Institute of Museum and Library Services Is your library seeking funding for capacity-building work that has the potential to make a broad national impact? The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently opened applications for its National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) program. NLG-L projects investigate and address critical issues that affect the library and archives fields, with the overall goal of advancing these professions and increasing the impact of their services for the American public. Projects may fall into one of four categories (described below) and should culminate in the development of new models, tools, research, services, practices, and/or alliances that can be disseminated, scaled, adapted, and/or applied among libraries across the country.

In a recent post, my colleague Michele Ryan gave a library of great data sites to bookmark and pull fresh data from. In this post I challenge you to look internally at the data you already collect within your organization or for your grant proposals and consider how to freshen it up a bit by making it more recent, more relevant, and more specific.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Attention educators, researchers, institutions of higher education (IHEs), and industry leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields! NSF is now accepting proposals to its Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. The ATE program supports partnerships among IHEs, industry, and economic development agencies to improve undergraduate and secondary education programs for the skilled technical workforce. This workforce is defined as workers who use high-level science and engineering skills but do not hold a baccalaureate degree. ATE projects are faculty-led and may involve research, curriculum development, professional development for educators, IHE consortia activities, and more. Proposals to this program are due October 14, 2021.

Funding Alert! American Rescue Plan Grants Has the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on your arts organization? The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently opened applications for its American Rescue Plans grant program. This opportunity allocates the NEA’s portion of funding from the American Rescue Plan legislation to organizations and jobs in the arts sector that have been affected by the pandemic. These are one-time grants intended to support day-to-day general operating expenses for eligible organizations.

National Endowment for the Humanities Attention institutions of higher education! If your college or university is seeking funding to develop innovative curricula or programs that foster collaboration between the humanities and other disciplines, then you might be interested in this opportunity. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is accepting applications for its Humanities Connections program to expand the role of humanities within institutions of higher education (IHEs) and develop new learning opportunities for students. Through these projects, faculty and students alike will benefit from meaningful, multidisciplinary collaborations that expand the role of the humanities in undergraduate education and cultivate integrative educational experiences.

As grant professionals, we all know that using strong, relevant data from reliable sources to support our case for funding is essential to a quality, competitive application. Although this is true across all types of applications, it is especially relevant when applying for federal grants. While stories bring our programs to life for a reviewer, used artfully data provides the foundation that makes it possible to build a captivating (and winning) case for support. I’m going to provide you with some resources you can use to make finding - and citing - that crucial piece of data easier next time you need it.

National Science Foundation Attention institutions of higher education! The National Science Foundation (NSF) is now accepting proposals to its Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (Noyce). Noyce provides funding to recruit, prepare, and retain elementary and secondary teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as to research the retention and effectiveness of such teachers in school districts with high needs. Proposals for this program are due August 31, 2021.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration Is your state agency working to improve and expand local broadband infrastructure? The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently opened applications for its Broadband Infrastructure Program. This program awards grants to eligible covered partnerships (see below) on a competitive basis, with the overall goal to deploy fixed broadband service in eligible areas in which broadband is not available to all households or businesses.

National Endowment for the Arts Is your community looking for project-based funding to support activities that further the arts? The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently opened applications for its Our Town grant program. Our Town is NEA’s “creative placemaking” grant program, through which arts, cultural, and design activities strengthen and advance local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Ultimately, Our Town projects pave the way for systems-level changes that promote the sustainable integration of arts, culture, and design into the fabric of community life.

I am a grant professional for whom the written word is a more comfortable form of communication than face-to-face communication. Once I understood the concepts and intent of grant proposal writing, I fell in love with it. The majority of my time is spent alone in my office writing or in one-on-one conversations with program, financial, and executive leadership staff. Given that my learning style is also visual text, reading RFPs, gathering the information needed, and conducting the research is all easy for me to understand. Recently though, I have needed to be involved in meetings with program officers. These are not my favorite activity. Oh, I love hearing all the things funders have to say about their organization that help me better understand their mission. I also love to hear all the things about the program that my organizations say to the funder that I have not heard before in quite the same way. (Haven’t we all been here?) If my only task was to listen, these meetings would be easy, but these were conversations in which I was the lead for a significant portion of the conversation.