Current Grant Opportunities – November 2014

1.    Foundation Grants from the Jaquelin Hume Foundation
2.    Education Grants from the Les Paul Foundation
3.    Education Outreach Grants from SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering
4.    Smart from the Start from Together Counts
5.    Educational Grants from the Ambrose Monell Foundation
6.    My Macy’s District Grants from the Macy’s Foundation
7.    Classroom Grants from the Association of American Educators
8.    From Failure to Promise K-12 Educator’s Grant from Dr. C Moorer & Associates Inc.
9.    Green Education Program Grants from the Alternative Fuel Foundation
10.  Family Service Community Grants from Autism Speaks

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Using a Grants Database

I have a tendency to get down into the weeds of grant writing before I’ve covered all the basics. This blog began with a purpose; it is here to guide you to sources of grant funding for your school. The how of it is explored thoroughly in my blogs, but sometimes I neglect to reveal the where.

Many writers attempt to locate grants on the Internet by using search engines or by subscribing to grant newsletters. Those methods are alright but they tend to be inefficient and take too much time. The best way to locate potential grants is to use a comprehensive grant database. The more comprehensive and up-to-date the database, the better it will serve your needs.

The most comprehensive grant database available to educators is the School Funding Center Grant Database. It contains federal, state, foundation, and corporate grants available to schools in the United States. Old grants are removed and new grants are posted on a daily basis. The database comes in four levels, the free source and several subscription levels that open up many more details about the grants you may want to pursue. The database, as a subscription, pays for itself in no time at all.

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Is Your Grant Committee Useful?

Last time I talked about the possibilities that appear when you form a committee to pursue a grant. Such an arrangement can be useful. However, designing a good committee can be difficult. There is the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

Committee members can help:

  • provide data analysis,
  • focus on major problems,
  • perform in-depth searches to find appropriate grants, and
  • find grant writers who will work hard to produce quality grant applications.

Here is a website devoted to forming successful committees.

Bad eggs can infiltrate your happy little group.

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Current Grant Opportunities – October 2014

1.    Great Books Giveaway from the Young Adult Library Services Association & ALA
2.    Nurturing Children Grants from the New York Life Foundation
3.    Small Grant Awards from the American Association of Teachers of French
4.    Playground Grants from the Miracle Recreation Equipment Company
5.    Foundation Grants from the Safeway Foundation
6.    Education Grants from the BNSF Railway Foundation
7.    After School Grants Project from the RBC Foundation USA
8.    Challenge Educational Grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
9.    Toolbox for Education Grants from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation
10.  Foundation Grants from the Standard Charitable Foundation

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Learn to Delegate – Form a Committee

The beginning of a school year is a good time to survey your funding landscape and make an honest assessment of your time management skills.  Be ruthless, you know you are stretched to the limit, can you rally your troops and form a functioning committee that is helpful to your efforts? You need to be careful, you don’t want to recruit prima donnas, or people who will ride your coattails and then take all the credit. You will get a sense of who the real worker bees are very early in committee formation. If this sounds belittling, that’s not my intent, worker bees are worth their weight in gold.

Fortunately, the fiscal climate for schools is improving, tax revenues are up, but grants will still play a big role in your planning for the near future. One of the only ways many districts will be able to increase expenditures next year or even keep their budgets level will be through an infusion of grant money.  If you are in one of those districts and anticipate that you will need money on a district or even a classroom level, you need to be making plans now in order to win the grant money you need.

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Backward Design for Grant Writers

There has been much talk lately about backward design in education and curriculum development. It is a method of designing curriculum by setting goals before choosing programs and instructional methods. Backward design of curriculum typically involves three stages:

  • identifying the results desired
  • determining acceptable levels of evidence to show that desired results have occurred
  • designing  activities that will make desired results unfold

If you’re a grant writer now is the time to think about programs that can improve the educational experience of your students. It’s important to picture successful programs in your mind.  Michelangelo said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

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Current Grant Opportunities – September 2014

1.    Educational Grants from the Benedict Foundation for Independent Schools
2.    CHS Foundation Mini-grants from the CHS Foundation
3.    High School Physics Teacher Grant from the American Association of Physics Teachers
4.    Reflex Educator Grant Program from ExploreLearning
5.    Finish Line Youth Foundation Grants from the Finish Line Youth Foundation
6.    Grammy Signature School Grant from the Grammy Foundation
7.    Healthy Kids Grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
8.    N-Vision a Brighter Future Grant from the Westinghouse Electric Company
9.    Urban Education Grants from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
10.  Educational Grants from the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation

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Four Basic Steps for Grant Writing Success

Grant writing success can be achieved, you must believe that. There are steps involved, ways to move forward through the application process to ensure that your application is read and taken seriously. Grantors receive hundreds of applications for a finite amount of funds. Organized applications are taken seriously and they are more likely to be successful. All things worth doing are worth doing well, and if you do them well each time, grantors will come to look forward to the application packages from XYZ schools. At the start of a new school year, it helps to review some basic truths and use them to devise an application template that is efficient and worthy of review by a foundation.

1. Identify the problem you are trying to solve with the requested funds. That problem usually reveals itself when you look at test data and assess programs you are using. You know what has worked and not worked in your school. Make a list, check those suppositions against the data, and be prepared to tackle them one at a time. Your problems may be new, revealed as a school district’s demographics change. Look at census data, the massive number of baby boomers nearing retirement will create a need for new teachers. They will need professional development, and if the data shows problems in math in grade 4, you may wish to develop a program or project that addresses that need. It is intended to solve the problem.

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Social Media for Grant Writing Success: Part 2

At the risk of repeating myself (again and again), grantsmanship is about establishing relationships. Last time I talked about the relatively new phenomenon of social media in fund raising. Corporations and foundations have lined up with their own Facebook and Twitter pages to provide information about the grants they offer for schools and non-profits.

Relationships are two-way.

Does your school have a Facebook page?

If not, just know that the benefits of creating one extend far beyond grant seeking. The simplicity and ease of creating a social media presence has created a tidal wave of new web pages for schools. I’ll provide resources for developing your presence but it’s important to know that the design of your page is extremely important. The very simplicity of the media creates challenges for web site creators. You need to craft a page(s) that is arresting and clear, what will you want to communicate to visitors? How will you want visitors to communicate with you? Then stand back and be prepared for people “liking” you.

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Current Grant Opportunities – August 2014

  1. Educational Grants from the JM Foundation
  2. Using Music to Teach Mathematics Grants for Grades PreK-2 Teachers from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  3. Fund for Teachers Fellowship from the Fund for Teachers
  4. Project Orange Thumb from the Fiskars Corporation
  5. Foundation Grants from the Patterson Foundation
  6. Foundation Grants from the Humana Foundation, Inc.
  7. Pets in the Classroom Grant from the Pet Care Trust
  8. Painting a Bright Future from the True Value Foundation
  9. National School Library Program of the Year Award from the AASL and Follett Library Resources
  10. Dreyfus Foundation Educational Grants from the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.

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