Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Use the Telephone, Email, & the Snail Mail

Last time we discussed getting the full benefit of the free school grant database provided by Discount School Supply to find money for your school or organization. To get that full benefit you will always need to use the live link that a granting agency gives to its website if it has one. You should read every word on that website that has to do with grants or awards that the grantor provides.

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.

Check This Out!

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
Telephone: 202-222-2335
Website: http://www.leadersinlearningawards.org/
Availability: All States

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