Books for Ownership Matching Grant Program

We invite you to apply to this matching grant program and join us in our mission. Please visit the 2019 BFO Matching Grant Overview for more information.

Grant Details

Books for Ownership, RIF’s flagship reading program, enables children to select new, age-appropriate books to take home and own and is supported by resources for educators, caregivers, and volunteers to create a continuous focus on reading. This program enables participating children to select books from a variety of books to own and relies on a simple yet fundamental truth, if you allow children choice and access, they will become more engaged readers and learners.

Key components of the BFO program include:


  • Choice

    Children are given the opportunity to choose books to own and take home. 

  • Access

    RIF provides Literacy Central, a free digital platform offering thousands of supplemental resources to support the books.

  • Engagement

    RIF provides resources for caregivers, educators, and community supporters to get involved.

BFO Program Overview


School districts and individual schools, public libraries, community-based organizations, civic organizations and other youth-serving entities that are part of the RIF Community (registered on the RIF Literacy Network site).

Grant Parameters

If awarded a BFO matching grant, you commit to the following parameters:

  • Register on Literacy Network
  • Remit payment to RIF for local cost share (50%) of total programmatic book costs.
  • Order all books for your BFO program through the RIF Bookstore.
  • Hold at least one book celebration event and provide at least one book per participating child.
  • We highly recommend using RIF’s Literacy Central (free digital literacy activities website) as a resource for your activities.
  • Complete all BFO program activities by April 2020.
  • Submit BFO program activity reporting to RIF by May 2020.

Budget Calculation

When calculating the budget for your Books for Ownership program, use the following formula:

  • Total programmatic cost = (total number of students x books per student) x $3 per book
  • Through the matching grant program, RIF will fund half of the total programmatic book cost and grantees are required to fund the other half.

Consider adding a small cushion to the number of books requested to ensure all children have a choice when selecting their books. Most frequently, a 10% increase is used to calculate this cushion.

Awards & Matching Funds

  • RIF’s grant awards are made in book allocations (rather than cash awards) to be spent through the RIF Bookstore.  
  • RIF’s matching grant program requires local matching funds equal to the amount requested from RIF.  
  • Each dollar requested from RIF must be monetarily matched by the grantee. The entire dollar amount (local match plus RIF grant award) will be converted into a book allocation award. 
  • In-kind donations are not accepted for the required local matching funds; however, funding can be derived from a variety of sources, including: school budget, PTA, local business or foundation partner, etc. 
  • Grantees will be invoiced for the local matching funds and payment for the match must be sent directly to national RIF.
  • Once funds are received, the grantee payment in combination with RIF’s matching grant will be uploaded into the online RIF Bookstore to be used for the purchase of books.
  • While there is no limit to the amount grantees can request in their grant application, RIF reserves the right to make awards at a lower level than what was requested upon review of grant applications

Key Dates


March 1, 2019

BFO Matching Grant Program Application Opens

March 13, 2019 at 3:30pm EST

BFO Matching Grant Program Informational Webinar

April 1, 2019

BFO Matching Grant Application Closes

April 15, 2019

BFO Matching Grant Awards Announced

April 30, 2019 at 3:30pm EST

BFO Matching Grant Program Awardee Webinar

May 15, 2019

Signed Award Letter, Administrative Documents and Payment Due

June 2019

Program Implementation & Book Purchases Begin

March 2020

Book Ordering Complete

April 2020

Program Implementation Complete

May 2020

Program Activity Reporting Due

*Dates subject to change 

Please note that you must fill out all information in the grant application at one time. You will not be able to save your application.

Apply Now

The 2019 Books for Ownership Matching Grant application is now closed.

The RIF Books for Ownership Matching Grants are funded in part by the generosity of Macy’s.