Friday, March 30, 2012

April & May Seem to Present a Unique Opportunity

I’ve been running The School FundingCenter for more than 10 years. In that time I’ve always tried to monitor how many schools were out there looking for grants at any given time. While I know that some schools may still be on spring break or have it coming up, I have never seen the activity on our database go this low. How could that be important to you?

As our economy has begun to recover ever so slowly, grant opportunities have increased. That means if more grants are out there right now, and less people are looking for them, it greatly increases your odds of securing some of this grant money.
You still have plenty of time to write grants for summer school, and this would certainly be a good time to begin writing grants for the fall semester. You’re just going to have to alter your thinking a little. Instead of this being the home stretch where you focus completely on getting to  the end of school year, you need to think of it as an opportunity to have plenty of money for next year’s programs.

I’m not suggesting that you neglect any of your teacher or administrator duties. I’m just saying that if you’re going to write a grant or two, you’ll never have less competition than you will right now.
If you are going to write several grants, remember the sequence. First, find the problem in your district, campus, or classroom that needs correcting. Develop a good, workable plan that will help you fix or alleviate these problems. Use a grant database to help you find grants that match up with your problems. Gather the materials and documentation that you need to demonstrate that you have problems and that you have ideas, strategies, and programs that will help you resolve those problems.

Then, write your grant proposal.  Make sure you beat the deadline for submitting them.
Working with a good grant database will help you quickly and easily identify the grants for which you qualify.  I’d like to recommend the use of the following school grant databases:

Discount School Supply (free and very comprehensive for the categories listed)

The School Funding Center (subscription fee, but the largest and most comprehensive available)

Ed.gov (free, lists only federal grants)

Grants.gov (free, lists all federal grants, not just those for schools)

Foundation Center (subscription, comprehensive list of foundation grants)

50 State Education Agencies (free, lists all state education grants for that state)

With the use of one or two of these school grant databases, you will make your task much easier. The time is right.  The competition is less.  You have April and May to make use of these conditions before you get out of school for summer vacation.  Let’s get started --- today!

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