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National Book Fund

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BooksHelp us distribute hundreds of thousands of books to adult literacy programs throughout the United States.


Frequently Asked Questions

What types of programs does the NBF support?

The NBF makes grants to adult literacy and adult basic education programs. The NBF supports the following initiatives: basic literacy, adult education, English language instruction, GED/HSE preparation and family literacy. The NBF does not award grants to individuals.

What activities does the NBF prefer not to fund?

The NBF does not fund requests to provide books for lending libraries or other resource centers where NBF materials are not directly linked to use with students receiving literacy instruction. Also, programs that request NBF materials to use strictly as free distribution items are not funded.

What types of educational materials are available through the NBF?

New Readers Press, ProLiteracy's publishing division, provides the books and materials for NBF awards. These books are high quality instructional materials specially written for literacy students and tutors. The NBF does not provide titles outside of those offered by New Readers Press.

Are there any other resources available through the NBF?

Grants may also be in the form of ProLiteracy's online self-paced professional development courses.

What percentage of grant applications is funded?

The NBF has a high approval rate. Approximately 65 percent of applications are funded.

What is the size of the grants awarded annually?

NBF grants have ranged from $500 to $2,000, although greater or lesser funding amounts are considered. Grant requests significantly over the $2,000 level are not typically funded.

What is the cash-funding component? Why does the NBF require this as part of the grant award?

The cash-funding component is a direct payment to ProLiteracy. These funds defray the administrative costs incurred in running the program and help to keep the NBF strong and viable. Note that the cash-funding component is a lower rate for organizational members of ProLiteracy. 

When is the deadline to submit an application for the NBF?

The NBF is an annual program. Applications are available by March 1 and due back by April 15.

What are common NBF application errors?

Applicants sometimes fail to include the required documentation, such as a copy of the financial statement. Another common error is failure to include the required two-page proposal narrative. Applicants should carefully read the NBF Guidelines for Applying document before applying.

With whom do I communicate if I have questions or concerns about completing my NBF grant application?

You may email questions to the NBF Program Director, Alicia Suskin, or call her at (315) 214-2463.

How long will it take to receive a response once I've submitted my NBF application?

Applicants will be notified about the status of their requests no later than May 30.

I've reviewed the NBF guidelines and have found that my project doesn't meet the NBF criteria. Where else might I look for funding?

For a list of U.S. foundations and the areas they fund, check the Foundation Center and the Council on Foundations.

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| New Readers Press International Programs Ruth J. Colvin Center ProLiteracy Education Network