Friday, October 16, 2009

Consistency Is the Key

It is not unusual for schools to want or need grant money. Unfortunately, there’s a huge difference between wanting and actually receiving grants. The key to getting grant money -- and to keeping it coming -- is consistency. In the paragraphs that follow, I will identify three key areas where consistency counts when it comes to grants and grant writing.

First, to earn grants you must consistently assess school programs to identify weak or problem areas. You can’t do that just once a year or several times in one year and then stop. Assessment must be regular and ongoing. Some programs garner poor results from the start. Others may be successful for a while and then falter. It goes without saying that every program you use, whether it relates to reading, math, science, after-school, service learning, music... must be regularly assessed to ensure you’re reaching the goals you set. If you don’t do that, you won’t know you have problems and you won’t have the statistical documentation you need to successfully apply for grants.

Second, to win grants you must consistently search for the grants that align with your school's needs. Grants are not all announced at the first of the year or the start of the school year. New and updated grant information is announced on a daily basis. If you are not routinely (and consistently) monitoring grant sources, you’re going to miss some of the very best grant opportunities. You should look for grants on a weekly basis, or at the very least once a month, because many grants have fairly short deadlines.

Third, you must consistently apply for grants. Winning grant money is a numbers game. The more quality grant applications you put in the mail or send via the Internet, the greater your chances of winning grant money. Send in just one application and you may or may not be awarded grant money. Send in five applications and your chances have improved dramatically. Apply for ten grants and you’re almost assured of getting at least some grant money.

There has never been more grant money available. Consequently, there has never been a better time to apply for grants. And the best way to ensure that your school gets its share of this grant money is to be consistent.
  • Consistently assess the needs of your school.
  • Consistently search for grants that match closely with your school’s needs.
  • Consistently apply for those grants over the coming weeks and months.
Then, and only then, will you consistently win the grant money your school needs to correct its problems, build achievement, and ensure success.