Monday, December 29, 2008
In my view, there are three ways you could center a resolution on grants. The first would be to make a resolution just to write a grant for your classroom, school, or district in 2009. This would be a most appropriate resolution if you have just started writing grants. If you can just get that first grant written, even if you need help from others to get it done, that is a landmark that could be the beginning of many future grants and a lot of grant money for your school.
If you have already written at least one or two grants, you might want to focus your resolution on the number of grants you want to write in 2009. Remember, grants need to be written when you are trying to solve specific problems. List the problems you’re having in your district, school, or classroom, and then center your New Year’s resolution on the number of grants you’re determined to write to help correct those problems.
Finally, your New Year’s resolution could center on an amount of money. The amount doesn’t really matter. It could be $500, $5,000, or $5,000,000. The amount, however, should have some significance to you or your grant program. I used to like to win as much grant money for my school as I was paid for being principal of the school. It just made me feel good to bring as much money into the district as they paid me for my salary. It meant nothing to anyone else, but it was important to me.
Along the same line, you might determine that you have a specific problem that will require $75,000 in grant money to fix. There might not be a single grant for $75,000 available, but you can find 2 or 3 grants that would total $75,000 if you got them.
Your New Year’s resolution would be to get $75,000 in grant money for your school regardless if it entails writing 3, 4 or even 5 grants to get that $75,000.
New Year’s resolutions are often made and seldom kept. Let me encourage you to make at least one of your New Year’s resolutions pertain to the grants that need to be written for your school. To make sure you follow through on this New Year’s grant resolution, write it down in a place where you will see it every day or two. Also, share this particular New Year’s resolution with as many people as possible. That way you can enjoy the support and encouragement of others (as well as the pressure) to make good on one of the most important New Year’s resolutions you’ll ever make
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Grant Name: AmeriCorps Grants
Funded by: AmeriCorps
Description: The Corporation will invest in organizations that connect their school, faculty, staff, and administration with their communities through service and volunteering. We plan to support K-12 and higher education institutions that effectively incorporate service-learning into their curricula, and increase the number of college students engaged in community service and service-learning. We will also help colleges and universities expand support for student service.
Program Areas: At-Risk/Character, Community Involvement/Volunteerism, General Education, Math, Reading Science/Environmental, Social Studies
Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter School, Higher Education, Other
Proposal Deadline: 1/13/2009
Average Amount: $12,500.00
Availability: All States
Monday, December 15, 2008
The economy is weak which makes the idea of getting grant money right now very appealing. The timing is also excellent because many foundations have a December deadline. Finally, you will most likely receive your grant money in January, in time to have an impact on the new semester.
While getting grant money is always a time for celebration, it is especially appealing right now when our economy is so beaten down. Schools are not immune to the impact of a poor economy as I’m sure you’re aware. Schools have had to cut back to make ends meet just like everyone else. That makes getting grant money from a foundation all the sweeter. The federal government and the various state governments just don’t have that many available grants out there right now. Why? Mainly because of the poor economy.
Foundations are still distributing money based on their 2008 commitments. Many of them have to give away a certain percentage of their money in order to remain tax exempt. But most foundations will not have as much money to give away in 2009 because their investments have not done well this year. It’s best for you to get their 2008 money that has already been committed for grants rather than to wait on their 2009 grant money.
The December timing could not be better for applying for a foundation grant. For one thing, whether a foundation reviews applications semi-annually or quarterly, they usually have a December deadline. If they don’t have a posted deadline, the end of December is still the deadline for them to distribute their 2008 money. The good thing about applying for a grant with a December deadline is that you will not typically have the competition that you would at other deadlines throughout the year. Folks just get a little lazy about such things around the holidays. That means that if you are industrious and put forth a little more effort than others to apply for grants, the competition simply won’t be as strong.
The final reason December is a good time to apply for a foundation grant is that you will most likely receive the actual grant money in January. That makes it much easier to get your new program or improvements to an old program started at the beginning of a new semester. It always helps to know exactly how much money you have available when you begin a program.
December is an excellent time to apply for a grant. It’s a busy time for most educators, but if you make that extra effort and set time aside to apply for two or three foundation grants, you may get your biggest gift of the holiday season, but you have to apply now.
Please be aware that most of the grants I post are open to ALL STATES since this blog is read by educators throughout the United States. Many, many foundation grants are either state or regional in nature. Please use the free DSS grant database to find the best foundation grants in your state or area.
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Grant Name: Captain Planet Foundation Education Grants
Funded by: The Captain Planet Foundation
Description: The foundation supports projects that: 1) Promote understanding of environmental issues; 2) Focus on hands-on involvement; 3) Involve children and young adults 6-18 (elementary through high school); 4) Promote interaction and cooperation within the group; 5) Help young people develop planning and problem solving skills; 6) Include adult supervision; 7) Commit to follow-up communication with the foundation (specific requirements are explained once the grant has been awarded).
Program Areas: Community Involvement/Volunteerism, General Education, Science/Environmental, Social Studies, All Other
Recipients: Public School, Other
Proposal Deadline: 12/31/2008
Proposal Deadline Description: March 31, June 30, Sept. 30, and Dec. 31 - annual deadlines
Average Amount: $250.00 - $2,500.00
Contact Person: Taryn Murphy
Address: Captain Planet Foundation, 133 Luckie Street, 2nd Floor Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Availability: All States
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Once you have read all the information thoroughly, you are in a better position to decide if there is a match. What match? A match between your problem and the granting entity’s reason for giving grant money. They have a purpose. You have a problem that grant money can help solve. Do those two match? That is the most important point you need to have answered before you apply for a grant.
If you believe they do match, you are ready for the next step. In my opinion, your next step should be to contact the granting agency whether it is the federal government, your state government, or a foundation. The free DSS grant database often provides you with phone numbers, email addresses, fax numbers and physical addresses to help you get in touch with a contact person.
Before you go to the trouble of actually filling out a grant application or writing a detailed letter to a foundation seeking money, I would always try to get in touch with the contact person responsible for that grant. I prefer using the telephone for this, but you could use email or an introductory letter if you choose.
Again, my preference is to telephone the contact person and have a pen and pad ready to take notes. I want to lay out for that person the type of problem we are trying to solve and why I think the grantor might be interested in giving us help in the form of grant money.
If you are correct and your problem matches well with the grantors philosophy of giving, you should be able to get some tips on how to best word your application. If the contact person lets you know that your problem and his/her organization is not a match, you will know that in a matter of minutes, and you will have saved yourself the hours and hours of time it would have taken you to fill out an application.
Read and understand everything you can about a granting agency before you pick up the telephone to call them, but once you have done that, do not hesitate to make that call. In the long run, it saves both you and the grantor a lot of time and effort.
Be aware that some foundations do not want you to contact them before you submit a letter or application. If that is true, please honor their policy. You’ll just have to decide based on the information on their web site whether the match is close enough for you to put out the work to apply. However, unless they specifically request that you do not contact them, make the call.
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Grant Name: 2009 Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards
Funded by: Cable in the Classroom (CIC)
Description: Applications are now being accepted nationwide for individuals who implement creative learning programs in their communities, helping to push education progress to new heights. The annual Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards recognize outstanding educators, administrators, policymakers, and other leaders at the forefront of innovation in education.
Program Areas: General Education, Technology
Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter School, Other
Proposal Deadline: 12/17/2008
Average Amount: $3,000.00
Address: Cable in the Classroom, 25 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20001
Availability: All States
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The database is set up so that you make 3 choices before you search: your state, your type of school, and the type of grant for which you are searching. This narrows the number of grants down for you. Once you make these selections, you are scanning through only grants that are likely to be relevant. You’re automatically weeding out thousands of grants that are not relevant. If you’re looking for reading money in Alabama, you don’t care about the science grants that are available in Oregon.
That does not mean, however, that every grant that comes up in the search is going to be applicable to the problem you’re trying to solve. Now you have to scan the grant description for each grant to see if that grant is likely to apply to your situation. If it seems to apply, jot down that grant name or number and review the rest of the grants listed. When you finish scanning the description of each grant, you should have a small list of grants that you feel might be applicable to your situation.
Go back to those grant listings and read them thoroughly. If the grant listing has a live link to its website, go to that website and read every bit of information you can find about the grant and the application process. These live links are one of the very best features of the Discount School Supply's free MySchoolGrantsm database. You can get complete information about each grant. In fact, you can often download a grant application from these websites.
- Search for grants using the state, type of grant, type of school to narrow your list.
- Read each grant description to see if that grant applies to your situation.
- Then, if the grant listing provides a live link to its website, use it to get complete information before applying for the grant. If you’re not using these links, you’re not using the free grant database effectively.
Next time, we’ll discuss what to do if you still have questions after linking to the website or if the listing doesn’t provide a live link to a website.
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Grant Name: Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation
Funded by: Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards
Description: These awards acknowledge the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality early care and education. Child care teachers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are invited to apply. Fifty teachers are selected for their commitment and dedication to the children they serve. Of the top ten recipients, one is selected to receive the Helene Marks Award. As part of the application process, each applicant is asked to design an enhancement project for the children in their classroom illustrating the educational, social, and emotional benefits from the project. A committee of early childhood educators and specialists review the applications. Award recipients receive $1,000 - $500 for the teacher's personal use and $500 to implement the project. An award ceremony takes place each spring in Pennsylvania - hotel and transportation are provided for the recipients. The event celebrates the best and brightest, and the most dedicated of our child care teachers.
Program Areas: Early Childhood
Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter, Other
Proposal Deadline: 12/5/2008
Total Amount: $1,000.00
Contact Person: Lisa Kemmerer
Availability: All States
Monday, November 10, 2008
I can tell you that if you’re looking for $500,000 to build a new field house for your football team, you don’t need to search for grants. There is no grant money out there for that type of problem. If you’re a school looking to improve your reading program, there might be 500 grant possibilities. Everything else falls somewhere in between.
How do you find the grants that are both available and pertinent to your problem? That’s an easy one to answer. Without a doubt, the best way to find grants that match your needs is to use a grant database. A good grant database has a huge amount of grant information all in one place. It’s constantly updated with new grants put in daily and ones with past deadlines removed daily.
With a grant database, you put in your search criteria and out pops a list of possible grants. Not all of these grants will match your needs, but you have all the possible grants in one place and that makes them very easy to sort through. Your alternative is to do a hundred Google searches. That will usually get you information on grants that are not current about 80% of the time. Very frustrating. Your other alternative is to use a grant newsletter, either printed or on line. But newsletters can only list a few grants at a time, and they are outdated within a few weeks.
Once again, the best way to look for grants is with a grant database. Subscribing to a grant database can be fairly expensive, however, with subscriptions running several hundred dollars per year. You are fortunate because you have a free one to use. Discount School Supply offers its customers a free grant database. Just go to: My School Grant sm
Register by putting in your email address and start searching. It can’t be any easier than that.
Next time, I’ll discuss how to use this free grant database most effectively. Don’t miss it!
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Grant Name: Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year
Funded by: Toyota & National Center for Family Literacy
Description: The Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year Award recognizes individual contributions to improving literacy for children and adults. The winner and several finalists are selected annually by the National Center for Family Literacy to honor educators who demonstrate and impact on families through early childhood education, school-based programs, adult literacy and ESL programs, parenting education, library literacy programs and community literacy programs.
Program Areas: Adult Literacy, Reading.
Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter School, Faith-based, Other.
Proposal Deadline: 12/5/2008
Average Amount: $500 to $7,500.00
Website: National Center For Family Literacy
Availability: All States.
Friday, October 31, 2008
So it doesn’t matter if you’re just generally interested in how to write a grant or if you specifically want to know how to win an early childhood education grant, I’ll be sharing vital information that you can use.
Let’s get started. Do you need grant money for your school or organization? The first step toward getting grant money is to clearly define a problem that you’re having. The problem can’t just be that you need money or that you didn’t get enough money put in your budget this year. That won’t do. No federal government, state government, or foundation is going to give you grant money if that’s what you put on your application.
What if your problem is that you teach kindergarten and are alarmed that more than 40% of your students are overweight? In fact, three of them are obese. You have nothing in your curriculum that deals with their nutritional needs, their physical activity, or communicating with parents about this problem.
Now you don’t just need money. You have a well-defined problem, and this well-defined problem may very well qualify you for grant money.
If you need grant money, then you have a problem or problems that need to be solved.
Take your first step toward getting that grant money by getting pen and paper and clearly defining the problem you have. Once you’ve got that problem clearly defined, you are then ready to begin searching for granting entities that want to help you address that problem by giving you the grant money you need.
We’ll talk about matching your needs with those grantors next time……..
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Grant Name: DonorsChoose.org Grants
Funded by: DonorsChoose.org
Description: DonorsChoose.org is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.
Program Areas: Adult Literacy After-School Arts At-Risk/Character Community Involvement/Volunteerism Disabilities Early Childhood ESL/Bilingual/Foreign Language Facilities/Maintenance Family Services General Education Health/PE Homeless Indian Journalism Library Math Migrant Miscellaneous Professional Development Reading Safe/Drug Free Schools Science/Environmental Social Studies Special Education TAG Technology Transportation Vocational
Recipients: Public School
Proposal Deadline Description: no deadline
Website: Click Here
Availability: All States