Member Grants

The Northern New York Library Network offers member organizations grant opportunities in two categories.

1. Innovation Grants intend to promote strategic development of new or improved programs or services by supporting exploratory projects aligned with an organization’s mission and program priorities, as well as the goals of its greater community. Competitive applications will address a problem or need common among peer institutions with tactics that could be scaled or replicated. Preference may be shown to efforts that leverage or contribute to broader projects (online repositories, local/regional/state initiatives, etc.). Successful applications will demonstrate clear potential impact or outcomes with specific audiences.

2. Special Collection Grants intend to support increased access to special content and collections in member organizations. Digitization of research resources are specifically encouraged, but not required. Projects that will contribute to larger regional or statewide efforts such as New York Heritage, or that pursue recommendations from a professional consultation such as DHPSNY will be especially attractive.  

Grant Applications

Download the Word document templates below and email completed applications to by August 16th, 2019. 

Innovation Grant

Click to download the application

Special Collections Grant

Click to download the application

Requirements and Restrictions

  1. Grant funds are to be used for demonstrable improvements in library services.
  2. Projects that introduce innovative thinking or new solutions are particularly encouraged and will be given funding priority.
  3. The minimum grant amount is $2,000; maximum is $10,000.
  4. All projects must be sustainable: proposals must demonstrate the ability and commitment by the applicant to continue funded projects beyond the grant period.
  5. Grant funds may not be used to pay for the normal operations of the library or replace current staff salaries with grant funds. No grant funds may be used for the retrospective conversion of library materials or continuation of library programs currently in place. Equipment upgrades are considered library programs currently in place and are not eligible for funding. Member organizations may submit only one grant, be it Innovation or Special Collections.
  6. This is a competitive grant program. Outside readers will apply this Application Rubric. For additional planning, please feel free to use this Basic Logic Model.
  7. The timeframe to carry out and complete projects funded by this grant is October 1, 2019 – June 15, 2020.
  8. Mid-year and final reports are required, as well as a presentation of project outcomes at the annual NNYLN Fall Meeting.         


The next grant information session will be held online via Zoom on August 6, 2019 from 10:00 – 11:00 am – register now!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a rubric that will be used for assessing grant applications? Is it available for applicants to view?

Yes, there is an Application Rubric which will be used by outside readers and applicants are welcome to view.

How do I download grant applications?

Simply click the ‘Download’ buttons on the links above under the grant for which you wish to apply. The grant will then download to your computer and open in your local word processing application (Word, Pages, etc.) You may also edit the file in Google Docs.

How do I learn more about NNYLN Special Collections and Innovation grants?

We welcome any and all inquiries regarding our two grant opportunities by contacting the NNYLN office at You are also encouraged to attend the next grant information session which will be held online via Zoom on August 6, 2019 from 10:00 -11:00 am. Register here.