Monthly Archives: December 2018

Grants for Libraries

KINDER MORGAN FOUNDATION

DEADLINE: JANUARY 10, MARCH 10

Kinder Morgan Foundation provides grants in the range of $1,000–$5,000 to nonprofits, public schools, and private schools. The program must benefit youth in grades K–12 with an emphasis on academic or art education programs. Grant money may also be used for capital projects for public libraries only. For more information see http://bit.ly/2QdTp8e.

REIMAN FOUNDATION

DEADLINE: ONGOING
The Reiman Foundation accepts applications for grants with a focus on healthcare, education, the arts, and children. This application has no specific form and allows the applicant to provide the information they believe is most important to showcasing the intended project and the benefit it will provide. For more information see http://bit.ly/2REe6qF

ARTS IN EDUCATION COLLABORATION (NDCA)

DEADLINE: APRIL 1
Applications open January 1 for the North Dakota Council on the Arts grants. Grant applications should focus on establishing ongoing partnerships and collaborations between schools, communities, and other art resources or artists. Grant funds may be used for artist fees, administrative fees, and materials and supplies required for lessons and project implementation. However, the funds may not be used for field-trip-like activities, permanent equipment, or salaries. Matching funds are required.
See the NDCA website for more information: http://bit.ly/2QhpImQ

ACCELERATING PROMISING PRACTICES FOR SMALL LIBRARIES (IMLS)

DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 25
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is offering funding opportunities to strengthen the ability of small and rural libraries with awards that range from $10,000 to $50,000. There are three categories of grants: Transforming School Library Practice, Community Memory, and Digital Inclusion. There are two informational webinars for more information on December 18 and January 9. Please see the IMLS press release for more information: http://bit.ly/2Rxscd4.

The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has designed a grant application for small and rural libraries. State Librarian Mary Soucie had the opportunity to participate in the conversation around creating this grant package. She encourages our North Dakota Libraries to consider submitting a grant. We know there is a strong need for support amongst these libraries and we want to thank IMLS for recognizing the need. A strong showing of applications will confirm that this grant opportunity is meeting a need. Please contact your Library Development Specialist, Assistant State Librarian Cindy Clairmont-Schmidt or State Librarian Mary Soucie for assistance with or to read the grant application.

MY FIRST AASL NATIONAL CONFERENCE TRAVEL GRANT

DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 1
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is offering 30 grants for travel to its 2019 National Conference & Exhibition, which will be held November 14-16 in Louisville, Kentucky. The $750 grants for first-time attendees of the conference are sponsored by Bound To Stay Bound Books. Those interested in applying can access the application at www.ala.org/aasl/btsb_grants.

Coding, STEM, & STEAM Resources

Coding Resources

Coding Apps, Websites, & More

Coding Clubs

Coding for Girls

Hour of Code

STEM & STEAM Resources

Books: STEM, STEAM, & Coding

Community Organizations

Want to make your library more visible in the community? Flyers and social media posts tend to only reach the people that are already looking for library information, but one great way to grow that audience is to have library staff and board members become involved in community organizations.

Having a library presence in community organizations allows the library to reach a broader group of people and participate in other aspects of the community that people may not associate with the library. Offering public meeting space, resource collections, and volunteer opportunities are all ways that libraries can assist these organizations that they may not have thought of yet. Additionally, by broadening the network of people you talk to about the library, you expand your knowledge of the community’s needs and can work on creative ways to solve them using library resources and expertise.

Some possible organizations to join are the Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Elks Club, Eagles Club, or Rotary. However, all organizations in your area that you think could benefit from a library staff or board member should be considered.

Libraries and Social Media

According to Merriam-Webster, social media is defined as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).”

With social media, one can instantly connect with friends and family – or even complete strangers – no matter where they are located. Libraries can also take advantage of social media. It is a great tool for libraries to connect and engage with their community, as well as promote library services, events, resources, etc. Also, most social media platforms are free, which is valuable perk.

Examples of social media platforms that libraries use include more traditional ones, such as:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter

Other platforms that libraries use may also include:

  • Flickr
  • GoodReads
  • HistoryPin
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • YouTube

First and foremost, libraries should give serious consideration to implementing a social media policy. A policy can help outline guidelines on what and how to post, and help ensure libraries are getting the most out of their social media usage.

There are many resources available online regarding libraries and social media, and here are a couple terrific places to start:

Acquiring 501(c)(3) Status

Friends of the Library and Library Foundations are excellent groups to help raise money for your library. In order for these organizations to function optimally and to assist with the procurement of grants, it is encouraged for them to obtain a 501(c)(3) status. This means that they are viewed as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization that qualifies as a public charity under IRS Code, Section 501(c)(3). Please seek the aid of an attorney or CPA to assist in the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) status as laws and common practices are subject to change.

The process to achieve 501(c)(3) status can take over 6 months to complete. The IRS has created a guide outlining the Life Cycle of a Public Charity that can help lead you through this process. In order to achieve 501(c)(3) status, the group must do the following:

  1. Create an organizing document that contains the following provisions. More information and sample documents can be found here.
    • Limit the organization’s purpose to one of the exempt purposes listed in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code.
    • State that the organization cannot engage in activities that don’t advance the exempt purpose.
    • State that the assets of the organization (money, property, etc.), will be dedicated permanently to the exempt purpose listed.
  2. Establish a Board of Directors and create bylaws for the group.
  3. Once the organization is legally established (see page 9 of IRS Publication 4220), obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS online, by mail, or by phone (1-800-829-4933). Applying for an EIN triggers filing requirements, so do not complete this step until you are prepared to move forward with your other forms.
  4. File Articles of Incorporation for the group with the State of North Dakota as per NDCC 10-33. The paperwork can be found here. There is a $40 filing fee that must accompany the completed form. The ND Secretary of State Office and other state agencies created a guide to beginning and maintaining a nonprofit corporation in ND that can be found here.
  5. Submit the IRS Form 1023-EZ or Form 1023 depending on your eligibility. Eligibility can be determined using the worksheet in the 1023-EZ directions. Directions for the forms can be found here (1023-EZ) or here (1023).

**You may be exempt from this requirement if your organization has gross receipts in each taxable year that are normally not more than $5,000. Please see http://bit.ly/2REnkD0 for more details.**

  1. Before the group can solicit contributions, it may need to be registered as a charitable organization through the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office as per NDCC 50-22. That process can be found here.
  2. The organization will need to follow the tax-code for a 501(c)(3) during the time that their application is in processing. See the IRS page “Tax Law Compliance before Exempt Status is Recognized” for more information. All bank accounts, books, and records for the group need to be separate from the library’s records.

 

Once the group has acquired 501(c)(3) status, they will need to follow all state and federal filing guidelines to maintain that status. This includes the annual filing of Form 990 and other, unrelated income tax filings, state filings, charitable solicitations reporting, donation substantiation reporting, etc. Additionally, records should be kept for things such as executive compensation, transactions with board members, sources of revenue, accomplishments, expense allocations, details of investments, and organization structure. These things help assure that the group will maintain annual compliance. Most records of the 501(c)(3) group will be subject to public disclosure requirements.

 

Helpful Links: