Capacity-Building Grant Program: Frequently Asked Questions

What is this funding opportunity?

Recognizing that literary nonprofit organizations need to address sustainability, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) is pleased to offer a special Capacity-Building Grant Program that will award one-year grants
of $5,000 or $10,000 to support projects that build organizational capacity.

A grant from the Hawthornden Foundation, originally founded in 1983 by the late Drue Heinz, makes this program possible.

What is “capacity building?”

“Capacity building” as defined by the National Council of Nonprofits is: “Whatever is needed to bring a nonprofit to the next level of operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity, so it may more effectively and efficiently advance its mission into the future.”

Examples of requests for support include projects in areas such as fundraising, marketing, distribution, and web development; skill-building opportunities for staff and board members; strategic and succession planning; diversity and equity initiatives; and leadership development and management training.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be nonprofit literary magazines and/or presses based in the United States or U.S. Territories.

Applicants must have 501(c)3 status or have a fiscal sponsor.

Applicants must primarily publish literary works (over 50% of work published must be fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, drama, and/or literary reviews).

Applicants that primarily publish children’s literature, children’s writing are not eligible.

Self-publishers (over 50% of content published by authors on staff) and “hybrid” publishers (in which authors pay for part or all of publication costs) are not eligible.

Applicants must have published at least one title or issue within the past 18 months.

The National Book Foundation is offering a similar program for nonprofit literary organizations. Visit the National Book Foundation website to learn more. Applicants may apply to only one of the two programs.

The decisions of CLMP as to eligibility, both initially and throughout the grant period, are final.

Can literary magazines and presses that are part of a nonprofit university or with nonprofit fiscal agents apply?


Does CLMP allow indirect costs as part of grant proposals for this opportunity?

CLMP does not allow the inclusion of indirect costs in project budgets for grant opportunities administered by CLMP. 100% of awarded grant funds must go directly to the project as laid out in the grant proposal. For questions regarding this policy, please contact Chelsea Kern, Program Director, at [email protected].

Can literary magazines and presses that are eligible for both the CLMP and National Book Foundation grant opportunities apply to both?

No. Literary magazines and presses should apply only to CLMP’s grant program.

Where is the application?

Applications are available online-only via Submittable: If you successfully complete the initial eligibility questions on behalf of your organization in Submittable, you will then see the application.

Will there be an information session to learn more?

CLMP and the National Book Foundation will host an information session for prospective applicants on April 10 at 3 p.m. ET. Please register here to attend.

What are the criteria on which applications will be reviewed?

Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel based on the following criteria:

  • Completeness of application and clarity of proposal
  • Feasibility of capacity-building project as described
  • Potential impact on organizational capacity and/or sustainability
  • Submitted work samples

Who is serving on the independent review panel?

The CLMP Capacity-Building Grant Program panelists are Amanda Bullock, Diana Marie Delgado, and Sue Landers. Final award decisions will be approved by members of the CLMP Board of Directors.

Amanda Bullock is the senior artistic director at Literary Arts, where she curates and directs programming including the annual Portland Book Festival, Portland Arts & Lectures, and various large venue special events. At Literary Arts, she also co-hosts and oversees production for The Archive Project radio show and podcast. Previously, she was director of public programming at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, a nonprofit social enterprise in downtown New York City.

Diana Marie Delgado is a poet and arts administrator committed to diversifying the literary ecosystem. Most recently, she served as executive director of Hugo House in Seattle. A first-generation Latinx college graduate, she earned a BFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. She is a Hedgebrook alum, and her volume of poetry, Tracing the Horse (BOA Editions, 2019), was a New York Times New & Noteworthy pick.

Sue Landers works as a consultant providing board development, succession planning, and capacity-building services to art and cultural institutions. A seasoned nonprofit leader, she is the director of digital marketing and content strategy at Brooklyn College and served as executive director of Lambda Literary from 2018-2021. She is the author of Franklinstein (Roof Books, 2016), Covers (O Books, 2007), and 248 mgs., a panic picnic (O Books, 2003).

When is the application deadline?

Complete applications must be received by CLMP by May 10, 2024 at 5 p.m. ET.

CLMP assumes no responsibility for applications not received due to user error. Applicants may verify the receipt of their application by logging into Submittable.

When will grants be announced?

All applicants will be informed by August 2024 as to whether or not their project has been funded. A full list of grantees will be published on

What kind of reporting will be expected by grantees?

Grantees are required to submit a report to CLMP after the conclusion of the grant period in September 2025.


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