Funding for Small-Town Libraries: Kreutz Bennett Donor Advised Fund Grants

There is still time to apply for grants to small-town public libraries

Grants of up to $20,000 are available for libraries in communities with populations of fewer than 3,000, thanks to the generosity of a lifelong educator, the late Shirley Kreutz Bennett of Lincoln. Each year the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund, an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation, accepts proposals for grants for planning that leads to certification, program enhancements, and facilities improvements.

The deadline to submit the initial short application form is October 1, 2017.

Following Ms. Kreutz Bennett’s wishes, a fund advisory committee composed of her nieces and nephews recommends grants in three areas: planning grants leading to accreditation; enhancement grants to improve library services; and facilities grants for new construction or the renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of current libraries.

All grants require a one-to-one match in local funds and evidence that the project has broad community support. Approximately $70,000 to $80,000 is available each year. Grant seekers are encouraged to review the guidelines and application procedures at

For more information, contact Reggi Carlson, NCF Communications Specialist, (402) 323-7338 or

There are 228 libraries in Nebraska communities with populations under 3,000, which makes them eligible for a grant from the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund. Of those, about 100 are not accredited by the Nebraska Library Commission.

“Gaining accreditation is critical to our libraries. It opens the door to other outside funding,” said Jeff Yost, Nebraska Community Foundation president and CEO. “In many small towns, the library may be the only place where some people have access to the internet. Shirley’s legacy gift shows that she had great vision and commitment to people in our small communities. We are honored to help the family of Shirley Kreutz Bennett develop a strategy to share her passion for learning, especially in places where funding continues to shrink,” said Yost.

Nebraska Community Foundation is a statewide organization using charitable giving to build prosperous communities. NCF works with volunteer leaders serving more than 200 communities by providing training, strategic development, gift planning assistance and financial management for its affiliated funds located throughout the state. In the last five years, more than 37,000 contributions have been made to NCF affiliated funds, and more than $125 million has been reinvested to benefit Nebraska communities. For more information visit

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