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Tips for Writing a Grant to Fund Your School program

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Education grants are a great way to start or expand new school projects. Teachers use them to fund everything from a small gardening curriculum to multi-year, million-dollar after-school programs.

If you've never written a grant before, but are thinking about it, the prospect can seem daunting. So where should you start? School Outfitters has scoured the web for some of the best grant writing advice from teachers and funders.

Preparation

Before you begin writing, you need to prepare for the process. First decide on a specific program you'd like to fund and then discuss it with colleagues or anyone who may help implement the proposed program. Finally, make sure you have the support of your principal or superintendent. Many funders require them to sign off on grant proposals.

You'll want to gather some information before you begin writing, including: student background and demographics, project mission, goals, timelines, planned assessment, required materials and program costs.

Research and write for you audience

Take a look at the grant funder and its mission and goals. When proposing your grant, tell the funder how your project meets their goals. If possible, read other successful grant proposals to get a better idea for how to structure yours.

Once you start writing your own grant, use regular language and stay away from too much education jargon. Make sure you follow the funder's guidelines carefully. Fill out the grant application completely and thoroughly.

Be specific

Funders want to know what their dollars will support. Outline specifically how the money will be used, including the materials you will purchase and how they will be used. Make sure to ask for the correct amount of funding-don't ask for too little or too much. For example, don't apply for $6,000 if your expenses are only $5500. The reverse is also true.

Review the grant proposal with your team

During and after your writing process, share your proposal with colleagues and administration. It can be helpful to get more than one set of eyes on a proposal. Ask for feedback and get your team on board before sending off the proposed grant.

Grant success story

Charles Helmers Elementary School (http://charleshelmers.saugususd.org) funded its school-wide garden curriculum this year with an $8,000 grant from the private Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation (http://www.newhallfoundation.org/index.php), according to a recent news report.

The curriculum was based on the "Kinder Gardens" gardening and games book series created by Lisa Ely, a documentary television producer and author.

The Henry Mayo grant was part of a dual-grant approach. The garden construction itself was funded in 2015 when the school's Parent Teacher Association (PTA) won a $10,000 grant from Seeds of Change (http://www.socfusa.org).

Community volunteers helped build the garden, which will be used as a real life demonstration of the curriculum.

Grant resources

Are you ready to search for a grant? Take a look at these websites and good luck!

The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources https://www.edutopia.org/grants-and-resources

Educators of America https://www.educatorsusa.org/educator-and-technology-grants?gclid=Cj0KEQjw76jGBRDm1K-X_LnrmuEBEiQA8RXYZykviUdzDP6MNUFNQ9Ts-kGHhecI2uda5VmgFHej5xYaAiaI8P8HAQ

Stemfinity https://www.stemfinity.com/STEM-Education-Grants

GedEdFunding http://www.getedfunding.com/c/index.web?s@G87.09PswZQiU

UD DOE Innovative Programs https://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovative/index.html

UD DOE Funding Digital Learning https://tech.ed.gov/funding/

American Library Association http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/browse/grnt/all/prgm?showfilter=no

US DOE 21st Century Community Learning Center https://www2.ed.gov/programs/21stcclc/index.html

Digital Wish http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/grants

School Furniture http://www.novadesk.com/blog/bid/35863/Grant-Funding-Available-for-School-Furniture

EdTechTeam Grants https://www.edtechteam.com/grant/

Chromebook grants https://docs.google.com/document/d/1clRX-jGuxbhXgAyd-tZJhgyQ9BM9kH7DoHGJTKZZk0k/edit

Best Buy Community Grants https://corporate.bestbuy.com/community-grants-page/

IEEE Foundation https://www.ieeefoundation.org/Grants

Grant Wrangler http://www.grantwrangler.com

Monsanto Fund (St. Louis area) http://www.monsantofund.org/grants/math-science-education/

ACS-Hach High School Chemistry Classroom Grant https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/funding-and-awards/grants/hachhighschool.html

LEGO Education https://education.lego.com/en-us/grants-and-funding

DuPont Outreach http://www.dupont.com/corporate-functions/sustainability/outreach.html

Lockheed Martin STEM Education http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/who-we-are/community/education.html

Crowdfunding

Donor's Choose www.donorschoose.org

GoFundMe https://www.gofundme.com

Classwish http://classwish.org

(2015) Write A Grant. NEA. Web. http://www.nea.org/home/10476.htm

(2013) Show Me the Money: Tips and Resources for Successful Grant Writing. Education World. Web. http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/profdev/profdev039.shtml

(2012) Ten Tips to Getting Your School Grant Funded. Peaceful Playgrounds. Web. http://peacefulplaygrounds.com/getting-your-school-grant-funded/

(2017) Helmers garden program receives grant to fund curriculum. Cox, Christina. The Signal Santa Clarita Valley. Web. https://signalscv.com/2017/03/22/helmers-garden-program-receives-grant-fund-curriculum/

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