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Do you wish you could take your students on a field trip to more fully immerse them in learning, but you are not sure how to pay for it? Grants might be the answer!
Do you wish you could attend a professional development event, but you can’t get your school to help you fund it even though the benefits would directly positively impact your work serving students? Grants might be the answer!
Do you love the potential power of a pet in your classroom but dread the costs associated with proper care and maintenance? Grants might be the answer!
Do you feel frustrated with the lack of physical activity and play your students receive and want to build them a state of the art playground that inspires them to move? Grants might be the answer!
While you might initially feel intimidated by the thought of writing a grant, these ten tips can help you learn how to write a grant for school or for your classroom and increase your chances of successfully securing grant funding to support your idea or project.
- Do Your Homework – If you’re new to grant writing, find opportunities to learn more about how to do it well. A great resource is Learners Edge new course: Course 5085: Get That Grant! Grant Writing for Teachers which will help you learn to dig into grant writing and fund your great idea.
- Find a Match - A great first step is to investigate local organizations and foundations in your community. If you broaden your search, be sure to target your search by geography, project area (technology, at-risk student groups, etc.) Look for information about the funder’s mission, grant award amount, special rules, etc. to ensure alignment your project.
- Seek Support from Your Administration Team – Be sure to proactively communicate your ideas and your grant goals. Your administrators can be great partners and can provide guidance and support as you work through the request for funding proposal process.
- Research the Winners – Investigate previous grant recipients from target funders to learn from the success cases. What did they include in their proposals that you can mirror?
- Consider a Collaboration – There is power in numbers, and many grant funders appreciate grant proposals that reflect collaborations which can benefit multiple schools and many more students.
- Numbers Can Help You Tell Your Story- Identify data that will help you build a strong case – a NEED for your project. Also, think about data you will use to measure success of your project.
- Be Purposeful About Your Writing Style – Use facts and evidence, be consistent, and seek help from editors like your ELA teachers.
- Think About the “Now What?” – They say, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” so be prepared to include timelines for implementation, budget and evaluation as well as how you can carry the project forward or extend the benefits of your project beyond the scope of the grant.
- Prepare For A “No” – Not all grants will be funded even though each applicant will feel the passion and sense of urgency they have for their unique projects. There are dollars out there but not enough to meet all needs. If your proposal is rejected, have a plan B! Review what the winner did, and be prepared to try again!
- Do the Work- While grants are “free” money, that money comes with expectations: guidelines, reports, deadlines and results. Be prepared to implement your great plans and to communicate progress to all stakeholders including the funding organization!
Yes, there are dollars to support your great idea out there, and they are yours for the taking! Perhaps, it’s not quite that easy, but with a little time and dedication, your great idea to support and enhance student learning can go from dream to reality.
Looking to learn more about educational grant sources and how to find a good match? Or want to know the various parts of a typical grant proposal and how to write one that is more likely to get funded? Enroll in Learners Edge Course 5085: Get that Grant! Grant Writing for Teachers and hone your grant writing skills.