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 two-year grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 each year ($5,000–$50,000 total) 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, and/or self-published work (over 50% of content published by authors on staff) are not eligible.

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

Nonprofit literary organizations that present or serve poets, or incorporate poetry, as part of their programming should apply to a similar program administered by the Academy of American Poets. More information can be found at

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 Academy of American Poets 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.

You can view and download a preview of the application here. Only applications received through Submittable will be considered; we will not be accepting submissions sent through email.

Will there be an information session to learn more?

CLMP and the Academy of American Poets held a joint information session for interested applicants on September 16, 2022. A recording of the event can be found here.

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?

Three panelists from the literary field will be listed here after the application deadline. Final award decisions will be approved by members of the CLMP Board of Directors.

When is the application deadline?

Complete applications must be received by CLMP by October 28, 2022, 5 PM EST.

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 January 2023, as to whether or not their project has been funded. A full list of grantees will be published on in January 2023.

What kind of reporting will be expected by grantees?

Grantees are required to submit a report to CLMP at the conclusion of the first year of the grant period in order to receive the second year of funding, as well as at the conclusion of the two-year grant period.


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