Mini Grants For Rural Libraries

A grant for rural Oregon libraries to create and host events in their communities

Photos by Ezra Marcos

Mini Grants for Rural Libraries are currently closed for applications. To be notified when they reopen, sign up for our newsletter.

Purpose of this grant

In 2024, Oregon Humanities will award up to $25,000 in funding to enable rural and rural-serving Oregon libraries to create and host events in their own communities. 

Events should reflect our 2024 theme, Fear and Belonging. Grantees are welcome to interpret this theme and develop topics that are relevant to their communities. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • What brings us together and what drives us apart?
  • Who is currently included in our democracy, and who is left out? 
  • Why do we sometimes fear people who are different from us or don’t belong to the same groups we do? 
  • What leads people to embrace hate and violence, and what might lead them in other directions?

Public, volunteer, community college, or tribal libraries and library branches that are located in (or adjacent to and serving) rural or frontier zip codes are eligible. Please see the eligibility section below for all eligibility requirements.

Funding details

Oregon Humanities will award a total of up to $25,000 in Mini Grants for Rural Libraries for 2024. The maximum award per organization is $5,000. This could fund one event or multiple events.

Please note: We review the process and funding levels each year and may make adjustments for future grant cycles.

Grant timeline

  • Applications open: November 6, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. PT
  • Online info session #1: November 14, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. PT
  • Online info session #2: December 4, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. PT
  • Online application assistance session: January 4, 2024, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. PT
  • Applications due: Monday, January 15, 2024, by 5:00 p.m. PT
  • Awards announced: February 2024
  • Grant period (funded programs/events held): February 15, 2024 through September 30, 2024
  • Final grant report due: October 15, 2024

Types of events this grant funds

Our Mini Grant for Rural Libraries funds a wide variety of humanities events and activities. Click here to read more.

Some activities that are commonly funded by this grant include: 

  • Community dialogues
  • Speaker events that include audience engagement
  • Interactive author presentations
  • Storytelling
  • Programming that connects exhibits to current experiences
  • Community-engaged interpretation of history, art history and theory, cultural history, or philosophy

This grant can support program-related expenses that may include the following:

  • Honoraria for conversation facilitators, featured speakers, and conversation participants (excluding audience members)
  • Program/event planning costs, including project planning and management salaries
  • Event space rental costs
  • Supplies and materials
  • Labor and technical support for online events
  • Cleaning supplies and services
  • Event advertising
  • Documenting the program through production of video, audio, digital/print publication
  • Printing and duplication
  • Costs to purchase associated publications that support your event, will be distributed to event attendees at no cost, or gifted for attendees to take home with them.
  • Snacks, non-alcoholic drinks for consumption during the event
  • Costs to provide onsite childcare during the event
  • ADA access. For example: live captioning (Note: capital expenditures and equipment purchases are not allowed)
  • Language translation during the event, including ASL translation

Notes about grant-funded activities: 

  • If the applicant is a library branch, all grant-funded activities and events need to be held within the branch’s zip code.
  • Programs can be in multiple languages or be in a language other than English. Grant reporting must be in English.
  • Programs can be hosted online or in-person.


Activities this grant does not fund

There are some restrictions on what the Mini Grant for Rural Libraries can fund. Click here to read more.

This grant funding is from the National Endowment of the Humanities and carries the restriction that these funds cannot be used to pay for the creation or performance of art. This grant can fund programs and events about “the history, criticism and theory of the arts” because these are commonly considered to be humanities activities. (Please visit the National Endowment for the Arts’ Grants page and the Oregon Arts Commission’s Grant page for funding opportunities that cover the creation and performance of art.) 

This grant does not fund humanitarian work.

Please read the following documents for more information about eligibility, activity restrictions, and compliance standards for organizations receiving this grant.


"We are grateful to [have] receive[d] this grant. We have been able to build and strengthen relationships and partnerships with the organizations involved with this event. The stories the panelists and moderator shared were eye-opening to attendees."  —Newport Public Library, a 2023 grantee who hosted a panel discussion on unemployment, education, and the American Dream


Past grant recipients

This grant has supported important conversations and programs at libraries throughout Oregon. Click here to read more.

Some projects this grant has supported in the past:

Toledo Public Library

Awarded $6,000 for a series of presentations about foraging, featuring Wallace Kaufman, an experienced Oregon forager and author, and Abigail DeYoung from Northwest Ecotours. Kaufman and DeYoung will discuss the variety, use, and value of items to be found on the Oregon coast. Following the presentations, the group will head out to the coast for a hands-on guided experience. These events will help inspire a greater appreciation of our verdant coastal mountains and abundant sea coast, highlight the role of foraging in addressing food insecurity in Lane County, and emphasize the importance of sustaining future generations.

Forest Grove City Library

Awarded $1,250 to support two programs. The first featured Taylor Stewart, founder and executive director of the Oregon Remembrance Project (ORP). This presentation, “How do You Reconcile A Lynching?”, focused on the story of Alonso Tucker, an African American boxer and gym owner who was lynched in Coos Bay in 1902, and the legacy of racial violence in Oregon.

The second explored housing discrimination in Oregon, in partnership with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO), through an exhibit and a series of community conversations about the history of housing discrimination, current housing trends, and future challenges.


"On behalf of the Forest Grove City Library, I'd like to express how grateful I am to Oregon Humanities for the financial support they provided that allowed us to make these programs available to our community and to the public at large." —Forest Grove City Library


Southern Wasco County Library

Awarded $4,000 to support an event celebrating the City of Maupin’s centennial anniversary and the release of a second edition of Chaff in the Wind: Gleanings of the Maupin Community. Delson Suppah, the cultural program coordinator for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, made an important contribution to the book in the form of an oral chapter, aligning with the Native American tradition of oral storytelling and building on the cultural partnership between the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Southern Wasco County Library.

Newport Public Library

Awarded $3,000 to support a program on employment, education, and the struggle to reach the American Dream. The program included a discussion about how the American Dream has changed over the last three years during social justice reform and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are grateful to [have] receive[d] this grant. We have been able to build and strengthen relationships and partnerships with the organizations involved with this event. The stories the panelists and moderator shared were eye-opening to attendees." —Newport Public Library

Josephine County Library District

Awarded $4,000 to support “Intellectual Freedom in America,” two events presented by Dr. Carrie Gardner and facilitated by Library Director Kate Lasky, which explored ethical dilemmas in censorship and Americans’ access to information as guaranteed by the First Amendment.


Looking for more information about past grantees and their projects? Read the list of past OH grantees and short program descriptions that OH has funded since 2017. Please note that this list includes grantees awarded across all of our different grant opportunities.


Eligibility requirements for applicants

Public, tribal, community college, or volunteer libraries or library branches located in (or adjacent to and serving) rural or frontier zip codes in Oregon are eligible. Click here to read more.

We use the Oregon Office of Rural Health’s definition of rural and frontier communities as locations in Oregon ten or more miles from the center of a population center of 40,000 people or more.) See this list of zip codes to determine whether your library is located in a rural or frontier area. 

If your library is not located in these zip codes but is adjacent to them, our grant application will provide the opportunity for you to tell us how you serve rural/frontier zip codes/communities.

All current and past Oregon Humanities grant awardees must be in good standing with past awards in order to be eligible to apply for funding.

Applicants must have a current Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number at the time of grant application submission.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of April 4, 2022, the US federal government switched from requiring that our grantees have a DUNS number to requiring that our grantees have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued by It can take anywhere from a few days to months to receive your UEI number. We recommend applying for your UEI when this grant opens for applications.

Website for UEI registration and further instructions:

Video instructions: Get A Unique Entity ID (SAM)

Please note that you do not have to do a full entity registration in order to get your UEI. If you do not already have an entity registration in and you simply want to obtain a UEI number, begin watching the short video at timecode 2:30 for instructions.

Please read the following documents for more information about eligibility, activity restrictions, and compliance standards for organizations receiving this grant.

How to apply for this grant

To apply for a Mini Grant for Rural Libraries, follow these steps. Click here to read more.

We only accept applications submitted through our website.

Organizations are limited to one application per annual grant cycle.

We accept applications for multilingual programs, but the grant application and reporting are required to be in English.

If you are in need of an accommodation or any assistance that would help you apply for this grant, we’ll do our best to help! Please reach out to Dawn Smallman, grants and programs coordinator, at


Support for grant applicants

Oregon Humanities offers many types of support to help grant applicants write their strongest grant application. Click here to read more.

This grant’s application is fairly quick and easy to do. Even so, we know that questions can still come up! Oregon Humanities offers many types of support to help grant applicants write their strongest application.

We also offer support and assistance to our grantees to help them manage their funding correctly and to assist with their grant reporting.

To be notified of our online and in-person help/info sessions, please sign up for our grants newsletter.

Online information sessions

We host online information sessions with grants program staff members to help applicants with questions and to discuss eligibility, program and grant alignment, and all aspects of applying for our grants. Please email to receive the Zoom link for the information sessions.

There will be two date/time options for the same information session. This hour-long session will cover general information about the grant: how to apply, what kinds of programs this grant funds, etc. This will be an informal session, with an opportunity for attendees to ask questions. (If you have a specific question you’d like covered during the session but would prefer not to ask it during the session, please send it in advance to Attendance at a session is recommended, not required.

Application help session

In this online help session, grant program staff will assist attendees in filling out an application in real time.

Individual support

If you would like to have a phone consultation to get feedback on your program’s alignment with this grant, have your questions answered, or receive technical assistance, please email to schedule a phone/Zoom meeting with our grants coordinator. Please note that individual meetings are not available during the week preceding the grant application deadline.


Support for grant recipients

Oregon Humanities offers grantees support in managing and reporting on grant-funded programs or events. Click here to read more.

Organizations that receive grant awards will receive a notice of the award amount and a legal Grant Agreement via email. This email will be sent to the contacts named in your grant application as your Project Lead and Authorizing Official. 

Please fully read your Grant Agreement, reach out to us if you have questions about it, and have your Project Lead and Authorizing Official sign it promptly. After OH receives the signed agreement, we will release the awarded funding to your organization. 

The email will also include the links to your grant reporting forms. You’re required to file the report listed below. Please refer to your Grant Agreement for the reporting due dates. 

Oregon Humanities offers the following support to assist you in managing your grant-funded program or event:

Post-award grantee online meeting (recommended)

We recommend that all Mini Grant for Rural Libraries awardees attend a post-award grant management online session. Information and zoom links for the online session will be emailed to grantees. If you are unable to attend either of the scheduled session options but would like to have the benefit of this session, please email grants@oregonhumanities to schedule an individual session.

In this session, we’ll discuss the items that grant recipients need to understand, plan for and track, as they apply the grant funding to their programs, including aspects such as documenting your events and your volunteer labor. We’ll also cover the Final Report forms that grantees are required to submit to OH. Sessions will include time for questions and discussion.

Grant management materials for grant recipients

Accessibility and inclusion

Check out the Oregon Humanities Accessibility and Inclusion Guide for tips to make your programs and events inclusive.

"It was wonderful to bring students, faculty, and community together to talk about critical issues. Our attendees were so appreciative, and it opened the door for a lot of future collaboration. Oregon Humanities made it incredibly easy to implement.” —Tori Stanek, Director of Library and Learning Commons at Columbia Gorge Community College, a 2023 grantee who hosted public forum events to deepen their engagement with Hispanic and transgender communities

Grant application review process

We rely on an application review committee as well as criteria, selection standards, and a scoring rubric to make funding decisions. Click here to read more.

Review Committee

The Mini Grant for Rural Libraries Review Committee is composed of members of Oregon Humanities staff. Our Review Committee members individually score each application based on the merits of each proposal. After numerical scoring is completed, the applications are ranked according to the scoring. The Review Committee meets to discuss proposals and rankings and determines which applications to fund.

Criteria, selection standards, and scoring rubric

The following criteria will be used by Oregon Humanities’ grant reviewing committee:

  • How well the proposed events are in alignment with the 2024 theme: Fear and Belonging (1–5 point scale)
  • The quality of the proposed events (1–5 point scale)
    • Included clear articulation of descriptions for the event(s)
  • The proposed use of funding & alignment with purpose of grant (1–5 point scale)
    • Included clear articulation of how funding would be used
  • Proposed costs are reasonable & appropriate to the program proposed for funding (1–5 point scale)
  • Alignment with Oregon Humanities’ mission, vision, and core values (1–5 point scale)

Review grant ineligibility, restrictions, and compliance standards

Review answers to frequently asked questions

Questions? Please reach out!

Questions about applying or eligibility? Want to share feedback or ideas about this grant? Please contact Dawn Smallman, program manager, at or (503) 241-0543 ext. 123.

Please note that Oregon Humanities staff are available to answer questions Monday through Friday, during normal Pacific Time Zone business hours.


Funding for this program is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Oregon Cultural Trust.





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