Women improving the Washington DC Community since 1912

Grants & Scholarships

The Junior League of Washington (JLW) makes a difference in the community through financial and volunteer support of literacy-focused programs, contests, and scholarship opportunities.

Targeted Grants

The Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources (TGVR) Committee evaluates applications and makes recommendations for JLW Targeted Grants given to community organizations. Committee members promote the availability of JLW grants and explain how the grant cycle works through outreach efforts to the community. They also review grant applications, conduct site visits with community organizations, and ultimately recommend to the JLW Board of Directors and membership which literacy-focused organizations to fund. The process typically begins mid-summer, and grantees are awarded funds in late spring or early summer of the following year.

In 2016-2017, JLW will award at least one Targeted Grant to at least one worthy organization in the community. The Targeted Grant Application Letter of Intent (LOI) will be posted online by mid-August; submissions are due by 8 p.m. ET on September 16. In mid-October, TGVR will select semifinalists based on the LOIs received and will invite selected organizations to complete and submit the full application no later than 8 p.m. ET on November 15.

The annual LOI form will include the necessary details such as the criteria for the Targeted Grant and the exact deadline date for submissions. Completed LOIs and full applications must be submitted via the online web form. Click here for our currently posted LOI, and click here for instructions. For additional details, please email grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org.

Past recipients of JLW Targeted Grants include Bright Beginnings and Reading Partners (2016), Children's Hospital Foundation (2013), The DC Public Library Foundation (2014), Horton's Kids (2013 and 2015), Inner City Inner Child (2009), The Literacy Lab (2012 and 2014), New Futures (2010), The Reading Connection (2014), and The Washington Jesuit Academy (2011 and 2013). Washington School for Girls, a past Targeted Grant winner (2010 and 2012), is currently the first recipient of a three-year grant.

Opportunity Grants

The Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee evaluates applications and makes recommendations for JLW Opportunity Grants of $1,000 or less given to community organizations. Opportunity Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations demonstrating an unexpected short-term financial need. Organizations who have received more than $20,000 from the JLW in either the current fiscal year or the previous fiscal year are not eligible for Opportunity Grants. Please note all funds must be spent within 90 days of the contract award date, and the organization must submit a final report explaining how the funds were used along with proof of purchase.

Past recipients of the JLW's Opportunity Grants include 826DC (2013 and 2014), Carpenter’s Shelter (2014), Hope House DC (2013), Jubilee JumpStart (2013 and 2014), and Little Lights Urban Ministries (2013).

Click here for the opportunity grant application for the 2015-16 year. Opportunity grant applications for the 2015-16 year must be returned by February 20, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Signed applications and required appendices must be submitted via email to grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org. For additional details, please email grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org.

Trained Volunteers

The Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee identifies new Junior League of Washington volunteer placement opportunities from a pool of community organizations requesting trained JLW volunteers. The committee reviews volunteer resource applications, conducts site visits, and recommends new community volunteer placements that are consistent with the typical availability of JLW volunteers and the literacy focus of the JLW. Completed applications must be submitted by email. Click here for the trained volunteer application for the 2015-16 year, which is due no later than December 1, 2015 at 5 p.m. EST. For additional details, please email grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org.

Current JLW community partners who received trained volunteers through the application process include The Literacy Lab, Horton’s Kids, and Community Family Life Services.

Through the JLW's Done-in-a-Day Committee, we also provide trained volunteers in response to requests from community organizations for short-term volunteer service for special events. Please visit this page for more information or to request short-term volunteers.

Resolution Read

Through its Resolution Read Committee, JLW is committed to purchasing and distributing new books to children in the greater Washington, D.C. community as part of the Resolution Read program.  Resolution Read provides books to programs focused on:  the importance of reading out loud to children; placing age-appropriate books in the homes of children; and providing more books to schools and libraries, with emphasis on children ages 0-5th grade.  By addressing these three areas, the JLW will continue to make a lasting impact in the Washington, DC, community by fostering a passion for books and reading where it otherwise might not exist. 

Please visit this page for additional details on the Resolution Read program. 

Meg Graham Scholarship...Celebrating Service and Leadership

The JLW awards annually the Meg Graham Scholarship...Celebrating Service and Leadership. This volunteer service award was established in 1982 in honor of the late Reverend Margaret M. Graham, a former President of the Association of Junior Leagues International and former member of the Junior League of Washington. The scholarship is available to graduating seniors living in D.C., attending a D.C. public, private, parochial or charter school and matriculating to an accredited post-secondary institution. The scholarship rewards a student who has demonstrated outstanding voluntarism with funds for college education expenses. The application will be made available in January, and all submissions must be postmarked by March 1, 2017 for consideration. For additional details, please email JLWDCScholarship@gmail.com.

Poetry Contest for Students

Since 2000, the JLW has hosted a poetry contest to encourage and support literacy. The contest is open to DC public and charter school students in grades 4 through 8. Students submit an original poem for the competition which features cash prizes and the opportunity for students to read their poems aloud to a JLW audience in the spring. The deadline for 2016 contest entries was Friday, April 1, 2016. For additional details, please click here or email JLWDCpoetry@gmail.com.


Click here for the winning poems for the 2016 Poetry Contest.