How to Get a School Grant: What To Do When...Your Grant Application is Accepted

Last time I talked about what to do when your application is denied. The flip side of the coin is, "What happens when the grant application is accepted?"

You have a right to celebrate, but no time to rest on your laurels. The foundation you are courting will follow their acceptance letter with a call and instructions for next steps. You may receive a package in the mail with promotional materials from the corporation or foundation. This is not gratuitous advertising; it's a request to make sure you mention them at every possible opportunity while performing the activities being funded. There will be logo rules (theirs, not yours) and suggestions for ways to promote the foundation and its good works. This is part of the process. They may also request that you issue a press release and ask that they be allowed to preview it before it goes out to news outlets and community partners.

I've spent time on this blog talking about promoting your school and school district. You have a web page by now with a grants section (right?). You will now announce the receipt of funds from the XYZ Foundation with associated kudos and gratitude. Pay attention to the rules about how they want their foundation to be represented online. Be sure to thank and mention people who helped you along the way; spend some time on this and don't leave anyone out. You are in the first stages of developing a long-range relationship with people who are in a position to help you time and again. How you present yourself and your school is extremely important.

Bookmark the events calendar on the foundation's website. They will have meetings, convention schedules and notices of informal get-togethers with communities and potential grant seekers. You want to be present at as many of these events as you can. It is not a waste of your time. Time for the pearls and the pumps (or the tie and wingtips, whichever applies).

You will want to call the person whose name appears at the bottom of the acceptance letter. It's usually a foundation employee who will be your conduit for information as you go forward. Titles vary, but somewhere in there is the word coordinator. If the letter is signed by a corporate CEO or CFO, wait for the package to come signed by the coordinator. You'll get a feel for this, but you get the picture. You are building relationships and getting to know the players.

Inform your district superintendent. Suppress the desire to do your happy dance in her office. Your superintendent will be pleased, but she knows this is a business relationship. Hopefully she'll rise to the occasion and suggest a meeting in her office with foundation officials complete with the Keurig coffee machine and pastries or, better yet, catered with high-end munchies. It's time to celebrate, but also to stake out ground rules and find consensus on management details. If your superintendent declines this social responsibility, it doesn't mean she doesn't know any better. She's just busy and she knows you will rise to the occasion and do a splendid job of entertaining the "foundation people." Then, the meeting is smaller, in your office and she is, of course, invited.

The foundation will want to know that you have a rock solid way to accept, deposit, use and report on their funds. They may even want to see the district's last audit documents. In fact, they probably requested this audit before awarding the funds. Don't be intimidated by this request, it is routine and helps them to understand the fiscal scope and capabilities of the district in future transactions.

Additional Post-Award Resources:

Let me know how you're doing.

Current Grant Opportunities

Innovation Generation (STEM) Grants in North America from the Motorola Solutions Foundation - Motorola Solutions and the Motorola Solutions Foundation are committed to supporting STEM education. The foundation supports programs that advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the United States and globally, preparing our next generation of innovators.

States: All States

Average Amount: $500.00 - $20,000.00

Total Amount: $4,000,000.00

Address: 1303 East Algonquin Rd., Schaumburg, IL, United States 60196-4041

Telephone: 847-538-7639


Website: Motorola Solutions Foundation

Eligibility: Public School, Private School, Higher Education, Other

Program Areas: Math, Science/Environmental, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Technology

Deadline: 4/11/2015

Foundation Grants from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation - the Foundation provides support for programs and direct services (including general operating grants) and capital projects. The foundation focuses it's giving in the following areas: Older Adults; Workforce Development; Basic Human Needs & Health; Disabilities; Education, Children, Youth & Families; and General Community Support. Please note only Capitol Grants are given nationally.

States: All States

Average Amount: $50,000.00 - $200,000.00         

Total Amount: $80,000,000.00

Address: 7 Park Center Court, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117

Telephone: 410-654-8500 ext. 217


Website: Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

Eligibility: Public School, Private School, Higher Education, Other

Program Areas: Adult Literacy, After-School, Arts, At-Risk/Character, Community Involvement/Volunteerism, Disabilities, Early Childhood, ESL/Bilingual/Foreign Language, Family Services, General Education, Health/PE, Homeless, Library, Math, Reading, Safe/Drug-Free Schools, Science/Environmental, Social Studies, Special Education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Technology, Vocational

Deadline: Ongoing