Garnering Grants: Finding and Writing Educational Grants - Educational grants are important to the success of every school. Find out how to research, locate, and write educational grants for your school in this article.
Computers becoming outdated at your school? Need new physical education equipment? Or perhaps you want to implement a new program that needs teacher assistants and supplies. These are just a few reasons to research and write grants. And the outcome is almost sure to be positive: either you are rejected but in the process learn what grant opportunities are available for another time, or you are accepted and receive funds to help your school.
Research first. Grant opportunities abound, with many grants available for public schools on the state level and the federal level. Check out your state department of education website for information on which grants are available, deadlines and how to apply. Federal grants through the United States Department of Education are usually large and are dispersed through your school’s district. Discuss grant opportunities with other educators and leaders in the district if needing a large amount. Online resources can provide automatic email updates when new grants become available. Check the websites that consolidate many opportunities in one step and sign up for their update feature.
For private schools, visit local and state corporations and ask if they provide grant opportunities for private education. Many of these have their own forms and deadlines. Work together with other private entities to look for additional donors and programs.
Now write a stellar grant proposal. Once you find your ideal grant, whether public or private, you need to sit down and organize how to write your grant proposal and put together the grant application.
- First pull together the list of requirements for the grant. Make sure your program and/or school meets every requirement.
- Organize your proposed program. Plan all the goals and the budget needs. Be prepared to list all of these in the application, even if not required. Make sure all the numbers come out exactly throughout your application.
- Be interesting in your introduction. Explain why the grant would fit your needs and who and how it would benefit.
- Format formally and add graphs, timelines, columns and charts to make figures easily accessible and understandable.
- Locate sample proposals (many are available online) to aid you in preparing your own.
- Be honest with what you plan to do as you will be required to follow through.
- Proofread and use concise language. Have an outside source read through your draft a few times to find any mistakes.
- Send in the grant application early.
- Finally, send an appropriate thank you if you receive the grant. If needed, ask the grant agencies for what is suitable.
Remember that even when you follow every step and produce the perfect proposal and application, grant agencies are limited on the amount of funds. Do not be dejected if rejected. Ask the grant agency for comments on why you were rejected and incorporate this into future grant proposals. Then keep your application for another year, or begin the research stage again and find another grant that would work. Modify your proposal and application as needed and try again! Good grant writing can reap great educational rewards for your school.