Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

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

Back-to-School Grants

Posted by Mary Ross on Wed, Aug 3, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

The back-to-school signs are up, the students are excited, the parents are eve3959694576_193cfaeceb_q.jpgn more excited, and the teachers have begun to think about the new school year. For teachers, these eight back-to-school grants can help refresh their curriculum and not spend their own money to do it.

The Kids in Need Foundation has brought together eight grant opportunities on one site. Applications for each grant are accepted from July 15 to Sept. 30, so you’re not too late to get in on this year’s grant offerings. Grants range in amount from $100 to $500 and you can apply for more than one. Also available on this site are helpful guidelines and suggestions for completing your application as well as some free teacher printables. A contact email address for Penny ( is also listed for any other help you may need. Without further ado, here is a brief look at each of the eight grant choices:   

  1. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Teacher Grant: Looking for “innovation and merit” for imaginative lessons, this grant is available to certified teachers of grades K-12. This grant awards from $100 to $500 for a project-based learning opportunity in your classroom.
  2. Elmer’s Teacher Toolkit Grant: No back-to-school list is complete without several bottles of Elmer’s glue (my son’s list asks for four bottles and 10 glue sticks—no joke!). Elmer’s is making lesson planning easier by providing teachers with “Winning Projects” to use in the classroom. Teachers can follow the link to the project site and choose a project for their own class, then apply for the grant to make it happen. Certified K-12 teachers can apply, and special consideration is given to schools with 70% or more students in the free and reduced lunch program. Check out these projects and get one started in your classroom this fall.
  3. Dollar General Reading Scholars Teacher Grant: Are you teaching literacy skills this fall? If you have a new approach with a creative design, read more about this grant for certified teachers Pre-K to 12th grade.
  4. Georgia-Pacific Innovation Grant: Certified pre-K to 12th grade teachers with a new approach to using “common teaching aids” or a new idea for teaching their curriculum should read more about the Georgia-Pacific Innovation Grant. This grant ranges from $100-$500.
  5. ArtSkills Teacher Grant: Are you an art teacher with a new approach to reaching kids? Looking for “innovation and merit,” this teacher grant is available to certified teachers grades pre-K to 12. You are limited only by your imagination, and what can be done with up to $500.
  6. WIMA Creative Writing Teacher Grant: Calling all creative writing teachers, the WIMA grant wants to hear about your ideas to get kids writing.
  7. Helping Humanity Fund – Navajo Pottery Project: Originally done in a middle school setting, the Navajo Pottery Project can be adapted to any age group and funded through this grant. A lesson plan is provided here: and certified teachers pre-K to 12th grade can be awarded a grant of $195 to replicate this project in their own classrooms.
  8. VIA Credit Union Teacher Grant (Regional-Indiana only): The list of specific school districts in Indiana that are eligible for this grant appears on the website. If you teach in one of these schools and have an innovative approach to teaching, apply for this grant.

We at know that it’s important to set off in the right direction. If you’d like to know about more grant opportunities and get help finding grants specifically tailored to your needs, contact We have the resources you need, and the first consultation is always free.  

Photo Credit: xMizLitx

Topics: school grant, back to school, back to school grants, grants for back to school, education, education funds, education grant, education grants, educational grants, education funding, educational funding, grants for education, educational opportunities, grants, grant opportunity