Looking for Ways to Financially Support School Activities? Get grants!

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October 3, 2016 by HCDE-Texas

shutterstock_391858975Educators use many approaches to acquire grant funding. Some teachers apply to their education foundations to secure teacher grants. These education foundations as 501(c)3 nonprofits receive support from individuals and businesses within their community interested in supporting district activities including teacher grants and scholarships. Teachers can also apply directly to organizations that support classroom, student and/or teacher activities. These can include awards, fellowships and grants.

If interested in approaching these organizations, you need to work with your campus principal and most likely your district administration to apply. Many districts have formal approval processes before a teacher or other district staff can apply for a grant. Plus, some of the information requested by the funder can only be obtained from district administration. Campus or district leadership will most likely need to sign the application. These are valid processes, and the money awarded will require tracking and monitoring by the campus and district.

Applications can range from a simple email inquiry to a more complex online or written proposal. Some funders ask for an email or letter of inquiry as an introduction.  If the funder is interested in the project, a formal proposal will be requested. Each organization that grants funds has its own mission, goals and funding priorities. In order to get funded, the project you present must align perfectly with the funder’s interests.

Writing and submitting applications or proposals to organizations interested in funding your classroom or student projects can take some time, but are very rewarding. If you don’t ask, you will never know.

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw

You may be one of the lucky ones that gets your project funded with the first request. However, it is not uncommon to have to apply to several organizations before finding the right fit.

Here is a brief listing of grants that support classroom activities:

  1. Donors Choose – donorchoose.org is a United States–based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects.
  2. Fund for Teachers Grants – http://fft.fundforteachers.org/ supports educators’ efforts to develop skills, knowledge and confidence that impact student achievement.
  3. Save on Energy Teacher Grants – https://www.saveonenergy.com/teacher-grant/ looks for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy or sustainability.
  4. AEP Teacher Vision Grants – http://www.aep.com/community/TeachersAndStudents/TeacherVisionGrants.aspx is for those who have participated in the National Energy Education Development Project. AEP supports projects that improve student achievement. Also supports projects where teachers motivate youth to learn to think creatively, to step into leadership roles and to address the challenges of the future.
  5. VFW Teacher Award – https://www.vfw.org/Community/Teacher-of-the-Year/ recognizes teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism. Teachers may plan field trips to city hall, organize community volunteer projects, invite local veterans to speak in class or anything else to help students develop a better understanding of democratic values and beliefs.

To find more resources, go to http://www.pinterest.com/grant-info/educators.

About the Blogger:
Center for Grants Development Director Gayla Rawlinson-Maynard is a nationally certified grants professional. For 20 years, she has helped organizations acquire foundation, corporate and collaborative government grants. She and her husband enjoy arts and music festivals, their dog Mandy and two cats Austin and Kitty.

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