Grant Services - Advice and Tips

Grants for Education Part 2: Multi-Purpose Grants

Thu, Feb 18, 2016 @ 10:02 AM / by Mary Ross

Continuing in our series on education grants, this blog looks into grants that are not directly aimed at a particular age or class subject. Knowing where to start with such multi-purpose grants can often be difficult. One approach you can try is to write down all the actions and steps you will take assuming you have the money in hand.


  • Be specific and clear.
  • Make sure your administration will support your plan.
  • List the resources you will need to complete each part of the plan: people, facilities, transportation, materials & supplies, other costs. Have all of the numbers ready.

In the eventual grant application, these activities and costs will need to be linked to needs and outcomes, but making a plan can help get the pen moving. Also, having a detailed plan will help fill a common gap in proposals: the lack of a feasible, well laid out implementation approach.

Now for some programs that can support a wide variety of educational activities and grade levels.

NEA Foundation

The National Education Foundation is currently offering its members two grants. Both of these grants award from $2,000 to $5,000 and both have application deadlines of February 1st, June 1st and October 1st. The first grant, the Student Achievement Grant, is aimed at improving student academic achievement through critical thinking and problem solving skills within a subject matter. Proposed programs should show how students’ “habits of inquiry, self-directed thinking, and critical reflection” will improve.

The Learning & Leadership Grant can be used by a school to fund professional development for staff or small research and development groups within the district including staff mentoring programs. The NEA states, "We have learned that the best teaching methods come from our greatest assests: educators. That is why, over the last 10 years, we have awarded more than $7.1 million to fund nearly 4,500 grants to public school educators to enhance teaching and learning." Both of these grants are open to many subjects and project ideas.

Donors Choose

Although not specifically a grant, many teachers have had success with the DonorsChoose funding style. Started in 2000 by a high school teacher, DonorsChoose allows anyone to donate money to your cause. From small classroom supply needs to much larger and more expensive projects, you ask for what you need and explain how much it will cost. The site is completely free for teachers. Your project will be listed on their webpage and you can also do your own marketing via social media. The NEA foundation has supported DonorsChoose projects in the past by awarded half of the project cost for NEA member’s projects of $500 or more.

American Library Association

The American Library Association offers many grants to school librarians, teachers, and media specialists. A comprehensive list of available grants and awards can be found on their website. The list can be overwhelming, so use the search bar to narrow down the choices to a more manageable size. We searched for “education” and got a list of grants that help new librarians attend professional development activities. This grant award winner is chosen each February to receive a grant of $1,500. You can view the deadlines and award amounts for specific grants from the provided list. Awards and amounts vary.


All three of these grants allow for creativity and flexibility within programs. There are many more grants available as well, and we can help you find them with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database services. Contact to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.

Topics: education, education funds, education grant, grant opportunity, grants

Mary Ross

Written by Mary Ross

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