The Basics of Finding a Grant

I’ve been writing this blog for several years now.  I do my best to make my advice straightforward and easy to follow because many of my readers are relatively inexperienced grant writers.  In fact, quite a few are still threatening to write that first grants.

I have a list of seven or eight steps I usually recommend for finding and completing a successful grant application.  Today, I just want to remind you of the steps you need to take to find an appropriate grant to write.

The very first step in finding a good grant has nothing to do with grants.  You must take a close look at your district, your campus, or your classroom and find a problem that needs to be solved in order for students to achieve at a higher level.  Of course, if you find a problem that your district has already allotted money to solve, you don’t need to write a grant.  You need to find a problem that needs to be solved and one that has either no funding or inadequate funding.

So far, you have a problem at your district, campus, or classroom, and you have no money to fix that problem.  It’s time to find the very best grant database you can find in order to match your problem with any grant money that is available.

Since you are a customer of Discount School Supply®, recommend that you first use the DiscountSchool Supply grant database.  It is free for you to use and is very comprehensive for the eight categories it contains: after-school, arts, early childhood, migrant, professional development, reading, science/environment, special education.  If your problem fits under these categories in any way, you should spend a lot of time in this fee database to match your problem with a grantor that is interested in helping to solve that kind of problem.

In the event that you don’t find what you need in this database, you should go to The School FundingCenter Grant Database.  It is also comprehensive and up-to-date.  In fact, it contains every federal, state, foundation, and corporate grant available to U.S. schools.  It contains thirty categories from which to choose so you might find grant money in it that is simply not listed in the Discount School Supply database.  Again, as with any database you use, you are looking to match your need with grantors who are interested in helping you.

Another good choice is the FoundationCenter.  It lists all the foundation grants available to schools in this country.  It, too, is comprehensive and reasonably current.  It, however, does not list any grants other than foundation grants.

If you are looking specifically for a federal grant, you should go to either Grants.govor the U.S. Department of Education.  If you are looking for a state grant, you should go directly to your state education website.  You can find all fifty of those links at Ed.gov.

If you don’t have a legitimate problem at your school, you’re not likely to find grant money.  If you don’t use a grant database of some sort, you are not likely to find an appropriate grant to help you solve your problem.  That’s back to the basics.  That’s where all successful grant applications should start.