Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grants for Technology-Assisted  Education

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 @ 11:02 AM
Tech EdThere is still much debate about the ideal role and typical results of technology use for educational purposes. Some worry that technology is a distraction to students, decreases individual critical thinking skills, or inhibits quality research from reputable sources. Yet many studies and surveys have actually found substantial benefits to technology use in educational settings, such as increased student engagement, better workforce preparation for students in today’s digital age, more personalized educational experiences, and even monetary savings on the development of and access to curriculum and learning materials (Centre Technologies, 2015). However, many students, teachers, and schools lack access to technology due to financial constraints. Luckily, many organizations and businesses offer grants to support technology-assisted educational initiatives.

IGT's After School Advantage Program
IGT’s main goal for this program is to equalize after-school educational opportunities for underprivileged youth aged 5 - 18 through added or enhanced technology for learning purposes. To this end, IGT works with chosen non-profit agencies to build customized digital learning centers or renovate existing digital learning centers to improve after-school programming. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
This Foundation offers a variety of educational grants. In particular, the Data-Driven Education grant supports learning programs and school-wide initiatives that make it possible to collect and assess data toward improved educational gains. Technology resources and education are essential for any educational data collection enterprise, and grant proposals may include requests for new technology in the classroom to assist data collection, plans for professional development programs to help teach educators innovative data collection methods, or initiatives to improve safety and security measures when gathering and storing student learning data. Eligible organizations must be located in the United States, Africa, or India; please take the Foundation’s eligibility quiz for more information on the grant’s eligibility requirements. The Foundation typically funds no more than 25% of a proposed project’s budget. Initial proposal applications are accepted on a rolling basis and typically reviewed within six weeks. 

Schools and Libraries E-Rate Program
This Universal Service Administration, Co. program offers discounts to eligible schools and libraries to obtain internet access and other telecommunications connections essential for quality educational programming. For details on specific school and library eligibility requirements, visit this page.  Service discounts range from 20% - 90%. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please review the “application process flow chart” PDF at this website for more information on the full application requirements and process.


Looking for grants to fund your next education project? 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: Brad Flickinger

Centre Technologies:

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After-School Program Grants For Under-Served Youth

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Tue, Feb 5, 2019 @ 16:02 PM

afterschoolWhile the American education system has put much money and effort toward improving in-class education in public schools, after-school programs are often harder to justify in already-stretched school budgets. This statement is especially true in high-poverty, high-crime areas where under-served students are likely to drop out of school or engage in risky behaviors.

However, according to the Harvard Family Research Project, after-school programs are essential for under-served students. Those students in their study who were in a safe, structured after-school program environment during the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each school day showed reduced rates of juvenile crime, teen sex, teen pregnancy, and drug use (American Institutes for Research). In addition to deterring risky behavior, after-school programs also provide many benefits for under-served students, including academic gains and improved physical health (

Given the need for quality after-school programming for at-risk students, many grant opportunities haven arisen for schools, non-profits, and other organizations that offer extracurricular educational programs to under-served youth. Check out a few such grant programs below.


The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation’s motto is that “preparing a child for the future doesn’t end when the school bell rings.” Accordingly, they fund after-school programs that take place both during the school year and in the summertime, primarily programs that benefit underprivileged and low-income kids and families. Funding is typically reserved for U.S. schools, non-profits, and other educational organizations.  Please note that award amounts vary, and funding for unsolicited proposals is limited. Letters of Interest (LOIs) are accepted online throughout the year.

The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation

This foundation’s Academic Enrichment Grants fund both in-school and after-school initiatives. Schools and non-profits that educate children in grades pre-K to 12 are eligible to apply. Proposed programs must show improved student learning and must serve students from low-income households. Grantseeking institutions also must already have the facilities, staff, and educational expertise in place to execute the proposed program. Grant awards are for up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of $30,000 over three years. Up to 350 submissions are accepted between January 15th to April 15th each year, so it is important to apply as early as possible after January 15th for this grant opportunity.

21st Century Community Learning Centers Program  

This grant program is coordinated through the U.S. Department of Education and administered on a state-by-state basis. As the program name suggests, this grant supports plans to build community learning centers for after-school programs. Like the above-mentioned grant opportunities, this grant prioritizes after-school programs that serve academically-struggling students and schools in high-poverty areas. This grant program also particularly solicits standards-based afterschool educational initiatives.
State Education Agencies (SEAs) are eligible to apply in their state; local education entities and non-profit agencies may not apply directly for this opportunity but can apply to their states for subgrants. Please see the State Contact List for the website, contact information, request for proposals, and deadline information in your state.

Is your school or non-profit looking for long-term grant-writing support for your educational initiatives?  Contact us today for a free consultation and tips on getting grant-ready.

Photo Credits: The Parents Union


American Institutes for Research:

Topics: extra-curricular grants, grants for at risk youth, disadvantaged youth grants, grants for disadvantaged youth, disadvantaged youth, youth grants, at risk youth grants, at risk youth, grants for after school programs, opportunities for students, grants, grants for education, after school programs, after school program, afterschool programs, afterschool program, school resources, education resources, foundation grants, foundation grant, foundation grant money, foundations, education

Funding for At-Risk Youth--Three Major Areas Receiving the $$

Posted by Mary Ross on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

At Risk Youth resized 600Continuing in our series on special-interest groups, this blog addresses funding for at-risk youth programs. Many grants are aimed specifically at 1) educational programs, 2) community outreach programs, or 3) municipalities. In your search for funding opportunities, use keywords including these areas. And in your proposal, emphasize how your program addresses the area of greatest interest to the funding agency. Below are examples of grants for at-risk youth. Think of how your effort could fit into one of these areas to improve your successful funding of at-risk-youth programs.

Education Grants for At-Risk Youth

The education field is ripe with opportunities to help at-risk youth. The U.S. Government is particularly concerned with this area and offers several grants addressing youth behavior. Understanding what the government wants to fund, and tailoring your program accordingly, is an important step in securing one of these grants. 
  • The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funds programs to reduce juvenile crimes and train people who are working with at-risk youth. Last year alone, more than 45 grants were issued totaling $262,604,665—a list of them is available on the website. Knowing what was funded can help in determining what will be funded in the future. The website also gives specific goals for young adolescents, teens, and communities for each grant. 
  • The Department of Health and Human Services funds the Adolescent Family Life_Demonstration Projects that are aimed specifically at aiding youth 17 and under who are unmarried and pregnant or parenting. This grant funds care services and pregnancy prevention programs. The website lays out very specific criteria that can aid in developing a proposal. 

Community Grants for At-Risk Youth

You may have noticed the ever-increasing push to get kids healthy by getting them involved. When it comes to grants for communities, both The U.S. Soccer Foundation and Build-A-Bear are ready with funding. 
  • The U.S. Soccer Foundation awards grants of up to $50,000 for communities looking to buy equipment and fund youth soccer programs. This foundation also provides grants of up to $60,000 for communities to create a “Safe Place to Play” by offering grants for lighting, turf, and irrigation systems. Grant application deadlines are February 6th for spring sports and June 5th for summer programs. Take advantage of the comprehensive information available on the website when planning your community’s program and application. 
  • The Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation funds three different programs. One program, Bear Hugs, provides an average of $1,500 per grant, but can award as much as $5,000 to aid in “the areas of health and wellness such as childhood disease research foundations, child safety organizations, and organizations that serve children with special needs.” When applying for this grant, tell them exactly much money you need and how many children you can help—they like grant proposals that are specific and can show past success. Another Build-A-Bear program promotes literacy and education through “Paperback Pup” sales. This program supports organizations providing books for schools, libraries, and homes. (The third grant supports domestic pets.) Information about the 2015 grant deadlines is not yet on the website, so check frequently for new postings. 

Municipal Funding for At-Risk Youth

Municipalitieswishing to reach at-risk youth have additional grant opportunities. From designating school police officers to sponsoring community events, there is money available to help programs working for the betterment of all children.
  • In 2014, approximately $123 million was awarded to schools by the COPS program, in part to help put police officers in schools, according to School resource officers are becoming the norm in American high schools, and grants are available to help make this a reality for your police department or school. The website lists yearly awards back through 2009; although the 2015 dates are not yet posted, keep an eye out for new information. TGH previously highlighted this grant in a May 22nd blog; this is one to keep an eye on. 
  • Through its Target and Blue program, the Target Corporation is working to build stronger communities. Each year Target awards grants for community events, public safety, and just general fun for all. Target boasts grants in all 50 states and works locally through its stores. More information on these opportunities can be found on its website or by visiting your local Target. 

Tips for Securing Grants:

  1. Understand what the grant program is looking to fund and tailor your proposal to show how you accomplish what’s important to them.
  2. Look at what has been funded in the past to better predict what will be funded in the future.
  3. Study the grant application and information; many will list specific criteria for funding.
  4. Have data available to support your organization’s past successes.
  5. Be specific in your request. Exactly what will you do? How much do you need to help how many people? 

Granting organizations want to help programs that will do the most good; building stronger children builds a stronger future. Tailoring your proposal for a specific program is not always as simple as it sounds. That’s where we can help. Contact to see how we can work with you to create an application that attracts the funds you need.

Photo Credit: Kris Duda

Topics: municipality grants, education, health and wellness grant, community development, school safety resources, nonprofit grants, child care grants, afterschool programs, school safety, bullying, police safety grants

Nutrition and Fitness Grants for Kids

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 @ 11:02 AM

Food Programs for KidsEvery year, millions of Americans make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and/or become more physically fit, and each year only about 8% achieve their goal. One of the many tips for ensuring success is to get a partner to join you in your efforts.  Partners motivate us, hold us accountable, and make the whole process more fun. Educators and parents might want to consider choosing a young partner – their children and students. By working to instill healthy eating and exercise habits in young people on a daily basis, the adults may well find themselves acting as healthy role models.

In the spirit of nutrition and fitness goals that are often associated with the new year, dedicates this blog to helping organizations that are looking for nutrition and fitness grant opportunities for kids.


The General Mills Foundation: Champion for Healthy Kids

This program will award fifty $20,000 grants to organizations that develop creative ways to help children ages 2-18 adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle. Champion for Healthy Kids is a partnership of the General Mills Foundation, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, and the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Deadline: March 14, 2014


Culinary Trust: Chefs Move to Schools 

To support healthy eating habits, this grant program provides $1,500 grants to support volunteer efforts by culinary professionals in public schools that serve children living at or below the poverty level. Chefs can apply for funding in support of programs that promote health and wellness in schools. Examples include school gardens, healthy eating curriculum, chefs as guest speakers, and wellness programs for students and/or parents.

Deadline: Grant applications are reviewed quarterly.


Aetna Foundation Regional Grants Program

The Aetna Foundation provides grants between $25,000 and $40,000 for communities served by Aetna. The Foundation’s priorities include healthy food choices and programs promoting physical activity for children and families, including nutrition programs, access to fruits and vegetables, and community gardens.

Deadline: 2014 deadline will be announced this summer.


The Coca-Cola Foundation

This foundation supports access to exercise, physical activity, and nutritional education programs. It also supports programs that motivate behavior modification and that encourage lifestyle/behavioral changes.

Deadline: See the foundation’s website for more specific details.


Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundations

Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundations are set up in the states served by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Each places an emphasis on healthy lifestyle choices including nutrition and physical activity for children and families. For more information on the BCBS Foundation programs and deadlines for your state, contact your states’ BCBS Foundation.


Working with our children to instill healthy habits may be the key to achieving that elusive New Year’s resolution. The Grant Helpers also want to be a part of helping you achieve your goals. If we can help you find additional funding opportunities in this or any other funding area, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Image credit: stevendepolo

Topics: after school program, food grants, food program grants, food program for kids, fitness program for kids grants, afterschool program, afterschool programs, after school programs, nutrition grants, nutrition program grants, nutrition for kids, fitness grants, fitness program grants, fitness program for kids

Afterschool Program Benefits and Grant Opportunities

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 @ 15:09 PM

Student engagement does not need to cease when the bell rings to signal the end of the school day. Many school districts and educational and non-profit organizations are pushing afterschool programs for students. In this blog, we discuss some of the benefits of afterschool programs, which could help stimulate your thinking while making your case for funding. We also provide an excellent afterschool program resource and several afterschool program funding opportunities.


Benefits of Afterschool Programs

According to, afterschool programs actually increase student attendance and engagement in elementary through high school-aged children. Afterschool programs are also said to raise test scores and grades in reading, English, and math; afterschool programs are credited with helping students at the greatest risk to achieve the greatest gains in achievement.After School Programs

In addition to the educational benefits of afterschool programs, these programs also help working parents and keep kids safe and provide them with a healthier lifestyle in regards to eating habits and exercise. In fact, teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are approximately three times more likely to use drugs, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and engage in sexual activity than teens who do participate in afterschool programs.


Afterschool Program Resources

After examining this information, afterschool programs seem to make perfect sense for making a difference in student’s lives. If you or your school is interested in starting an afterschool program, or if you already have an afterschool program but could use some refreshing information, you may be interested in The Wallace Foundation’s After School Program Resources webpage, which offers resources on budget planning, strategic financing plans, funding opportunities, and other strategies for planning and implementing afterschool programs.


Afterschool Program Funding and Grant Opportunities

Federal funding for afterschool programs is provided to the states for distribution to programs determined by each state’s afterschool needs. Below is a listing and summary of these programs, as described on the webpage titled “Funding for Afterschool.”

  • The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC):
    This is the only federal funding source that supports nothing but afterschool programs. The 21CCLC program aims to support community learning centers that provide academic tutoring and homework help; community service; and music, arts, sports, and cultural activities. The Department of Education works with State Education Agencies (SEAs) to manage statewide competitions for funding.
  • The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF):
    This program helps low-income families by providing child care vouchers. The CCDF also funds state child care quality improvement initiatives, which may include training programs and capacity-building for afterschool providers.
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF):
    TANF funds provide financial assistance for low-income families. These funds can also be used to support afterschool programs in ways that are consistent with the TANF program. States can spend TANF funds on afterschool programs and initiatives or transfer up to 30% of the funds to CCDF.
  • Federal Food and Nutrition Programs: These programs support snacks and meals for participants of afterschool programs. In these cases, afterschool programs may receive reimbursements from one of four food and nutrition programs made available by the United States Department of Agriculture. These food and nutrition programs include the National School Lunch Program: Afternoon Snacks; the Child and Adults Care Food Program; the Summer Food Service Program; and the School Breakfast Program.


Some private foundations also support afterschool programs. The Wallace Foundation, mentioned earlier in this article, is one of them. They award grants between $1,000-$5 million in several educational areas, one of which is afterschool programs.

Another place to find afterschool funding is through JC Penney Cares, which focuses on
supporting educational organizations and programs. is here to help you reach your funding goals. Whether it’s finding more funding opportunities for afterschool programs or helping you write a proposal or develop a grant application, we have the experts you need to give you your best chance of funding success. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Initial consultations are always free.


Image Credit: Fort Rucker

Topics: education, education resources, after school program, educational funding, education grants, education funding, education grant, school resources, afterschool program, afterschool programs, after school programs