Possible Grants and Fundraising Resources

Here you will find a number of resources meant to help you in your communications with prospective donors and grant applications. We have provided text that will help explain the mission and work of ONDP in an impassioned voice. Also, you will find possible grants that are relevant for funding newspaper digitization projects.

Selling Your Digitization Project 

These are a few paragraphs on different aspects of the value of ODNP digitization and how it can impact Oregonians. 

Why Newspapers? 

Newspapers are the first draft of history. To understand the history of Oregon and how Oregonians reacted to the events of the state and world, historic newspapers are our main source of documentary evidence of early Oregon life and events. With the great diversity in the number and types of newspapers on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website, the citizens of Oregon and the greater public have access to stories from across Oregon history, most notably at the local level. By having access to digitized newspapers, readers not only have access to the articles in these publications, but photos, illustrations, and advertisements that can further educate the public about the history of Oregon. 

Why Digitization? 

Digitizing historic Oregon newspapers guarantees unparalleled, high-quality access to this resource for the public. Being open access and free to the public, all digitized newspapers can be accessed from any web browser. These resources would be available to researchers, authors, local museums, genealogists, and any interested person, as well as K-12 teachers to bring into the classroom with the ODNP Lesson Plans. The high quality images allow for reading and analysis of all aspects of the newspaper, from the articles, photographs, illustrations, and advertisements. Most importantly, our digitization software allows keyword searches across all digitized newspapers, taking off hours if not days of work of scrolling through the original microfilm. Moreover, the University of Oregon, the sponsor of ODNP, preserves and archives the digitized images and text in perpetuity.  

Why Oregon Digital Newspaper Program? 

The Oregon Digital Newpaper Program is the only established newspaper digitization program in the state. With dedicated University of Oregon staff and a robust digitization unit and program, infrastructure and support for the digitization of newspapers is in place and ongoing. The program charges only for digitization cost recovery and makes no profit off of funds gathered for digitization projects. Like the mission of the University of Oregon Libraries and its other preservation efforts, ODNP strives to provide public resources for the benefit of all Oregonians.  

Why are Funds Needed? 

Although the University of Oregon strives to keep their digitization fees low, some financial assistance is needed for staff, equipment, and storage costs. The University of Oregon Libraries do not have the funding or resources to dedicate staff to continually digitize the backlog of undigitized newspaper titles. Self-funding is essential for incrementally creating greater access to these resources for the public. By funding this digitization project, the collection of Oregon newspapers can best serve as a valuable educational and research tool of Oregon history. 

Example Abstract for Digitization Project* 

The (organization name) seeks $___ to complete our digitization project of the historic (newspaper title). The (organization name) wants to help provide the residents of (locality), Oregon, and the United States access to the rich history in the pages of the (newspaper title) from (date range). The Oregon Digital Newspaper Program offers digitization services for cost only, to make their collection of historic Oregon newspapers open access for the public. These newspapers are an invaluable source of historic information for Oregon that are currently only accessible in microfilm on the University of Oregon campus. By digitizing the (newspaper title), this resource will become free to access from any web browser, offering the public unparalleled access to Oregon and (locality) history and heritage. (Organization name) wants to open up this resource to (why are you passionate about this project?). With funding, (organization name) can pay for the ODNP to add the (newspaper title) to the queue of newspaper digitization and once complete the (newspaper title) will be added to the Historic Oregon Newspaper database for all to access. 

*This may not be the best format for your project’s abstract. Write your abstract after writing your grant so you have the clearest idea of what the project is and how to describe it in a clear and moving way. This is meant to be a starting point if you are unsure what details might be the most important in your grant application. 

The Oregon Digital Newspaper Program Blog 

If you are in need of examples of the kinds of newspapers, stories, and history that can be found in historic Oregon newspapers, look to the ODNP Blog. We have numerous blog posts on the latest digitization projects, highlights of the collection, and examples of lesson plans that utilize our newspaper resources.

Possible Grants 

Previous funding sources for ODNP Projects:

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Special Projects Grant 

A few important things to note: 

  • You will need a sponsorship letter from a local DAR chapter. If you have difficulty getting in touch with a local DAR chapter, reach out to the Oregon State Society Daughters of the American Revolution to see about getting connected to a local chapter. 
  • The project will require some form of publicity of the project that mentions the contribution from DAR. 
  • The grant will only cover 50% of the project. 

Heritage Grant Program from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department 

Oregon Parks and Recreation has given grants to various Friends of the Library programs to fund digitization of local newspapers. Grants have been awarded as recently as 2015 to Friends of the Nyssa Library for their digitization project 

Important to note: 

  • If you are applying for this grant, 50% of the total cost of the project needs to be secured as other donations before applying for this grant. This grant will only be funded if it is matched by other donations. 

Local historical associations:

Check with your local museum or historical society! These organizations likely share interest in preserving and making available historic newspapers. While often only offering smaller grants, these groups can be great resources for achieving your funding goals. Not only do many historical associations offer grants, but they could also serve as a sponsor for a grant application. 

Community Foundations:

Community foundations are tend to be more interested in direct services and arts organizations, but if you are focused on a local Oregon newspaper, these foundations may be interested in supporting your digitization project. Also, community foundations typically only handle a single giving cycle a year, so make sure to check when they are accepting and reviewing applications. 

Local Community Foundations in Oregon: 

Possible Foundations and Grants to Fund Your Project:

If you are working with an established nonprofit, below are some other possible grants that you could apply for. All the below grants have been screened to offer a better chance that your grant will be approved. 

  • C. Giles Hunt Charitable Trust – Douglas County only. No giving guidelines except that grants have to relate to Douglas County 
  • The Jackson Foundation – This grant is Portland-focused, but will fund projects with state-wide benefit. (Applications excepted March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.) The Jackson Foundation may be of particular interest as the money of the fund was generated through the wealth of Charles Jackson, founder of the Oregon Journal. 
  • Kinsman Foundation – State-wide. This is a foundation that has an interest in historical preservation- primarily building preservation. They have given to various historical societies. 
  • Roundhouse Foundation – Sisters, Bend, and Central Oregon focus. This foundation offers two different applications over and under $500. Roundhouse could be a fruitful foundation to seek a grant from for newspapers based in central Oregon. 
  • Spirit Mountain Community Fund Small Grants Program – State-wide. This foundation will provide 50% matching funds up to $7,500. They are interested in historic preservation, particularly in relation to Native American history. Their process starts with a letter of interest, and then you are invited to apply.
  • Chambers Family Foundation– Lane, Benton, and Deschutes counties only. Grants are awarded twice a year, in June and December.  The next deadline to submit an application is September 30th.

*If your grant is approved, make sure to let us know so we can add that foundation and grant to this page!

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