.arts.ny.gov/public/about/mission_values.htm
NYSCA accepts grant proposals each year from nonprofit organizations incorporated in New York State. http://www.arts.ny.gov/public/grants/index.htm

6.  New York Council on the Humanities (toolkit sponsor)
The mission of the New York Council for the Humanities is to help all New Yorkers become thoughtful participants in our communities by promoting critical inquiry, cultural understanding, and civic engagement. Founded in 1975, the New York Council for the Humanities is the sole statewide proponent of public access to the humanities. The Council is a private 501(c)3 that receives Federal, State, and private funding. 
The Council’s vision is to create a vibrant, growing public humanities community that engages all New Yorkers in civic participation, volunteerism, philanthropy, and community involvement, and reconnects people to our rich state and local history. 
The grants program is a statewide resource for support of a wide variety of lectures, festivals, panel discussions, walking tours, and the planning and implementation of exhibitions and other ventures at small and large not-for-profit institutions throughout New York State. Through this program, the Council distributes federal funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities directly to notable projects created by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other cultural and educational organizations. (http://www.nyhumanities.org/about_us/)
Planning grants of up to $1,500 support the preparation of humanities-based public programs, such as convening scholar-advisors, working with community members, and creating interpretive plans. 
Project grants of up to $3,000 support implementation of humanities-based public programs. You can include some planning costs within your request, however the majority of the request should be implementation costs.  
http://www.nyhumanities.org/grants/index.php
**You can see also find the grant guidelines at the end of this toolkit.

7.  Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, is one of the largest existing organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals writing and illustrating for children and young adults in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. http://www.scbwi.org/about/mission/
Check out the awards and grants SCBWI presents to its members. http://www.scbwi.org/awards/

Contacting and building relationships with the following can lead to your finding local sponsors and festival partners:

  • Area newspapers
  • Colleges and universities
  • Bookstores-both independent and chains like Barnes & Noble
  • Government agencies
  • Publishers 
  • Public libraries
  • Literacy organizations or associations
  • Area radio or television stations 
  • Arts groups
  • Foundations – many regions have community foundations
  • Local businesses

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