ribbon cutting ceremony for Alto Texas Library
Stella Hill Memorial Library | Alto, TX

Grant application process

Our mission is to support rural libraries and the communities that they serve. Engaging more with each other deepens our understanding of your vision, enabling us to become a stronger and more effective partner.

Working together for success

When the Foundation hosted outreach events with eligible libraries across the state, we asked about barriers to submitting applications. Feedback revealed that time constraints often serve as the primary obstacle. Additionally, potential applicants expressed feeling intimidated by the application process and admitted hesitancy in reaching out for guidance.

For optimal assistance, initiate a conversation with Foundation staff as soon as you land on a grant idea. Share with us how it will impact your library and community. Such early communication allows us the opportunity to provide feedback, encourage broader thinking, or clarify whether your project aligns with our giving guidelines, possibly saving you valuable time.

Grant application portal

All applications are submitted through our online system, chosen for its user-friendly interface.

View the brief tutorial below to help de-mystify the process. If your request involves vendor quotes, upload PDF or Word documents; screenshots are not accepted.

Creating a new account or accessing an existing account

Has your library applied for a grant from the Tocker Foundation before? If yes, your library already has an organizational profile, and you need to be added as a new user.

Please avoid editing existing user information, even if shared login details are known, to maintain the integrity of your library's historical data. Contact our office for assistance.

If your library has never applied for a grant with us, follow the steps to create a new account.

If uncertain, call us for assistance at 512-452-1044.

Helpful tips

  • Your work is automatically saved every 100-characters.
  • Your work is also auto saved when you click out of a question.
  • Use the ‘save application’ button at any time to return to your work.
  • You may preview grants before deciding to apply for them.
  • To download a paper-copy of the form, press the button ‘Question List’.
  • Required fields are marked with an asterisk.
  • Responses must fit within the character limit to submit the application.
  • To download a PDF of your application, press the button ‘Application Packet’.
  • After careful completion, press the button to ‘Submit Application’. Your application cannot be edited once it has been submitted. However, Foundation staff can reverse the process so please reach out if you need to make changes.
  • You will receive an automated email message upon successful submission of your application.

Drafting your application

Begin by sharing your library's story in a clear and honest way. Describe what makes your library unique, the things you want to improve and how you plan to accomplish it.

If this is your first time applying read through our Frequently Asked Questions or give us a call with your questions at the beginning of the process.

Another great resource is our collection of tips for improving your grant proposal. These are project-based recommendations that can help you think big.

Grant review process

Transformational grant timelines

  • January applicants are notified mid-late March
  • June applicants are notified mid-late August

Digitization and automation grant timelines

Applications may be submitted year-round and are reviewed soon after submission.

Grant approvals and funding

Your grant was approved

You will receive an email, followed by a mailed envelope containing the grant contract and additional instructions. You may start your project once we receive your signed contract.

Project-specific funding release

  • For smaller projects like collection development, funds are released upon contract receipt.
  • For larger projects like furniture and shelving, funds are released upon receipt of all ordered items and a vendor invoice.

Project changes

Approval may be required for project changes. If issues arise, we urge you to call us for assistance. The more we know, the more we can help to ensure that your grant project is a successful one.

Project completion and grant project report

The final step is submitting the grant project report, due one year from the date the grant was awarded in the contract. Download the report and submit it via the online portal or as an email attachment to grants@tocker.org.

Digitization projects are excluded from the report requirement. Upon acknowledgment of the report receipt, you become eligible to apply for another grant.

Recommended reporting points

Board members are interested to learn how the grant has impacted your library along with a brief accounting of funds. Quantifiable data on patron usage is valuable for our process. The following points are recommended, but the report does not have to include all of them.

  • How was the implementation of the project? Both good and difficult points will help us in evaluating future projects.
  • Were project goals and results met?
  • Can the project be put in quantifiable terms? (i.e. patron use, collection growth, program attendance, etc.)
  • Helpful information such as patron comments, pictures, news clippings (or links) are welcomed.

Project delays

We understand that unforeseen delays may occur in projects. Please keep us informed about your project's progress and submit a progress report at the one-year mark.

Your grant was declined

Inevitably some grants will be declined. Notification of decline will be sent in a letter along with feedback on the reasons for the decision.