Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog
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: https://centretechnologies.com/importance-of-technology-in-the-classroom/
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Construction and renovation projects often result in unexpected expenses. When those projects involve energy improvements, schools, local governments and non-profits can employ a variety of funding sources to stretch project budgets. In addition to grants, it is useful to include utility incentives and performance contracting.
Utilities often offer a variety of incentives for the installation of energy efficient equipment and lighting. These incentives often apply to renovation and new construction projects. Contact your local utility to determine what incentives are available.
Performance contracting is considered a budget neutral solution. Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) first conduct energy audits to determine projected energy and maintenance savings resulting from the elements of the project. They then offer a guaranteed projection of savings. Project costs are not paid up front but, rather, are treated as installment contracts or leases. The client pays in installments using energy and maintenance savings. If the guaranteed savings are not achieved in any given period, the client doesn’t pay for that period.
In addition to the benefits of paying with savings, performance contracting also offers the following benefits:
- Single Contract – Accredited ESCOs manage the construction process
- Fixed Price – The contracts specifically state there will be no change orders
- Guarantees – If energy savings aren’t as predicted, the client doesn’t pay for that time period
- Energy Savings Continue After Contract Ends
- Clients Benefit From a Relationship With a Trusted Energy Advisor
Some ESCOs also provide customer service after the sale including grant writing services.
When planning a construction project, contact The Grant Helpers to assist you in developing your funding portfolio. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.
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Grants for Art and Music Education
“Where words fail, music speaks.”
–Hans Christian Andersen
“A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”
It is well established that art and music education help students develop and excel in many important physical, mental, and social learning aspects.
Yet these education programs are often the first on the chopping block when federal, state, and school organizations struggle with dwindling education budgets. For those schools and teachers struggling to maintain crucial art and music programs due to financial constraints, grants are one of many great resources for support.
The National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funds new and existing projects that promote the arts. NEA grants are available to non-profit organizations, state or local government agencies, school districts, and federally-recognized tribal communities or tribes; all applicant entities must have at least a three-year prior history of arts programming.
Two of the NEA’s four annual grants are currently open for the 2018 cycle:
- Art Works Grant: This grant funds projects that explore how art relates to and enriches various cultures and their beliefs and values. Award amounts are typically between $10,000 and $100,000, and grant awardees must cost share/match the award amount. This grant typically has two deadlines annually: one in late February and one in late July.
- Challenge America Grant: This grant supports projects that make the arts more available to underprivileged individuals and areas. Award amounts are for up to $10,000, and grant awardees must cost share / match the award amount. The deadline for this grant usually in late April.
The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation
In the spirit of its namesake 1995 movie about the inspiring effects of high school music education programs, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation offers instrument grants to low-income or otherwise underprivileged schools. Grants are typically provided either to minimize or eliminate instrument sharing or to replace aging, ineffective instruments. Applications are by invitation only. Please review the Foundation’s website for more information on school eligibility requirements and to contact the Foundation for further information about becoming an invited grant applicant.
Lily Sarah Grace
This organization’s Stepping Stone Grant provides funding to K-5 educators who want to integrate the arts into their existing classroom curricula. All program proposals must follow Lily Sarah Grace’s distinctive “Arts-infused, inquiry-based learning” model (AIIBL), which focuses on five critical aspects or outcomes of art-integration in the classroom: community, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication. All K-5, Title I schools / educators are eligible to apply for these small grants of up to $450. The application deadline is typically at the end of April each year. For more information on the Stepping Stone Grant’s unique requirements, including the grant proposal rubric, please visit the website link above.
The Crewe Foundation
The Crew Foundation provides monetary support for initiatives that help underprivileged children identify and develop their artistic and musical talents. Only non-profit organizations in the state of Maine that have existing, devoted fine arts or music programs may apply. Applications are due December 31st of each year, decisions are made by April 30th of the following year, and funds are subsequently dispersed between June 30th and September 30th.
******************************************************************************Need money, supplies, or other resources to help keep the arts and music alive in your school? 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: Pawel Loj
Topics: performing arts, grants for children, steam education grants, steam, grant, grant proposal, grants for youth, grants for at risk youth, music education grants, art grants, disadvantaged youth grants, disadvantaged youth, youth grants, at risk youth, arts, youth education, schol grants, grants for new music instruments, grants for music education, music grants, art instruction, grants for the arts, grants for art education, art education grant, funding sources, school grant, 501(c)(3), arts grants, art grant, educational grants
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
There are so many opportunities for educational grants that it is hard to cover every single opportunity. Today, we present several grants for schools that cover a wide variety of topics. These grants have upcoming deadlines, so the time is right to work on them. We can work with you to make your grant competitive.
|Insider Tip: To distinguish your proposal from the mountain of others, frame the outcomes in terms of impact to target populations and to society in general. Use numbers (e.g., "This curriculum will help over 500 under-represented youth increase their reading comprehension.") to support your case.|
This third-generation family foundation awards grants to K-12 schools throughout the United States. Proposals should focus either on curricular and school reform initiatives or professional development opportunities for teachers. Braitmayer grants can act as seed money, matching funds, or challenge grants. The foundation does not support grants for childcare, afterschool activities, or pre-kindergarten. The foundation awards grants of up to $35,000. Applications are accepted between Feb. 1 and March 15.
Math and science programs are the focus of the Dominion Foundation Education Partnership Grants Program. Specifically, this foundation awards grants to help develop new programs for these subject areas. All K-12 schools are eligible to apply. The maximum grant award is $5,000.
Computers, technology, and video games are now main parts of a young person’s life. This grant program focuses on using these to boost learning. Non-profit organizations and governmental entities that provide programs and services that utilize technology, computers, or video games to educate youth ages 7-18 are eligible to apply. Programs or projects must be available in at least two states to be eligible for funding. The foundation awards grants of up to $50,000. The deadline is May 1.
This foundation aims to support new or expand existing literacy programs, the purchase of new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives, or the purchase of books, materials, or software for literacy programs. Schools, public libraries, and non-profit organizations that help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading are eligible to apply. The maximum grant award is $4,000. The deadline to apply is May 17.
Photo Credit: Jeff Peterson
Topics: steam education grants, youth education, grants for educational technology, education grant, education resources, educational grants, education funds, school technology grants, educational opportunities, grants for education, education funding, education grants, educational funding, literacy grants, literacy, reading grant
One of the goals of 21st century educators is to inspire students to be lifelong learners. To accomplish that, educators themselves should be passionate about learning as well. Teacher development grants are available to help teachers develop and improve on their craft. Below are some grants that help educators educate themselves. These grants all have deadlines early next year, less than two months away, so the time is right to get started on them.
The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation supports a teacher development grant program. This category aims to increase the effectiveness of individual educators and small teams of teachers. Eligible proposals are those that enhance student learning and educational quality, paying particular attention to those that best serve the at-risk and under-funded. A total of 125 teacher development grants will be funded. The application period is from Jan. 15-April 15. The maximum grant is $10,000.
This organization provides funds to help educators get the resources needed to pursue professional learning experiences. Fund for Teachers grants can be used for a wide variety of projects as long as they create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students and their school communities. Eligible applicants must be full-time preK-12th grade educators, curriculum specialist, curriculum head, Special Education coordinator, media specialist/librarian, or other type of educator who spends at least 50% of their time directly teaching students. Educators must also have at least three years of teaching experience. Individuals may apply for up to $5,000 while teams may receive up to $10,000. Applications are due by Jan. 31.
This foundation has provided funding to thousands of educators. The NEA Foundation provides grants to individuals to participate in professional development activities. The foundation also provides funding to teams to fund collegial study. Preference is given to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global competence. Grants of $2,500 and $5,000 are available. Grants are available to current members of the National Education Association who are educators in public schools or public institutions of higher education. There are three deadlines for applications: Feb. 1, June 1, and Oct. 15.
The James Madison Graduate Fellowships are $24,000 fellowships given to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. Eligible applicants are U.S. citizens that are teachers or plan to be teachers of American history, American government, or civics classes in the 7-12 grade levels. Fellowship applicants compete against educators in their own state. If funding permits, the desire is to grant a fellowship to an individual from each state. The deadline for application is March 1.
Not seeing the grant you are looking for? Send us a Tweet @TheGrantHelpers, write on our Facebook wall, comment on this blog, email us at email@example.com, or contact us the old-fashioned way, by telephone.
Photo Credit: Denise Krebs
Topics: education, education funding, education funds, education grant, education grants, educational funding, educational grants, educational opportunities, grants for teachers, teacher resources, teacher development grants, grants for teacher development
We often highlight education grants because of the need. According to a story by ABCNews, teachers pay for 77% of the school supplies needed in their own classroom. Even though school is well underway, we’re aware that teachers may still be looking for grants to help provide the supplies students need to learn. The grants below can help provide extra dollars for supplies without requiring intensive time and effort.
The Clif Bar Family Foundation awards small grants three times a year. These grants can be for organizational support as well as for funding for specific projects. This funding averages $7,000 per grant. Applications are reviewed three times a year with deadlines of the Feb. 1, Jun. 1, and Oct. 1 (coming right up!). Grants awarded during a particular cycle will be announced at the beginning of the following cycle. Teachers and school administrators looking to apply will focus on the foundation’s community category. In this funding area a California school received funding for its afterschool program and another school has been awarded funding for outdoor education needs.
Verizon wants to make sure students know why technology is important and how to use this technology in the classroom as well as in the real world. K-8 teachers are eligible to apply. Teachers hoping to apply must submit a tech-focused lesson plan to teach students about applications for technology in the teacher's specific subject area. The grant comes in the form of a Visa gift card. 1st and 2nd place winners receive $1,000 each, while 3rd-6th place grantees receive $500 each. Applications are due Saturday, Dec. 9.
K-5 Title 1 School teachers have until Nov. 30 to apply for a grant from the Lily Sarah Grace Foundation. Projects funded by this program must use arts-infused inquiry-based learning to teach. The project must also focus on the foundation’s five C’s: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and community. The maximum grant is $450. The story behind this foundation is worth mentioning. Lily, Sarah, and Grace were sisters who lost their lives in a fire. To honor their memory their father started this foundation to support what his daughters loved to do best: art.
This retailer runs the Family Literacy Grants program. Family literacy service providers are eligible to apply. Eligible programs must provide adult education instruction, children’s education, and parent child together time. Colleges, universities, and school districts have been awardees in the past. The 2017 grant program is closed now. The 2018 Family Literacy grant application will be available in Jan. 2018.
You might not need Grant Helper support to apply for these grants, but we are prepared to help with these or others where you want to increase your funding. We are a full-service grant company that aims to find funding for schools, municipalities, and non-profit organizations. In addition to locating grants we can also provide a wide range of services including editing, managing, and applying for grants. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Photo Credit: US Department of Education
Topics: education, education funding, education funds, education grant, education grants, education resources, educational funding, educational grants, educational opportunities, school technology grants, grant for school technology, educational technology grants, grants for education, grants for educational technology, art education, art education grant, literacy, literacy grants
Many teachers use the summer to plan for field trips, so we we’re providing a couple select grants to help make them happen. Your school’s field trips may be primarily educational, say to a robotics lab or a museum. Or they may be more for entertainment, like a trip to a pumpkin patch. Grants are a great way to help add to your field trip budget, and to make sure every child can have a great adventure outside of the classroom.
Target launched its field trip grant program in 2007 to help small field trip budgets in schools. As part of the program, Target stores award Target Field Trip™ grants to K-12 schools nationwide. For the 2016-17 school year, schools in each of the 50 states were awarded a field trip grant. Education professionals who are at least 18 years old and employed by an accredited K-12 public, private, or charter school in the United States that maintains a 501(c)(3) or 509(a)(1) tax-exempt status are eligible to apply. Each grant is valued up to $700. Grant applications are accepted between noon Aug. 1 and 11:59 p.m. Oct. 1. The grants are intended to fund field trips that connect students' classroom curricula to out-of-school experiences. Field trips must take place between January 2018 and the end of the school year (May or June) 2018.
We get numerous requests from parents hoping for funds to assist with travel expenses. This road scholarship is a perfect fit. The SYTA Youth Foundation established the road scholarship program in 2002 to award funds to youth who, for various reasons, are unable to afford the cost of student group trips. This financial aid is granted to an eligible student or groups of 3 or more, for education or performance-related travel with their class or youth group. All Road Scholarship nominations must be submitted by an educator, program leader, or designated school official or program leader for students under the age of 18 and in grades K-12. Applications submitted by parents or guardians will not be accepted. The scholarship amount varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on the cost of specific trips, the demonstrated need of the applicant, and the number of applicants in a given application period. The average road scholarship granted is $750. No more than $1,000 will be awarded to an individual nomination and no more than $5,000 will be awarded to a group nomination. There are two application deadlines per year with the next deadline being Oct. 2-Nov. 17.
Make the Most of your Field Trip
After you have secured funding for your field trip, here are some ideas to help make the most of your outside of school experience.
- Involve students in learning BEFORE you go on your field trip. Present students with information about what they will see at the field trip, and brainstorm with them about what they would like to learn.
- Make sure to present any pertinent information about what is expected of them during the field trip. Should they wear a certain shirt or color? What are the conduct expectations? What will the timing be? Is lunch provided or do they need to bring lunch?
- To increase student knowledge prior to the field trip, consider an enrichment activity such as assigned research projects related to the venue you will be visiting.
- AFTER the field trip, assess the student’s knowledge from the field trip. This could be a quiz or evaluation where the students rate themselves on pre/post knowledge of the field trip education items.
- The teacher might develop a rubric with the expected learning goals and behaviors related to the field trip. This can be used as a method of assessing each student.
Our education specialist, Carol Timms, is on hand to help you find the funding you need for all of your educational needs, including field trips. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.
Topics: field trip funding, field trip grant, field trip grants, grants for field trips, funding for field trips, education funding, education grant, education resources, education grants, educational grants, educational funding, grants for education
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
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 DonorsChoose, GoFundMe, 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 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
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.
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