There seems to be a few main hurdles that grant writers face as they prepare to write a winning proposal. School is out, and now's the time to muster your courage and begin to define yourself as a grant writer for your school.
1. Understanding the process.
Why do foundations, state and federal governments provide funding for schools? There are many reasons, including improving student achievement, providing teacher training or building an effective school climate. By studying the grant process, you can understand why and how money is given to schools. This understanding is key to success.
There are some fundamental rules about grant writing that need to be absorbed. Some resources for your consideration:
2. Finding the grants that meet your school's needs.
Enter the Discount School Supply Grant Database, although there are other sources of information on funding. For instance, the Foundation Directory is a comprehensive database available for grant writers. You can find many grant opportunities if you are willing to dedicate time to sites like these; the other consideration is cost.
Of course, search engines can be helpful and there are grant newsletters that provide some direction. But the easiest way is to use a grant database. First, know your school's problems. You have evaluated your assessment information, right?
Should you take the time and effort to go for a grant now, or put it off until next year? We all procrastinate. We're all extremely busy. There are many excuses to put off grant writing, but if you can get past your own inertia, you will win funding.
You may not win your first grant attempt. You may have to apply multiple times before you get your first grant. However, if you don't apply for your first grant, you'll never apply for a second or third. Your school will never have the resources to fulfill that afterschool program, or whatever it is you need.
You know how good it feels to vanquish inertia; remember the pile of laundry that remains unfolded in the guest room? You know how much better you'll feel if you just take the time to fold it. The same holds true for grant writing, and the good news is that it gets easier all the time. In fact, the first application is always the most difficult and time consuming. Once you have the main narrative with demographic information about your district, you can use that information over and over again. And having a budget template handy helps with your financial planning.
Do you really want to write winning grant applications? You can do it. You just need to thoroughly understand the process. Find the grants that match with your school's needs, and get started.
Let me know your stories, I'd love to share them with everyone.
Current Grant Opportunities
The Victor C. Clark Youth Incentive Program from the American Radio Relay League Foundation - The ARRL Foundation established the Victor C. Clark Youth Incentive Program with the objective of providing support for the development of Amateur Radio among high-school age (or younger) youth. The Program makes mini-grants available to groups that demonstrate serious intent to promote participation in Amateur Radio by youth and enrich the experience of radio amateurs under the age of 18. Groups that qualify for mini-grants will include, but not be limited to, high school radio clubs, youth groups, and general-interest radio clubs that sponsor subgroups of young people or otherwise make a special effort to get them involved in club activities.
States: All States
Average Amount: $1,000.00
Address: 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111-1494
Eligibility: Public School, Private School, Other
Program Areas: After-School, Journalism, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Technology
The Teacher as Researcher Educational Grant from the International Reading Association (IRA) - The Teacher as Researcher Grant supports classroom teachers in their inquiries about literacy and instruction. Grants will be awarded up to $5,000, although priority will be given to smaller grants (e.g., $1,000 to $2,000) in order to provide support for as many teacher researchers as possible.
States: All States
Average Amount: $5,000.00
Address: 800 Barksdale Road, PO Box 8139 Newark, DE 19714-8139, USA
Website: International Reading Association
Eligibility: Public School
Program Areas: Professional Development, Reading