Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grant Ideas for Educators - Part 2: Finding Support for Your Project

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 @ 09:06 AM

In our blog article from two weeks ago, we discussed strategies for making your educational grant more fundable. This week’s blog discusses finding a variety of funding avenues to help successfully support your educational project.

Funding Avenues for Schools

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Since we’re a grant helping company, grant funding is an obvious source of financial support. We’re aware that depending on the project, proposal development can present challenges and take a chunk of resources to prepare a competitive proposal. Many funding agencies are experiencing the same cuts schools are, and finding specific grants that are well-suited to specific projects (and in specific geographical areas, etc.) can be difficult. The application process itself can be extensive, particular, and time consuming. We can help with all of steps of this process.  Even with our help, though, our interactive approach still requires an investment of time to plan and present a strong project for funding.

Websites for School Funding

Websites such as DonorsChooseGoFundMe, and others are very popular for educational projects. A simple visit to their websites will show many of the projects they assist in funding. Be sure to read the fine print. For some of these websites, you must give a percentage of the cost of the project back to the site for successful funding of your project. Additionally, most of the time, your project is only funded if it raises the full level of support needed. (You do not keep the portion you raised if you did not meet 100% of your goal.)

Horace Mann Educators Corporation

Horace Mann is a corporation started originally by teachers and for teachers. It focuses on providing teachers with affordable insurance, among other services. One of those services includes helping teachers find funding for the projects they want to execute in their classrooms. Consider contacting your local Horace Mann agent for information on how he or she can assist you in setting up a funding plan for your next project.

Community Support

Community support gets called upon frequently, but if you live in a generous and supportive community, or even if you don’t, consider reaching out to community businesses and services that pair well with your project. For example, maybe a local business would be willing to partially fund a new business development program at your school. You might even offer naming the program or project after the business(es) that support your project and installing a plaque or banner on something more concrete in their honor.


Despite our “Grant Helpers” name, we have helped many clients with multiple types of fundraising.  Contact us to brainstorm ideas at no charge.

Photo credit: Tracy Lawson

Topics: STEM Education, art education, Education grants for Native Americans, art education grant, art grant art education grant, corporate grant for education, early childhood education, education, education funding, education funds, education grant, education grants, education resources, educational funding, educational grants

Grant Ideas for Educators - Part I: Planning for Fundability

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

Finding Grants and Other Funds for Education

Summer is upon us, and for many educators school is out for the summer. While summer provides a nice break from the classroom and the routine of plan, teach, and grade, it can also serve as a fantastic opportunity for educators to put their energy into planning for projects or future needs and wants of their schools.2447140827_d0a7e12413_z.jpg

Planning for projects, wants, and needs is one thing. Finding funding in today’s world of budget cuts is a different story. Educators need to keep some core principals in mind and consider multiple methods and avenues of funding. Below are some approaches that we encourage you to keep in mind. Please feel free to contact us if you need additional assistance in developing funding strategies, finding sources, applying for funding, or executing awards.

Strategies for Grant Programs to Propose

1. Consider reach. Most funders want their money to reach as many students as possible, so think of ways your idea could help large numbers of students. For example, a technology cart for a specific classroom teacher will reach only that teacher’s students, whereas one that is utilized by an entire department will likely impact a greater number of students.

2. Consider sustainability. As with “reach,” greater sustainability usually means higher odds of funding. How long will your project sustain itself once funded? For example, that same technology cart might be used across several departments and might include technology that will be available for at least five years into the future. That’s a lot of student reach over time! As a counter-example, funding for a field trip is more short-lived, and while it has an impact on those involved, it is not a sustainable project and has less reach.

3. Consider educational “hot topics.” Movements like STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) get a lot of attention in the educational world right now. How might your project incorporate these areas? For example, if an English teacher wants funding for a writing lab, he or she might be more fundable by considering a writing across the curriculum initiative that invites the mathematics and science departments in writing assignments, research, etc.

4. Consider matching grants. Many funders feel more confident in awarding funding if they know that their efforts are being matched. Perhaps you are looking for $5,000 for a project, but you're aware the funding agency usually awards a maximum of $2,500. Finding additional funding, either through local donors, the school’s budget, or another grant, that will match that amount might give you the edge over someone who does not have matching support. Many funders allow for in-kind matches such as parent volunteer time, use of facilities, and transportation—resources already in use that can be assigned a dollar value.

Finding a potential funding source goes hand-in-hand with identifying fundable programs. In next week’s blog we’ll talk about some potential funding avenues.

Meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions about your search for funding.

Photo credit: Patrick Q

Topics: STEM Education, art education, Education grants for Native Americans, art education grant, art grant art education grant, corporate grant for education, early childhood education, education, education funding, education funds, education grant, education grants, education resources, educational funding, educational grants

Top Funding Sources and Strategies for Native American Grants

Posted by Mary Ross on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 @ 12:12 PM

Many foundations place a priority on grants for special populations, for example, grants for at-risk youth, grants for older people, grants for traditionally under-represented groups, and more.  Over the next few months we’ll present occasional blog articles with strategies for successful grant proposals and leading agencies who fund grants for various special populations.  This article focuses on funding opportunities for Native American populations.

A fundamental strategy for successful proposal development is to align and prioritize yourNative American Funding programs, and your requests to support them, with the priorities of the funding organization(s).  In our research, we have identified three areas that currently receive a lot of dollars in grant funding specifically for Native American populations: 1) housing, 2) education, and 3) health care. If you are looking for grants for American Indians and tribal authorities, you might want to focus on these areas first.

1) Native American Housing Grants

Some housing grants cover more than just building houses, extending to building entire communities and all that they entail.  There are several agencies that help fund these types of grants.  Here are some examples:

  • The Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program, supported by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency, will help fund a range of projects, from new construction to economic growth programs, but is primarily focused on helping people of moderate to low incomes. Therefore, consider how best to set up your project in order to most appeal to the grant’s criteria.

  • The Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program, enabled by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 and provided by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency, is a formula grant.  (Before applying for any grant, you should know what type is being offered.Formula grants are awarded to tribal organizations through the state, and not just anyone can apply for them.  In addition, this program asks recipients to “submit an Indian Housing Plan, as well as an annual Performance Report on the progress of the funded project, each year to HUD.”  It’s important to keep records in a central location, not only for a specific grant but in general, to support multiple information needs over time.  Information should be systematically collected and stored so that, regardless of changes in leadership, the information is readily available whenever it’s needed, as it would be with the IHBG program. 

2) Education Grants for Native Americans

The sheer number of grants available for education is astounding.  That being said, landing the right grants for your organization’s needs is not so easy.  Although many grants are specific to post-secondary education, some are available for primary and secondary educational programs as well. 

  • One such education grant would be the NB3 Foundation grant, which is concerned with building leadership through sports while helping to fight type 2 diabetes by keeping kids active.  This grant, funded through the Notah Begay III Foundation, is interested in supporting the healthy growth of Native children through building healthier communities.  Among other accomplishments, the NB3 Foundations boasts that “from July 2012 through June 2013, NB3F served more than 4,600 Native American children and families in four states with NB3F programming.”

  • Another grant opportunity, the Indian Land Tenure Foundation - Head Start and K-12 Curriculum Implementation Grants program, is currently accepting letters of interest until December 15th for schools interested in implementing the Foundation’s Lessons of Our Land in one of more classrooms.  The U.S. Department of Education offers Native American schools grants for both school preparedness with preschoolers, and college preparedness programs.  Knowing the specific criteria of the grant is paramount in developing your proposal.  When looking for Native American grant programs, keep in mind the specific goals of your organization, but be flexible with how you approach these goals. 

3) Native American Health Care Grants

In addition to grants for professions in the medical field, grants are available for a range of health-related services.  Most are very specific, e.g. mental health, substance abuse, suicide prevention, childhood obesity, and so on.  Applying for the right grant is key to being awarded the cash.   

  • ANA (Administration for Native Americans), working through The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has announced grants for Native Americans wishing to go into the health care field.  Information for 2015 grants will be posted March 1st and applications will be accepted through April 2015.  This is only one of the many grants offered through this program.

  • The American Heart Association offers several types of grants through its “Voices for Healthy Kids” initiative.  This program, working jointly with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, works to help all kids eat healthier foods and be more active.  Applications are available now on their website.  At times, working with other community groups and creating relationships with other organizations might help to make your application more viable to an agency.

Summary of Tips for Successful Grants

Here are a few tips and suggestions as a summary from the information above:

1. Consider how best to set up your project in order to most appeal to the grant’s selection criteria.

2. Keep records in a central location to support multiple information needs over time.  Information should be systematically collected and stored so that, regardless of changes in staff, the information is readily available whenever it is needed. 

3. Knowing the specific criteria of the grant is paramount in developing your proposal.  When looking for Native American grant programs, keep in mind the specific goals of your organization, but be flexible with how you approach these goals. 

4. Working with other community groups and creating relationships with other organizations might help to make your application more viable to an agency.

5. Often getting started on the task of finding and writing grants can seem overwhelming, but many of these agencies also include a training manual on their website to help.

Overall, knowing what you need and being flexible with your approach will help when initially looking for grant opportunities.  There are agencies working specifically with Native American tribes to improve the lives of all people.  TheGrantHelpers.com has experts who can help you find and secure grants for Native American and other specific populations.  To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us today.

 

Photo Credit: Wolfgang Staudt

Topics: Native American Grants, Housing Grants for Native Americans, Funding for American Indians, Education grants for Native Americans, Health Care Grants for Native Americans, Community Building Grants for Native Americans