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