Each year at the end of January, the Virginia Literacy Foundation announces the availability of its matching grants.

The VLF funds Virginia’s community- and faith-based literacy organizations that serve adult students who read at a fifth grade level or below, are 18 years of age and older, and stay for at least 12 hours of direct instruction. Eligible organizations have 501 (c) 3 status (or are closely partnered with an established 501 (c) 3 organization) and work with nonprofit staff, volunteers, and an active Board of Directors. NOTE: The 2019-2010 grant funding requirements have changed significantly. Please read the instructions carefully.

To research information for grants or outreach, click on this link: Facts and Statistics for Adult Education and Literacy in Virginia and the U.S., which was developed for Virginia’s grant writers and program managers.

If your organization is unsure about the VLF’s eligibility requirements, please contact the VLF’s office at 804-237-8909 or email Rita Layne at

Request for proposals (RFPs) and accompanying materials are sent out in late January. At that time, all instructions and application forms will be made available on this website. Grants are due at the end of March, as listed on the forms.

about our grantsOur matching grants are offered in three categories. The amount of funding for which an organization is eligible is tied to the numbers of adult literacy students served in the last full fiscal year for at least 12 hours of instruction.* Funding categories are as follows:

Notice that our matching grant categories have changed significantly. Applicants are asked to write collaborative, partnership grants in order to qualify for funds. The amount of funding for which an organization is eligible is tied to the numbers of adult literacy students the partnership served for at least 12 instructional hours in the last full fiscal year.  2019-2020 grants are awarded for two consecutive years. The categories are:

  • Capacity-building regional grants: $5,000 award (75+ students/partnership)
  • Collaborative demonstration grants (competitive):
    • $7,500 award (175+ students/partnership)
    • $12,500 award (475+ students/partnership)

Required are collaborations with at least one other community-based literacy organization, regional adult education program, local community college, workforce investment board (WIB) partner, or local business and other partners to increase community engagements and impact over time.

* “Students served” is defined as permanently matched adult students who have received at least twelve hours of basic literacy and ESOL instruction in the last full fiscal year. The instruction should be in one or more of these areas: one-on-one tutoring, small group classes, family (adult literacy component), pre-GED instruction, computer literacy, jail program, etc.

Grant Sections: Click on links to download materials. Required sections in black bold. This section will become fully active in late January, 2019.

  • Call for Applications memo for 2019-2020 RFPs: Call for Applications Cvr Memo 2019-2020 (Link will become active January 31, 2019)
  • Grant Cover Sheet – Link to VLF Grant-Cover form 2019-2020; or link to PDF VLF Grant-Cover form 2019-2020
  • Grant Narrative (includes a Program Impact and Outcomes handout that considers the objectives and activities of one two-year goal.) See examples in this PDF document. Click on this link – Program Impact and Outcomes
  • VLF grant instructions: Click on this link – 2019-20 VLF grant instructions-final
  • Survey form (filled out yearly) – fillable Excell Spreadsheet, or PDF Copy of VLF Survey 2019-2020. (Link will become active January 31, 2019.)
  • Budget sheet (in addition to a budget narrative): Click on one of these links – Attachment D (Word Doc) – 2019 or PDF Attachment D 2019
  • Board list – send your own (nonprofit partners should also send a copy)
  • Staff list – create your own (nonprofit partners should also send a copy)
  • MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) completed and signed by the partners. You may use this document or use one of your own. (Links will become active January 31, 2019.)
  • Assurance of nonprofit status (nonprofit partners should also send a copy)
  • Active matching grants – this PDF document describes what the VLF means by active matching grants: Click on this link – Active Grant Matching-2019-Final.

Send one original full set of signed grant materials along with five copies (6 sets total) by the grant proposal deadline. 2019-20 proposal deadline is

5 P.M. on March 29, 2019

If you cannot download the documents when they become available or if you have additional questions about our matching grants, please contact Rita Layne at 1-804-237-8909 or

Other documents of interest:

  • How to write a VLF grant: Grant Guidelines-2019
  • Collaborative Capacity Building Grants: 2019-20 Scoring Sheet
  • Competitive Collaborative Demonstration Grants: 2019-20 Scoring Sheet

Grant deadline: The original grant and five copies must be received by 5 pm on March 29, 2019. The deadline date changes each year; therefore, it is important to use current grant application forms. Faxed or emailed submissions are NOT accepted. Late grant applications are not read.

Acceptance announcements will be sent to successful applicants at the end of June; checks are distributed in early September.

Year 2 RFPs: Grant recipients are expected to write a year two proposal that

  • discusses progress and which indicators of successful outcomes were met in Year 1
  • which indicators of successful outcomes still need to be met
  • changes in project design that will ensure a successful two-year project
  • changes in budget allocations
  • description of successful new matching grant donations