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 Committee evaluates applications and makes recommendations for JLW Targeted Grants given to community organizations. Committee members promote the availability of JLW grants and 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 and membership which literacy-focused organizations to fund. The grant process typically begins in mid-summer and grantees will be awarded funds in late spring/early summer of the next year.

In 2015-2016, the JLW will be awarding at least one one-year 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 and has a submission due date of mid-September. In mid- October, the Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee will select semi-finalists based on the LOIs received and will invite selected organizations to complete and submit the full application no later than mid-November.

The annual LOI form will include the necessary details such as the criteria for the one-year grants and the exact deadline date for submissions. Completed LOIs and full applications must be submitted by email. Click here during the application cycle as noted above (August to September) for our currently posted LOI.  

If the deadline for the 2015-16 grant applications has passed, please check back in mid-August 2016 for the 2016-17 grant applications. For additional details, please email grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org.

Past recipients of the JLW Targeted Grants include Children's Hospital Foundation (2013), The D.C. 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) The SEED School (2009 and 2013), and The Washington Jesuit Academy (2011 and 2013). Washington Middle School for Girls, a past one-year 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 non-profit 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).

Opportunity grant applications for the 2015-16 year are will be available by September 1, 2015 and must be returned by February 20, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Application narratives must be submitted online.  All required appendices, including the signed cover page, 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 available during the targeted & opportunity grant application cycle as noted above. 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, D.C., 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 volunteerism with funds for college education expenses. The application is typically made available in early January, and the recipient is notified in April. Click here during the application cycle noted above (January to April) to download the application. For additional details, please email grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org.

Poetry Contest for Students

Since 2000, the JLW has hosted a poetry contest to encourage and support literacy. The contest is open to D.C. 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 competition details are typically made available in January. For additional details, please email jlwpoetry@jlw.org.


Click here for the winning poems for the 2014 Poetry Contest.