Ten Tips to Getting Your School Grant Funded
I first became aware of grant writing as a teacher more than 25 years ago. My first school grant was for $300 for additional teaching supplies. It was a short grant appropriately titled “A Mini-Grant”, and was funded by my district.
Some 25 years later, I have written Federal grants, State grants, and foundation grants, most of which were funded.
During an 8 year period as Director of Professional Development for San Diego County Office of Education, I wrote approximately 40 grants ranging from $30,000 to nearly $1,000,000. I am pleased to say that 38 out of 40 were funded.
This article will share ten tips from my experience in getting your school grant funded.
A grant is a monetary award given by a government agency, foundation, corporation, or other entity to another body in order to plan, implement or operate a particular program or fund a particular project.
1. Preparation Is The Key To Securing a Grant
Grant writing is like baking a cake. You need to include the right ingredients, in the right amounts. You need the proper tools to be successful in your cake making and experience is often the best indicator of a successful outcome. Grant writing, like baking, cannot be rushed and takes time to plan, gather ingredients and bake.
2. Follow School District Protocol for Writing Grants and Receiving Funding.
One of the first steps, prior to applying for a grant, is getting administrative approval and securing an individual who will implement the grant. A little-known fact in the school community is that schools typically cannot receive grant funds exceeding $5,000 without School Board Approval.
For larger grants, the School Board should be made aware of the grant application and in fact, many State and federal grants require the Superintendent to sign off to submit the grant application.
Not sure of your district’s requirements? Check with the grants office or district assistant superintendent.
3. Implementing The Grant Is As Important As Securing The Grant.
Often the person writing the grant is different from the person who will be implementing the grant or program.
Who will put the program into place? What steps will be necessary and who will develop a timeline of activities?
Other considerations include:
Who is responsible for training the staff? What will they do to evaluate the success of the funding? Who will write the final report to the funder, etc.
4. Funding Sources For Your Grant?
First, consider writing a small foundation grant prior to writing for a large federal grant.
Foundation and corporation grants are funded between $500 and $50,000 with most funded at the $5,000-10,000 level.
Peaceful Playgrounds maintains a list of grants clearinghouses on our Grants web page. Check it for additional recommendations. A couple of my favorites are:
- Grants 4 Teachers Your complete online resource for information related to K-12 grants. They focus on the needs of teachers, particularly K-12 educators. Their goal is to help teachers save time and money by maximizing their online experience.
- Grants.gov Allows organizations to electronically find and apply for competitive grant opportunities from all federal grant-making agencies, and encompasses over 900 grant programs offered by the twenty six Federal grant-making agencies. It streamlines the process of awarding over $350 billion annually to state and local governments, academia, not-for-profits, and other organizations.
Grants 4 Teachers has a database of grants that are currently available and is a good listing for both foundation and government grants. Grants.gov is the spot to find grants offered through the Federal Government and Department of Education.
At Peaceful Playgrounds, many of our customers pay for our program with grant funding from various sources. A list of some of the funding sources will be listed on our grants page.