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The Friends of the North Carolina Public Library (FONCPL) will award Seed Grants of up to $500. FONCPL reserves the right to determine the number of these grants to be awarded in a calendar year.

These grants are awarded to a group forming a Friends of the Library organization or to one that is revitalizing a dormant Friends of the Library group. Eligible groups shall receive only one of these grants.

As an incentive, FONCPL offers a free one-year membership in FONCPL to the Seed Grant awardees for the year in which the award was made.

Up to $500 may be requested for activities and fees associated with forming or revitalizing a dormant Friends of the Library group. It is required that a portion of the grant funding be used to incorporate as a nonprofit with the state of North Carolina AND to apply for the IRS 501 (c)(3) designation unless the group already complied with these requirements.  Funding may also be used for things like: designing a logo, printing membership pamphlets, meeting the minimum amount needed to set up a bank account, setting up a website, copying & printing costs, etc. Seed Grant funding may not be used to purchase goods or services for the library or library system.

FONCPL will assign a Board member or other qualified Friends of the Library individual to coach the Seed Grant awardees. This is a condition of the grant.

Seed Grant Timetable
Deadline for Application:                                       None. May be submitted anytime.
Grant award decision:                                            Within one month of receipt of application
Disbursal of half the grant amount:                       At the time of the award notice.
Disbursal of the balance of the grant amount:      Upon receipt of the interim report
Funding spent:                                                       Within nine months of receipt of funding
Final report on funding:                                         Within one year of grant award date

Seed Grant Evaluation Criteria
Grant applications will be evaluated on: quality and clarity of the group’s narrative; completeness and reasonableness of the time and task schedule; planned expenditures; and the soundness of the letter from the library or library system.

Please complete the Seed Grant application form and email copy of application, narrative, letter from library or library system, cover letter and any supporting documentation as an attachment to Tess Thais at tessthais88@gmail.com

Email Tess Thais at tessthais88@gmail.com

Grant Application Award Process
Members of the Board of FONCLP will review, evaluate and make funding decisions. Unless otherwise agreed upon, FONCPL will disburse the award in two payments: half at the time of the initial award and the second when an interim report is received documenting the expenditures of the monies received in the first payment.

Evaluation/Reporting Requirements
Interim report: An interim report documenting the expenditures for the first grant payment is due when those funds are spent. This should include progress made. This is a condition of receiving the balance of the award amount. If timing is an issue, FONCPL will work with the awardee.

Final report: FONCPL wants to evaluate the effectiveness of the Seed Grant. We’d like to know what problems were experienced and overcome, and what was learned from the effort.  Such information will help FONCPL adapt and apply the experience of grant recipients to other forming or revitalizing Friends groups around the state. Grant recipients are asked to submit a final report no later than one year from the date of the grant. We encourage photos. Materials and any media release on the grant should include the notice: “Funded by a grant from Friends of the North Carolina Public Libraries.”

Information from your report may be used on the FONCPL website and/or newsletter.

Click here for the Seed Grant application rev 2024 fillable pdf

First Seed Grant Recipient:  Friends of the Johnston County/Smithfield Library
Congratulations to the Friends of the Library of Johnston County and Smithfield!  The Friends will use these funds to defray the cost of applying for and obtaining nonprofit status and replacing a moribund Friends of the Library with a new, dynamic leadership.  This group is being mentored by Joyce Speas, FONCPL Director.

January 2022 FONCPL awards second Seed Grant:  Denton Friends of the Library
Congratulations to the Denton Friends of the Library (Davidson County).  This grant will be used to form a Friends group and to establish a firm foundation on which to build it.  The Denton Friends are being mentored by Donna Morgan, FONCPL Director.

May 2022 FONCPL awards third Seed Grant:  Bladen County Friends of the Library
Congratulations to the Bladen County Friends of the Library!  This grant will be used to form a new Friends group who are looking forward to supporting their library and its new Director.  The Bladen County Friends are being mentored by Judy Hills, FONCPL President.


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