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

Targeted Grants

In 2018-2019, JLW will award a Targeted Grant to two worthy organization in the community. The Letter of Intent (LOI) submissions for 2018-2019 will be available on September 21, 2018 to be submitted no later than October 15, 2018.

JLW invites all DC-area 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations to apply for our Targeted Grants. JLW continues to support programs that address at least one aspect of the JLW definition of literacy or are directly tied to programs where JLW trained volunteers provide service. JLW defines literacy as “an individual’s ability to read, write and speak and compute and problem solve at levels of proficiency necessary to: function on the job and in society, achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential.”

Preference will be given to programs and projects that address one of the following adult and/or children literacy concerns:

  1.  Developing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) skills;
  2.  Developing skills necessary to function on the job and in society, such as financial or digital literacy;
  3. Developing cultural literacy, including knowledge of history, performing or experiencing the arts, and building creative expression or visual thinking skills;
  4.  Improving early childhood literacy through access to reading materials and resources in the home, classrooms, and libraries, and exposure to reading aloud (ages 0-5).

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

Past recipients of JLW Targeted Grants include: Horizons Greater Washington and Edu-Futuro (2018),  Jubilee JumpStart and Reading is Fundamental, in partnership with Coalition for the Homeless (2017), Bright Beginnings and Reading Partners (2016), The DC Public Library Foundation (2014), Horton’s Kids (2013 and 2015), Children’s Hospital Foundation (2013), The Literacy Lab (2012 and 2014), The Washington Jesuit Academy (2011 and 2013), New Futures (2010), and Inner City Inner Child (2009). Washington School for Girls, a past Targeted Grant winner (2010 and 2012), was the first recipient of a three-year grant from JLW and is now being supported annually by JLW trained volunteers.

Opportunity Grants

JLW’s Opportunity Grants of $1,000 or less are awarded to nonprofit organizations demonstrating an unexpected short-term financial need or smaller-denomination financial need related to their respective missions and/or operations. Organizations that have received more than $20,000 from JLW in either the current fiscal year (June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019) or the previous fiscal year (June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018) are not eligible for Opportunity Grants at this time. 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.

Opportunity Grant applications for the 2018-2019 year will be reviewed in three rounds throughout the year. Applications for each round must be submitted by 8 p.m. ET on the following dates: November 2, 2018; February 22, 2019; and April 5, 2019. To apply for an Opportunity Grant, please submit your completed application via the online web form. Click here for the Opportunity Grant signature page referenced in the application. Successful applicants will be notified of their award within six weeks. For additional details, please email

Past recipients of the JLW’s Opportunity Grants include: New Futures (2018), Together We Bake (2018), Community of Hope (2017 and 2018), MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet Inc. (2018), DC Diaper Bank (2017), DC Scores (2017 and 2018), People Animals Love (2017), Young Playwrights’ Theater (2017), Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys (2016), So What Else (2016), For Love of Children (2016), 826DC (2013 and 2014), Carpenter’s Shelter (2014), Hope House DC (2013) Jubilee JumpStart (2013 and 2014), and Little Lights Urban Ministries (2013).

Through Resolution Read, JLW puts new books in the hands of children who might not otherwise have access to them. JLW partners with local nonprofit organizations across the community to select and distribute age-appropriate books. In addition to providing books to existing JLW community partners, JLW is working with organizations like Everybody Wins! DC and the DC Public Library to facilitate book distributions to targeted communities. Please click here for additional details on the Resolution Read program.

Volunteer Resources

JLW identifies new volunteer placement opportunities from a pool of community organizations requesting JLW volunteers. The League reviews volunteer resource applications, conducts site visits, and recommends new community volunteer placements that are consistent with the mission and focus of JLW. The trained volunteer application for 2018-2019 will be available in early fall; please check back here for more details. For additional information, please email

Current JLW community partners who received trained volunteers through the Volunteer Resources application process include A Wider Circle, 826DC, The Literacy Lab, Horton’s Kids, and Community Family Life Services. Learn more about where we volunteer here.

Through 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.