Monday, September 19, 2011

Do You Have What It Takes?

At the start of any school year many teachers and administrators decide they need to find grant money for their schools. With the budget cuts that many schools have seen the last couple of years, I’m sure that this year will not be an exception. Many educators will want to find grant money. The question becomes, “Do you have what it takes to go out and get the grant money you need?”

I believe that any school can find grant money if its educators want it badly enough. But any educator who is going to be a successful grant writer must have three characteristics: desire, determination, and persistence. Without these characteristics, you might find some grant money, but you will not consistently do so.

First, to be successful, a grant writer must have a strong desire to solve a problem. Typically, this problem will involve a deficiency in the educational program at your school and must be solved in order for students to achieve to their potential. It doesn’t matter if your students are behind in math, reading, science, social studies, writing, or in the arts. As a grant writer, you must look on your problems and your deficiencies as unacceptable and have a strong desire to find the grant money to eliminate those deficiencies.

Second, if you are going to be a successful grant writer, you must have determination. You must identify your problem, find a logical solution, seek out grantors that give money for your type of problem, and fill out their grant applications properly and proficiently. You must dig up the data that supports your contention that you have a problem. You must research until you find a viable solution to your problem. And you must search and study until you find the proper grants that match well with your problem. These are not easy tasks, and you must show marked determination if you are to be successful as a grant writer.

Finally, you must be persistent. It is rare to have a problem at a school, write one grant, receive the grant money, and have your problem corrected. More often, you must write multiple grants to be assured of getting enough grant money to tackle your problem. It is only beginning grant writers who believe that finding a single grant opportunity will be enough to solve their problems with one stroke. And besides, what school has only one problem?

Any school can get grant money. I won’t say that it will be easy or that you’ll get grant money the first time you try. But if you are a person who truly desires to make your school a better place, who is determined to make a difference by writing grants, and who is persistent enough to continue to apply for grants until your problems are solved, then you will be a successful grant writer.

The question is, “Do you have what it takes to be a successful grant writer?”

Check It Out: New Grant Opportunity!

Grant Name: Teacher Grants

Funded by: The Kids in Need Foundation

Description: Kids In Need Teacher Grants provide K-12 educators with funding to provide innovative learning opportunities for their students. The Kids In Need Foundation helps to engage students in the learning process by supporting our most creative and important educational resource our nation's teachers. All certified K-12 teachers in the U.S. are eligible.

Program Areas: Math, Reading, Science/Environment, Technology, All Other

Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter School

Proposal Deadline: 9/30/11

Average Amount: $100.00 - $500.00

Contact Person: Penny Hawk

Telephone: 877-296-1231



Availability: All States

Check It Out: New Grant Opportunity!

Grant Name: K-6 Science and Math Education Grants

Funded by: Toshiba America Foundaiton

Description: The mission of Toshiba America Foundation is to promote quality science and mathematics education in U.S. schools. Grants are made for programs and activities that improve teaching and learning in science and mathematics, grades K-12. The Foundation focuses its grant making on inquiry-based projects designed by individual teachers, and small teams of teachers, for use in their own classrooms.

Program Areas: Math, Science/Environment

Recipients: Public School, Other

Proposal Deadline: 10/1/11

Average Amount: $20,000.00

Telephone: 212-596-0620



Availability: All States

Friday, September 2, 2011

Supplant vs Supplement

Supplant means to “take the place of.” Supplement means to “add something to complete a thing.” For almost any grant you write, it is important for you to begin a new program or to supplement a program rather than to supplant one. While most grantors make that fact very plain in their grant literature, some are not as explicit. Regardless of that, you can rest assured they do not want you using their money to supplant a program you already have in place.

Most grantors are interested in helping you to improve academic performance in some way. You can usually do that by implementing a new program that has shown promise in other schools or by expanding a program that has been successful in your own school. You usually have to come up with the money for that new or expanded program. Grantors often supply that money.

Supplanting a program is different. That means you put a new program in the place of an old one. To do that, you should be able to use the money that you were using for the old program to put the new one in place. If you do, it is unlikely you would need grant money.

Some schools try to write grants that allow them to supplant one of their current programs in an effort to shift their money to another curriculum area. An abundance of reading grant money might be available at the time, but the school really needs money to shore up its math program. The grant writer applies for a reading grant for enough money to fund the reading program that is already in place, then the district shifts that budget money over to the math department so they can improve their math program with a promising supplemental program.

In theory this sounds like a workable plan for the school. In fact, it is a form of fraud. At the very least, it is deceitful. Grantors are usually very specific about what they are trying to accomplish with their giving, and to deceive them is wrong. You might very rarely see a grantor who is willing to add money to your general budget, but it is unusual to find such a grant.

It is important in your application to let grantors know you are supplementing a program rather than supplanting one. In your narrative, I recommend that you clearly describe how you plan to begin a new program or supplement a current program in order to improve that academic area in your school.

If you do not currently have an after-school program that tutors math students who are struggling, then you are supplementing your regular math program when you set up your tutoring program. If you do not currently have a computer lab that allows students who are struggling to better understand instructional concepts, then you are supplementing your math program when you set up such a computer lab. There are many ways to supplement a current program to improve it.

You should always clearly understand how a new or supplemental program will improve your overall academic program and clearly explain that in your grant application. If you struggle to prove that your grant program is truly supplemental, then it probably isn’t.

You will not often hear the terms “supplement” and “supplant” discussed at school, but you should hear it often if you are involved in writing grants. Thousands of grants supply money to schools for you to begin new programs or supplement academic programs to improve them. Only a handful of grantors are out there who would even consider providing money for you to supplant a program with their funds.

Check It Out: NEW Grant Opportunity!

Grant Name: Let’s Play Playground Construction Grants

Funded by: KABOOM! & Dr. Pepper Snapple Group

Description: A National Partner of KaBOOM!, Dr Pepper Snapple Group has made a $15 million, three-year commitment to the organization as part of the company’s Let’s Play initiative. Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group designed to get kids active nationwide. Together through Let's Play, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America. For more information about Let's Play, visit Dr Pepper Snapple & KaBOOM! are excited to offer $9,000 grants to qualifying organizations to be used toward the purchase of Imagination Playground in a Cart. The total cost of the Imagination Playground in a Cart is $11,100 plus shipping and handling (approximately $2,000). Please read through the information about Imagination Playground in a Cart, eligibility for the grant, and grant commitments to see if your playspace can receive and support this grant. In order to complete the application, fill out the Parts I – IV and submit no later than September 30, 2011.

Program Areas: Health/PE

Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter Schools

Proposal Deadline: 9/30/2011

Average Amount: $9,000.00



Availability: All States

Check It Out: NEW Grant Opportunity!

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/Environment, Social Studies, All Other

Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter School, Other Proposal

Deadline: 9/30/11 Average Amount: $250.00 - $2,500.00

Contact Person: Taryn Murphy

Telephone: 404-522-4270



Availability: All States