Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Five Ways To Visualize Success

Posted by Carol Timms on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 @ 11:08 AM


stack of reportsLet’s be realistic. Your grant request will likely be one of many received by your prospective funder. After reading many grant applications before yours, reviewers are likely to become distracted or tired. Make your application stand out and be easier to read by using visual cues. Here are five suggestions.



Extra! Extra! Read All About It

Just as in a magazine, creative and descriptive headlines and subheadlines will help readers focus their attention by organizing content into sections. Their purpose is to capture the essence of the content and prompt further reading. The best headlines and subheadlines are useful, unique, specific and/or urgent. They should be short and in bold to easily catch the reader’s attention. 

               Weak Example:                 Background

               Stronger Example:           Millions Go Hungry Every Day 


Lists Are Lovely

Bulleted lists are easy to scan, thus increasing the likelihood of the content being read. Be sure to include the most important information in the lists. The more compelling the information, the more likely the reader will be to read the accompanying paragraphs. 


A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Include photographs to show how your program benefits others. Bring your images to life by describing the story behind the photo.   

Without knowing whether the reviewer is predominantly swayed by data or stories, combine the two. For example, if you’ve included a photograph of students reading to shelter dogs, include data in the caption mentioning the increased likelihood of those dogs being adopted. An example follows

 reading to dog

After Katy’s third visit reading to Bailey, he went from cowering in the back of his cage to eagerly laying at the front of his cage, tail wagging. Bailey was adopted after just 3 weeks while the average stay before adoption was weeks.



 Bailey relaxes while his new owner reads to him.


Make Data Visual

Anytime you can present data in a chart, table or infographic you are more likely to get the attention of the readers. Incorporate a pleasing palette of colors that matches your message. If you are applying for funds for an elementary education program, consider primary colors. If you are requesting funding for an environmental program, use colors from nature. If there is a particular number or data point you want to highlight, be sure it stands out.


Pull It Out

Just as with the number or data point you want to highlight, there may be powerful statements that are essential to your message. These can be placed in a text box, written in bold, or written in color. Don’t over do these, but rather, choose one or two statements.


The Grant Helpers can help you develop an effective proposal with strong visual elements. Contact us today—you can even start with a free consultation.

Topics: how to get noticed, application tips, grant application hints, grant writing hints, making case for funding, grant writing submission, How to Grant Write, grant applications, Grant Writing Tips, grant hints, grant application, full proposal, applying for grants, grant funding, grant, grant proposal, grant strategies, securing grants, numbers to get grants, numbers, statistics to get grants, grant basics, proposal rejection, grant rejection

She Said She Would, So She Did - Grants to Fund Women’s Services

Posted by Lauren Albright on Fri, Aug 10, 2018 @ 11:08 AM

With persistence, women have made great strides toward achieving equal opportunity, equal pay, and more, but there is still great need for improvement. Did you know 62 million girls worldwide are denied an education? Or that women with full-time jobs earn 77 cents for every dollar of their male counterpart’s earnings? Less than 30 percent of researchers are women, and by 2020 men will outnumber women in the field of computer science by 4:1 (statistics from

Is your organization doing something to change these discouraging numbers? If so, the following grant opportunities might be right for you.

For Women-Led Projects: Mary’s Pence

Mary’s Pence funds projects in the United States and Canada that are led by women and that improve the lives of women and their communities. Projects should:

  • embrace social justice values including human dignity, the common good, and nonviolence
  • emphasize collaboration, diversity, and/or leadership development.

To be eligible, organizations must have a budget under $200,000. Here are some details about applying:

  • The application is available online and can be submitted via email, fax or hard copy.
  • Applicants can request a maximum of $5,000.
  • Applicants can receive a grant up to three times.
  • There are two application deadlines each year, February 1 and August 1.
  • If you are interested in applying and want to learn more about the process, Mary’s Pence hosts two information sessions via teleconference each year.

Visit the Mary’s Pence website for more details and updates.

For Projects Promoting Gender, Racial or Economic Justice: Open Meadows Foundation

Open Meadows Foundation, like Mary’s Pence, wants to fund projects that are led by and that benefit women and girls. One-time grants are available up to $2,000 for projects that promote community development. Priority is given to small and start-up organizations; organization budget should not exceed $75,000 for any applicants.

To apply, complete the online application and submit via email to Applications are reviewed in two cycles:

  • Spring cycle: review proposals received January 1-February 15
  • Fall Cycle: review proposals received July 1-August 15

More information is available on the Open Meadows Foundation website. Also, be sure to check out their three special funds for projects concerning indigenous women, activists under the age of 19, and lesbians age 60 and older.

For Projects Promoting Education for Women and Girls: AAUW Community Action Grants

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers grants for non-profit organizations focused on the education of women and girls. Special consideration is given to projects focused on grades K-12, community colleges, and STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) topics, as well as projects that include community partners.  

  • One-year grants are available for community-based projects.
  • Two-year grants provide startup funds for new projects.

According to the AAUW website, eligible projects will “have direct public impact, be nonpartisan, and take place in the United States or its territories.”

The online application is available August 1-January 15. Learn more here.


Proposals for each of these grant opportunities for funding women’s services should do more than simply state a need; applicants must paint a clear picture of how their project will improve the lives of women and/or girls in the community.

The Grant Helpers can help you develop a strong proposal and address any special considerations within your community or with relevant partners. Contact us today—you can even start with a free consultation.

Topics: STEM, nonprofit funding, women's economic empowerment, community improvement grant, LGBTQ grants, grants for specific populations, grants for stem, grants for mentoring programs, partners, grant funding, stem education grants, grants for mentoring, youth mentoring, mentor

Math Teachers, Here’s What Grant Money Can Do for You

Posted by Lauren Albright on Thu, Aug 2, 2018 @ 13:08 PM
Math teachers, here's how grant money can help you.

You’re a math teacher, and you’re busy—we get it. There are lessons to plan, tests to correct, and your school’s mathlete team is competing next weekend. You’ve probably heard about some excellent grant opportunities out there for math education, and you may be wondering, “Is it worth my time to apply? How could grant money really benefit a math classroom?” The fact is that grants could add up to some educational advantages for you and your students.

Math Meets Music

Elementary students love learning that involves music and rhythm. Take advantage of their natural predilection by applying for a Using Music to Teach Mathematics Grant through the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. You can apply for a maximum of $3,000 for your Pre-K through 2nd grade class to help your young students learn math through music. The application deadline is November 2, 2018learn more details on applying here.

  Expert Advice:  Many math-centric grant opportunities are available through the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics—view a full list.  

Technology Needs

If students are going to excel in today’s digital age, they need access to the right technology in the classroom. In a 2011 study by PBS, nearly 63 percent of teachers reported that budget constraints were the biggest barrier to accessing technology in the classroom; in low-income communities, that number rose to 70 percent. Math teachers don’t need to rely solely on a fickle budget, though. Grants such as Digital Wish and Student Achievement Grants from the NEA Foundation can help you obtain the funding you need to put enriching technology into the hands of your students.

Multiply Learning Outside of the Classroom

Take a geometry-themed tour of an architectural wonder. Visit a botanical garden to see how numbers work in nature. Calculate batting averages while cheering on a local baseball team. Math is everywhere, and showing your students some real-life applications of their classroom learning is bound to stir up their enthusiasm. We’re talking math-themed field trips here, with multiple derivative benefits. Field trip grants can help you bring learning to life for your math students—learn about some opportunities here.

Ready to apply? You should factor in plenty of time to prepare your application, assemble supporting materials, and write a strong proposal. The Grant Helpers can make the task exponentially easier, no matter what stage you’re at in the grant-writing process. Contact us today.

Photo credit: Chris Liverani

Topics: education funds, math grant, grants for mathematics education, grants for education, grants for math education

Grants for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 @ 10:07 AM

Substance abuse is a prevalent problem in the US.As most Americans know, substance abuse—especially of alcohol, tobacco, stimulants, hallucinogens, and opioids—is a prevalent problem in the United States (SAMHSA, 2015). According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), substance abuse leads to many negative consequences, such as physical and mental health problems and inability to function normally in daily life (2015). Not only does substance abuse affect users and their families in negative ways, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that “abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is costly to our nation, exacting more than $740 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare” (NIDA, 2010-2013).

To help combat substance abuse and reduce the extreme negative impacts on users, their families, and society at large, many organizations offer generous grants to healthcare entities, non-profits, and schools willing to work toward substance abuse prevention and treatment. 

Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG)

Through the SABG program, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers funding to state mental health authorities and single-state agencies for initiatives to prevent and treat substance abuse. The SABG program gives funding priority to programs that assist pregnant women and mothers, intravenous drug users, and those substance abusers who have contracted tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS. All applying states must have a devoted executive branch to administer and track any awarded SABG funding, as well as an apparatus for allocating funding to local government and community entities within one’s state. Additionally, all awardees must spend at least 20 percent of their funding on substance abuse “primary prevention strategies,” defined in detail at the link above. The 2018-2019 application cycle opened on July 3 – please see more information here. SAMHSA also announced additional grant opportunities for which organizations might apply, such as the Community-Based Coalition Enhancement Grants to Address Local Drug Crises. View a full list of SAMHSA grants for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

The Tower Foundation supports non-profit and school programs that raise awareness about drug overuse and its effects, prevent and/or treat substance abuse, and create environments in which young people can make wise, informed decisions regarding drug use.  This Foundation primarily provides funding to non-profits and public, diocesan, private, and charter schools in specified counties in Massachusetts and New York state, but non-profits and schools elsewhere in the U.S. are also permitted to apply. For 2018, the Foundation plans to award $150,000 total for substance abuse grant proposals. The Tower Foundation offers three grant application cycles per year, with the final remaining 2018 due date on August 22

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Each year, NIDA offers a variety of grant programs for independent and school-based research and clinical trials regarding substance abuse causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment. Each grant has varied budget limits and requirements for funding amounts requested, but all grant requests for over $500,000 in a given year require prior approval from a Program Official.  Likewise, the due dates for each grant vary greatly, with applications due February – December of this year. To see the full schedule and research priorities and topics for the 2018 Requests for Applications (RFAs), visit the link above. 

The Grant Helpers can assist you in your grant search and application process. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Photo Credit: Brandon Giesbrecht

Topics: drug abuse treatment, grants for substance abuse

How to Get Grants for Gardens: 5 Garden Benefits

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 @ 21:07 PM

How to get grants for community gardensEach year, we receive many requests from community organizations, schools, and other entities seeking funding to build gardens.  The good news is that grants for gardens are numerous.  But because there are so many funding options for garden-building projects, it can be challenging to know where best to focus your application efforts.

To increase your organization’s likelihood of funding, it is important to first decide what the main benefit or outcome of your garden project will be. Once you do so, you can then apply to the grant opportunities most closely aligned with your garden’s specific goals. Below are examples of five benefits of building gardens and related grant opportunities for each benefit.

Benefit #1: Community Cohesion

For many community gardens, the primary goal is to bring residents together, promote collaboration, and instill local pride in the beauty of the community. There are many organizations that fund garden grants to help achieve such community-oriented benefits. Project Orange Thumb’s Growing Communities grant is one such funding program. 

Benefit #2: Education

Many grantmaking organizations fund gardens to allow community agencies and especially schools to create or sustain educational programming related to gardening, health education, sustainable food sourcing, or other relevant topics. Annie's Grants for Gardens or Big Green's Grants for Learning Gardens  are examples of programs that fund garden-building projects where enhanced education is ultimate outcome.  

Benefit #3: Health and Wellness

Gardens provide at least two obvious health benefits: healthier eating by partaking of the garden’s yield and increased physical activity through the act of gardening itself. If improved health is your garden’s main goal, then health and wellness grant programs in addition to garden-specific funding opportunities may increase your chance of funding. For instance, The Aetna Foundation's Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program funds a variety of projects that help improve eating habits and encourage physical activity.

Benefit #4: Economic Development

Delicious, fresh food is not the only thing gardens can produce. Many gardens also create jobs and generate revenue. If improving your community’s economic development is the main goal of your garden-construction project, then grants like the USDA's Economic Impact Imitative Grant may be right for your institution.

Benefit #5: Religious or Spiritual Benefits

As a much more outside-the-box angle, there are surprisingly many religious and secular organizations that support building gardens for religious or spiritual benefits, such as for ministry opportunities, the meditative benefits of gardening itself, or to help provide food for needy members of religious communities. The Lutheran Foundation's grant program is one example of a grant that might fund garden-building projects for religious purposes.   

Need more ideas on how best to position your garden-building project in order to receive funding? Contact us today for a free consultation or to learn more about additional grant opportunities to meet your organization’s unique needs.

Photo credit: d-olwen-dee

Topics: grants for community gardens, garden grants, grants for gardens, community garden grants

No Soliciting

Posted by Carol Timms on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 @ 06:07 AM

Stop sign in New York CityMany foundations have a policy of not accepting unsolicited proposals. This begs the question, “How do I position my program to encourage them to request a proposal?” First, and most importantly, does your program match their funding interests?

Most foundations have a website, and often the website will provide examples of projects the foundation has funded. Review both their stated interests and recently funded projects.  Look for similarities between what they have funded and your program. You should continue only if your project is an excellent match. If it is, consider these three options.

#1 Review their Board of Directors.

Do you, your Board of Directors, or past clients have a connection with anyone on the foundation’s board? If so, prepare talking points and meet with the person(s) who can introduce your program to the funding organization. This works best with local foundations as your contacts are more likely to know someone from their own community.

#2 Make a phone call.

If there are no contacts in common, pick up the phone. Again, use talking points specific to their funding interests. Your message should be short and in the form of a question. For example, if the funding organization is interested in STEM programs for middle school girls, you might ask, “Would your organization be interested in a proposal to offer middle school girls in Chicago a summer program led by former astronaut Mae Jamison to build and program rockets? Mae participated in our programs when she was a girl and has maintained a relationship with us.” While not many organizations are able to claim their program helped inspire a young girl to become an astronaut, the example demonstrates three important elements to include:

  • An inquiry about their interest
  • A project statement reflecting their funding interests
  • A qualifier about likely results

#3 Submit a letter of inquiry.

An alternative to calling would be to send a letter of inquiry. Much like the phone call, the letter should be short; it should include a description of your program that reflects the foundation’s funding interests, a description of who your program will serve, the results you expect to achieve, and an inquiry about their interest in receiving a full proposal.

If your organization is ready to get started and would like our help, contact us for a free consultation.  We have resources to find even more information and background on a foundation’s makeup and funding preferences.

Photo Credit: Kai Pilger

Topics: grant writing hints, grant writing help, grant tips

Three Tips for Applying for School Field Trip Grants

Posted by Lauren Albright on Thu, Jul 5, 2018 @ 10:07 AM

Children head to a field trip on a yellow school bus.School field trips bring learning to life. But if budget concerns hinder your field trip plans, there are many field trip grants and other educational grants that can help fund your students’ next adventure.  We previously presented some funding sources for field trips on our blog. In today's blog we present some tips to keep in mind as you prepare applications.

Tip #1: Connect your curriculum to a specific field trip experience.

We know many students enjoy trips to local pumpkin patches in the autumn, or perhaps to a theme park in the spring. These trips are fun, but they do not make for compelling proposals on a grant application. When applying for funding, focus on trips with strong, clear connections to classroom learning. Are there any particularly challenging concepts that would benefit from an in-person or hands-on experience? Would a field trip to a farm enhance your students’ understanding of nutrition, or plant life cycle, or mammals? Maybe a visit to a historic building would enhance your lesson on architectural styles?

As you think about field trip possibilities, keep in mind that some organizations offer grants for specific activities and/or locations. When possible, we recommend being specific with your search for grants to boost your chances of receiving an award. For example, the American Battlefield Trust’s Field Trip Fund provides financial help to K-12 teachers planning field trips to battlefields and/or historic sites connected to the Civil War, War of 1812, or Revolutionary War.

  The Grant Helpers can assist with your search—learn more here.  

Tip #2: Put yourself in the shoes of a grantmaker.

Grantmakers want to further their own goals and priorities, so they will base their funding decisions accordingly. When applying for a field trip grant, think like the funder. What will make an organization’s board of directors happy? What would that organization love to share on their social media or in their annual report?

What does this mean for your field trip grant application? Look at the grantmaker’s goals and priorities and try to align your field trip plans with one of these areas to increase your chance of funding. For example, if you are applying for a Walmart Foundation Community Grant, you may want to include a service-learning element in your field trip to meet the foundation’s goal to support the needs of local communities.

Tip #3: Collect your data.

When applying for a field trip grant, it’s important to focus on the educational benefits, but don’t overlook financial and socio-economic factors that attest to need. You need to demonstrate not only why the field trip will benefit your students, but also why your students would be well served by grant funding. Some ways to show this might include:

  • Is your school Title 1?
  • How many children at your school are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch?
  • Have children at your school had limited opportunity to participate in field trips in the past?
  • What traditionally under-represented groups will benefit from the field trip?

Some grants specify other financial-related eligibility requirements, so be sure to review these carefully and prepare a checklist for yourself to ensure you are providing all the necessary information.

Ready to apply? Still looking for funding sources? Check out our blog post on field trip grant opportunities. You can also contact us to get in touch with our education grant specialist who can help connect your school with all kinds of funding opportunities, including field trips. Contact the Grant Helpers today to get started!

Photo credit: Denisse Leon on Unsplash

Topics: education grants, education funding, educational grants, education grant, field trip grants, grants for field trips, funding for field trips

Grants: Programs for Veterans

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 @ 10:06 AM

The American flag calls to mind the many military veterans who have served our country.It’s almost July 4th, a time when Americans celebrate independence. We remember the many brave men and women throughout our country’s history and today—our military veteranswho fight to protect our freedom. Veterans and their families need support in a variety of areas, including housing, healthcare, and work opportunities post-service.  Non-profit organizations interested in providing such services and programs can find many funding opportunities. Some examples appear below.

Department of Veterans Affairs: Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 39,471 veterans are homeless each night (2016).  To help reduce these numbers, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers grants to community agencies that provide supportive housing or other services that help homeless veterans achieve residential permanence and financial autonomy within two years. As the program name suggests, this program offers two types of funding: grant and per diem.

Grants are awarded for up to 65% of the costs to construct, update, or obtain buildings for temporary housing or service centers for homeless veterans. Though the grants may not be used for operational costs, the per diem funding can, include salaries. Per diem award amounts are up to a maximum of $45.79 per day per veteran housed. The grant and per diem programs are separate applications, but preference for per diem funding will be given, so it is in an organization’s best interest to apply to both the grant and per diem programs, if applicable.

New for 2018, the program structure is changing to require all previous grant and per diem recipients to re-apply rather than have their funding automatically renewed for a set period of time. This opens the field for those who have not applied before.  Keep an eye out for the 2018 opening period and deadline information.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

This Foundation awards grants to non-profit organizations that help underserved and economically disadvantaged populations, especially groups that include senior citizens. One of their specific areas of giving is veteran assistance, and funding is available for any program that delivers positive long-term and measurable outcomes for veterans in need.  Established U.S. non-profits that have been operating for at least three years and have available, audited records of their financial statements are eligible to apply.

Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) are accepted on a rolling basis through mail and email, but only letters at or under 3 pages will be reviewed. Applicants invited to complete a grant proposal based on their LOI submission will have 60 days to complete their full proposal using the “Veterans Grant Application” on the Foundation’s “How to Apply” [make link] page. There are no “typical” award amounts for grants through this Foundation; awards are dictated by the project’s financials and the Foundation’s current monetary resources for the focus area of each application.

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

Similar to the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, this Foundation funds projects for a variety of vulnerable populations, including military veterans and their families. All applicant organizations and proposed programs for the military veteran focus must prioritize transition services that lead to long-term benefits and solutions for struggling U.S. veterans and their families.  This Foundation does not fund nationally but limits its grant awards to organizations serving the Western U.S. and British Columbia. While this Foundation offers both program and operational funding only to non-profit organizations, other entities can apply if they secure a non-profit organization partner to be their fiscal sponsor.  Full proposal submission is by invitation only, but potential applicants can submit Letters of Inquiry (LOI) throughout the year. Those applicants invited to complete a proposal based on their submitted LOI will normally receive notification from the Foundation within six weeks. Grants are usually awarded for an initial period of one year only. And while this Foundation does not publish typical grant award amounts, it typically awards amounts in the average range for an organization’s individual grants received from other institutions.

Home Depot's Veteran Housing Grants

This program funds non-profit organizations for building or repairing permanent or transitional housing for veterans.  Only non-profits with established experience developing and managing veteran housing and an operating budget above $300,000 per year may apply. Grants are usually for between $100,000 and $500,000, though the requested amount must be less than 50% of the project’s overall development costs. Grant proposals are accepted online any time of the year, but deadlines of March 16th, July 13th, and December 1st are used to match Home Depot’s thrice-yearly review schedule.



Excited to start making a different in the lives of U.S. veterans in need?  The Grant Helpers can assist you in your grant search and application process. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Photo Credit: Julian Carvajal
Reference: National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

Topics: veterans grants, grants for veterans, programs for veterans, funding for veterans, homeless veterans grants

Four Grants to Fund Your After-School Clubs

Posted by Lauren Albright on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 @ 09:06 AM

Grants are available for after-school clubs and extracurricular activities.Tight school budgets can often mean cuts to beloved programs—arts, music, sports, and extracurricular activities in general. Yet losing these activities can hurt students’ well-rounded education and chances of success after high school. The National Center for Education Statistics found that students who participate in extracurricular activities have better attendance, GPAs, and test scores.

For sufficient funding to support an extracurricular activity, bake sales, and other fundraisers can get you only so far. We recommend checking out the following grant opportunities.

Grants For Environmental Clubs: Youth Garden Grant

If your school’s environmental club needs funding for a garden project, the Youth Garden Grant can help. This grant program welcomes applications from any public or private school, from pre-K to high school, that is either planning a new garden program or expanding an existing one. A total of 25 programs are awarded:

  • 5 programs receive $1,000 cash, a $100 gift card to Gardener’s Supply Company, and $500 worth of gardening tools and supplies.
  • 20 programs receive a $100 gift card to Gardener’s Supply Company and $500 worth of gardening tools and supplies.

Preference is given to programs that exhibit sustainability and impact. The deadline for 2019 grants will be in December 2018, so the application should be available online soon.

Grants For Chess Clubs: Chess-For-Youth Program

The U.S. Chess Trust helps school administrators establish a chess club at schools where funding is lacking. For Title I schools, the program provides chess-playing equipment and/or up to 10 U.S. Chess Federation memberships for needy students. To apply, a school administrator or principal at a Title I school must download and submit the application, along with a letter of request, by mail to the Chess-For-Youth Program—see full instructions. Applications are accepted year-round.

Grants For Yearbook Clubs: Picaboo Yearbooks for Everyone Fund

Have budget cuts at your school eliminated the yearbook club? Each year, Picaboo Yearbooks accepts requests from schools where a yearbook program has been discontinued due to extenuating circumstances or where some students are unable to pay for their yearbooks. Guidelines for this program are very simple: just email your request to The company states they look especially for compelling stories; our recent blog on demonstrating value and impact provides some guidance on how to use compelling, narrative evidence to strengthen proposals and requests.

There are no limitations about who may apply and no deadlines are given. Picaboo Yearbooks states that they read all requests and will assist as many schools as they can. If yearbooks are in peril at your school, this fund could be a great way to carry on the yearbook tradition.

Grants For Any Extracurricular Activity: The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation

The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation offers Academic Enrichment Grants to support both extracurricular activities and regular classroom instruction. The Foundation prioritizes programs that serve children in low-income households and nurture academic and creative skills.  Educators grades K-12 in public or private schools may apply for a one-, two-, or three-year grant. The amount requested per year should not exceed $10,000, for a maximum of $30,000 over three years. Applications can be completed online and are accepted January 15-April 15. Apply early—the application system closes after 350 submissions have been received. Special note: The online application requires three letters of recommendation from colleagues that address the applicant’s character, leadership skills, and academic abilities and achievements, so be sure to secure these in advance.

  Expert Advice: Practice good etiquette when requesting a letter of recommendation. Ask early, provide specific instructions, and don’t forget to say thank you.  

If you need more information about educational grants, please contact us—we can help you to plan and write a strong proposal. We offer free consultations, among our other services. Email today.

Photo Credit: John Schnobrich

Topics: education grants, grants for back to school, back to school, extra-curricular grants

Top Five Most Common Types of Food and Nutrition Grants

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 @ 09:06 AM

In early April of this year, we published a blog about Grants for Nutrition Education. But there’s much more to the field of food and nutrition grants. Check out these top five most common food and nutrition grant categories, with funding opportunities included for each category.

  Expert Advice: Notice the statistics below, and use statistics like these in your proposal. Also, gather similar types of local and regional statistics to support your case for need. You can also review our blog on using stastics and other numerical evidence to help strengthen your grant proposals.   

#1: Food Bank Grants

Food Bank Grants are one of the Top 5 Types of Food and Nutrition Grants

While most people in the United States are aware of hunger problems in other parts of the world, many Americans would be shocked to learn that 1 in 7 people in the U.S. rely on food banks to help meet their nutritional needs (USA Today, 2014). Due to this demand, food banks are in near-constant need of additional food and other resources. Luckily, grants for food banks are probably the most common type of food and nutrition grant available, with funding opportunities offered by governmental entities, private foundations, and businesses. The Bank of America Hunger Relief Program, USDA Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program, and hunger-related grants from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation are just three examples of the many grants available for food banks.

#2: Child Hunger and Nutrition Grants

According to the child nutrition activism group No Kid Hungry, “more than 13 million children in the United States live in ‘food-insecure’ homes” (2018). While food banks are one avenue for helping hungry children, many schools and community organizations also offer programs, resources, and education to help families provide consistent, healthy food for their children. For instance, the Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Grant Program helps schools provide local, healthy foods to students in need, and No Kid Hungry’s Share Our Strength grants provide funding for educational programs that help struggling families budget optimally so they can provide food for their children. 

#3: Agricultural Production Grants

When thinking about ways to help fight hunger, people often don’t consider the most basic, initial step needed for food security: ensuring that farms can afford to produce foods for people to eat. Recently, many American farmers have struggled to stay afloat. In response, there has been a rise in agricultural production grants available to farmers, especially grants provided by governmental agencies. The USDA’s Conservation Innovation Grants and Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative are two such examples. Another organization that provides grants for farms is A Well-fed World, which offers funding for food security research, vegan organic (or “veganic”) farming initiatives, and other agricultural production projects.  

#4: Farm-to-Table Initiative Grants

The increase in farm-to-table cooperatives, stores, and restaurants across the U.S. attests to Americans’ growing desire for healthier, farm-fresh foods. But affording such healthy foods is especially difficult for food-insecure individuals and families. To help ensure that hungry Americans have access to healthier foods, some grantmaking organizations have stepped up to support programs that provide fresh, nutritious options for those struggling with food security. For instance, Conagra's food grants support programs that help provide hungry individuals not with just any food, but with “access to the food they need to reach their full potential.” While grants for farm-to-table programs for the hungry are not currently quite as common as grants for other nutrition-related categories, America’s continued focus on reducing obesity rates and reconnecting people with farm-fresh foods will likely cause grants in this area to increase in the future.


#5: Home-Delivered Meal Grant Programs

Senior citizens and people who are homebound are two more U.S. populations that are particularly vulnerable to hunger issues. Financial constraints, physical ailments, and lack of transportation are just a few of the issues common among older and homebound adults that lead to food insecurity. To support these groups in need, many community organizations around the country provide home-delivered meal service to senior citizens and/or people who are homebound. While there are some governmental grant programs to help fund meal delivery initiatives, many businesses have also stepped up to provide grants in this area. Ameriprise and Walmart are two such examples.  

Whether you are looking for more food and nutrition grants, need project-planning guidance for a food and nutrition initiative you have in mind, or are ready to start writing an application for a particular food and nutrition grant, our expert team at can assist you. Contact us today for a free consultation.  


Photo Credit: The JH Photography
Hunger in America. USA Today
Kids in America are Hungry. No Kid Hungry


Topics: food program grants, food program for kids, nutrition grants, nutrition program grants, grants for food pantry