Investing in the Grant Search
March 2014: Maybe it’s not an ‘impossible dream’
In the musical Man of La Mancha, Dulcinea sings “The Impossible Dream,” a tune that teachers often hum as they attempt to acquire the tools to advance their curricular visions. The dream can revolve around dollars or be more limited in scope regarding the yearly objectives.
Much interest has surrounded the president’s State of the Union references to the needs of educational entities in the US, and STEM interest abounds. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have officially adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and are preparing for the first wave of Common Core assessments coming in the 2014-2015 school year.
Pitsco Success Story: Sierra Prep Middle School in Santa Ana, California, implemented the Pitsco Algebra program and saw its algebra scores (proficient or advanced) raise 15% from 18% in 2012 to 33% in 2013. The instructor stated about her students, “It is because they are working hands on in the Pitsco lab and they are working cooperatively.”
It is a benefit for the staff as the method of instruction favors student attention and, more importantly, retention. The acquisition of tools for implementing the core materials could rest with the need for more than dreams, so listed below are potential sources of answers to your educational “Dulcinean Dreams.”
March 2014 "Grant Funding Leads" (PDF)
Previous issues (PDF)February 2014
Locating and Applying for Grants
Education is one of the principle funding objectives of government, private, and corporate granting agencies. The desire to create a more informed and productive citizen is paramount on the agendas of both government and private sectors. In a global environment, the more educationally astute will assume technological and economic leadership roles.
- Attendant with this concern is the strong push to enlarge the base of scientific and mathematical skills in schools to satisfy the No Child Left Behind mandates.
- School leadership may also focus on securing funding to establish programs for disadvantaged students and preschoolers.
- The horizon is alive with a variety of economic opportunities that can, when appropriately drawn together, provide greater learning opportunities for students.
- Our educational products meet many of the guidelines listed by leading grant funding sources.
Sources of Funding
These are formula grants for adult and secondary education and English as a second language.
A program to support teachers seeking advanced certification or advanced credentialing, this program has limited funds available.
This grant stipulates the program is included in classroom instruction and carried out in conjunction with other reform efforts.
The program provides funding for purchasing equipment, supplies, or any educational materials.
This program seeks to improve the knowledge and skills of early childhood educators who work in high-poverty areas.
This program has been slashed by almost 50 percent but still has a sum directed toward the effective integration of technology to ensure that students are technologically literate by the end of eighth grade.
This is a program designed to assist in the administering of and development of accountability measures.
The purpose is to serve students (particularly the economically disadvantaged, disabled, or limited English proficient) who have been underrepresented in gifted and talented programs.
These grants are awarded to assist in the improvement of K-12 education and aid educators with in-service training.
The act consists of three grant programs to assist schools affected by Katrina and Rita.
- Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students
- Assistance for Homeless Youths
- Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations
This is a formula grant under Title V that stimulates educational innovation by encouraging broad-based reform efforts. This program has been decreased by almost 50 percent for 2006. The funds may be used for technology, professional development software, or curricular materials.
These are competitive funds to enhance curriculum and attract racially diverse student populations.
This program encourages the formation of partnerships to improve performance in math and science. Funds may be used for professional development, summer workshops, and distance learning programs.
NSF promotes and advances scientific programs in the United States and advances grants for science, math, and engineering research in education.
Funds may be used for vocational and technology education activities plus professional development opportunities for teachers and counselors.
This program provides districts assistance in setting up scientific, research-based reading programs for children in Grades K-8. Funds may be used for staff development or instructional materials.
This program consists of two major programs: State Grants for Drugs and Violence Prevention Programs and National Programs. State Grants is a formula grant program that provides funds to states and local school districts for a broad range of prevention and education programs. Any activity must be based on scientifically conducted research.
These grants are very popular as they lend themselves to the extension of the No Child Left Behind objectives.
The largest of the elementary- and secondary-education programs, this program requires states to develop standards in reading and math and assessments linked to those standards for students. The program is also structured to assist high-poverty schools in giving their students an equal opportunity to meet state standards.
This program provides money for before- and after-school sessions. Funds may be used for expanding learning activities or any area of enrichment and include technology and telecommunication education.
Promotes strong curricular development and creative problem-solving skills.
Sets an agenda that allocates grants for schools, hospitals, and human service organizations and reaches out to the disadvantaged in the Baltimore community and the region.
Provides gifts for educational programs, particularly for development of these programs that stress math readiness.
This foundation supports the advancement of curriculum development.
Funds projects that support global education, workplace skills, and safe and healthy children.
They give their funds primarily in Missouri and Illinois. Their site lists specific efforts in which they choose to invest.
The focus of these grants is on math, science, and technology.
The Annenberg Foundation uses uses media and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching in American schools.
This group funds educational projects for public as well as religious schools. Their projects lean toward the Appalachian region of the country.
This charitable investments program helps meet the needs of the communities the bank serves.
Stresses the advancement of science education and a strong, reliable workforce.
This fund espouses the belief that a nation's strength is in the fields of science and engineering.
They provide funding to individuals as well as nonprofit organizations.
Supports curricular reform and professional development.
This is a multifaceted company with a strong emphasis on educating on all levels, preschool through Grade 12.
This foundation supports a variety of educational opportunities that urban schools can create.
Promotes the improvement of academic skills and improves the opportunities for the disadvantaged.
Stimulates scientific literacy and the importance of coherent communication.
This foundation subscribes to innovation and creativity. There is a strong investment in experiential elements for students.
Goals are to improve the welfare of low-income students and to sustain the ecosystem.
The thrust of this foundation is to educate the next generation with a strong emphasis on the slow learner and students in the disadvantaged category, as well as a strong emphasis on ecology.
Coca-Cola strives to work with local communities to build strong educational opportunities to enhance national productivity. Most robotics and simple machines products, with their strong emphasis on math and science, would more than fill potential educational voids.
This fund supports early childhood education.
This foundation favors requests from the states of Alabama, Indiana, and Iowa. Dekko, too, favors the early-learning and after-school programs. It is geared for preschool through age 18. The mission of any proposal must be strong and futuristic. Educational lexicon would seem to promote robotics and early-learning products as solutions to that end.
Supports education K-12, particularly science and reading.
Grants promote advancement of literacy and basic education.
The funding cycle is year-round, and support is directed toward innovative educational curricula.
Funds programs that show sequential, consistent core training for students.
Supports programs that further the arts, culture, education, and human services.
K-12 teachers and students recognized for environmental preservation with monetary rewards.
Sees entrepreneurship and education as the most effective ways to empower people to create their own futures. (Missouri)
Their goal is to foster education through technology and curriculum.
The mission of the foundation is to make life better by serving human needs through support of institutions involved in education. (New York)
Seeks special teaching methods to create productive learning environments.
Funds programs not normally covered by regular budget – only special initiatives.
Supports raising graduation rates and graduates who will be strong citizens ready for college or the workplace.
This foundation is primarily concerned with innovative instruction models and also has a strong attraction for meeting the needs of underserved students. The deadline for grant applications is November 1.
Supports education and the arts. (Kansas City, Missouri)
Endorses education K-college, supporting education in all major areas.
The aim is to develop tools to improve literacy and increase the use of technology.
Funds education, health, the arts, and the environment. (Oklahoma)
This is a formula grant under Title V which stimulates educational innovation by encouraging broad-based reform efforts. The funds may be used for technology, professional development software, or curricular materials.
This ongoing grants program can be accessed by schools in Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
Aims to provide students in the Great Lakes region with an education, allowing them to live fruitful, productive lives.
This group’s emphasis is toward strong progress in middle school technology.
To enhance communities by strengthening families, respecting the natural environment, and fostering peace. Early childhood development and youth education with an emphasis on children at risk.
The endowment views education at all levels as indispensable to personal, civic, and economic success.
This grant source has a variety of offerings that could be used for LEGO® initiatives as well as additions to Modules or Suites labs.
This expands knowledge and improves practices that affect students’ access and success in postsecondary education.
The Trust's mission is to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants and enrichment programs to organizations seeking to strengthen the region's educational, spiritual, and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways.
This group is interested in how NCLB is impacting the achievement of students.
This foundation is concerned with the southeastern portion of the country and is seeking low-income segments to assist.
The broad mission of the McCune Foundation continues to be improving the community and enhancing the quality of life for the citizens. (Pittsburg, Pa.)
Grants to relieve misfortune and promote well-being are made in the following program areas: human services, education, health care, arts and culture, and public benefit. The area of principal interest to the McGregors is metropolitan Detroit.
The Foundation strives to improve the human condition by supporting organizations that provide critical services to those in need.
The Meyer Memorial Trust is applicable to Oregon and parts of Washington. The principal areas of interest center on early childhood and disadvantaged students.
Their mission is to discover and advance inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves and those around them lead productive and satisfying lives.
The purpose of this offering is to further program goals. These grant resources could make possible the extension or refurbishment of existing Synergistic Learning Systems labs.
Funding will focus on initiatives that creatively generate a love of science early in life and show the new generation of inventors that careers involving science and math are important, challenging, and possible. Particularly interested in getting girls involved in the study of science.
The foundation’s Web site details a variety of possible uses for funding.
Seeks better health and intellectual enlightenment for students. (primarily Southern California)
Seeks to raise the standard of science literacy and broaden the pool of future scientists.
Prudential has an ongoing offer that appears to be available to all states.
This foundation gives funds to Texas institutions. The foundation is primarily attracted to humanitarian concerns and K-12 education with significant interest in literacy and any innovative additions to the educational landscape.
Concerned with areas of education, arts, agriculture, humanities, and human services. (Iowa, Nebraska)
The foundation supports elementary and secondary education with a strong interest in science.
The grant-making activities in this area are divided into three broad categories: elementary education, secondary education, and higher education.
Supports scientific and educational improvement. (Oklahoma)
The mission is to provide funding to programs that support or provide job skills and/or education for all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth.
This group is concerned with efforts to attain educational excellence.
Funds arts and culture and youth-services groups. (Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas)
Improve the quality of life by enhancing skills in math and science.
These grants deal with math and science and appear to be oriented toward some environmental experimentation.
The Toyota TAPESTRY Grant program has an offer for K-12 science teachers. Twenty mini-grants of $10,000 each are available.
Strong emphasis on civic and cultural programs. (Communities served by Union Pacific Railroad)
Technology and literacy are areas of primary interest.
Supports innovation and capacity to change, which leads to improvement of formal and informal education.
Wachovia stresses building learning environments and teacher-support systems. LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education robotics would enhance the objectives of this foundation to reach the seemingly unreachable in the classrooms.
Invests heavily in education at all levels including teacher education. Wide range of options. (Arkansas, Mississippi)
Places emphasis on programs in elementary and secondary schools.
Purpose is to advance technology and assist Hispanic and underserved students.
Supports the Foundation's mission of improving the lives of young people ages 8 to 25. Program supports intervention research to improve youth-serving organizations, such as schools and community-based organizations.
Supports economic development, education, and social justice. (Arkansas)
Funds academic, community, government, business, public service, and faith-based organizations. (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Structure of the Proposal
- This is where you build the case and provide justification of your particular need.
- The purpose is to draw the donor in and hold their attention while summarizing the salient points of the proposal. It is important to stay with the major points and repeat them frequently.
- Goals are the desired outcomes to be achieved by the end of the grant period. They are visions, so describe the benefits of those visions.
- Objectives demonstrate measurable change. These changes must not be exaggerated, and specific methods of validation should be presented. Examples could include test score improvement, attendance, scores for ESL students, or enhanced technological growth on the part of students or staff. The employed strategies and variety of methodologies utilized will explain the design and goals.
Title Page of the Requested Project
Utilize the form provided by the granting body, or if creating one of your own, incorporate the following:
- Organization name (school district/school name)
- Address, telephone, fax, and zip code
- Chief contact agent for the proposal
- Date of submission
Concise Summarization of the Proposal
Introductory paragraphs should be brief, as should the entire request. The entire proposal should be no more than two to five pages in length. Introduce your organization and its role in the world of education. Appendices can be attached to provide any additional information such as graphs and statistical validation. Take advantage of this opportunity to boast a little about past glories, yet do not denigrate the quest at hand. Thus, the introductory paragraphs – no more than two – should be precise.
- The meat of your request must be stated confidently, logically, and thoroughly while striving for an element of uniqueness to capture the immediate interest of the donor.
- Requests must be intelligible, as you cannot presuppose the reader is as familiar with the issue as you are; the reader is asked to donate, not differentiate.
- It is vital that the sum requested be announced in this early summation, as such knowledge gives the reader a road map for their evaluation of the proposal.
- The need for assistance and the solution to the problem must be clearly presented. If the request is for a Pitsco Synergistic Learning Systems lab, the financing will play differently than it would for an individual product. Therefore, the cost should be prominently mentioned.
Note: A well-written initial summary could be the major factor in acquiring a successful response.
Objectives and Beneficiaries
It is appropriate at this point to weave connections to the donor’s specific interests into your proposal and to point out potential benefits of your desired outcomes. The purpose is to draw the donor in and hold their attention while summarizing the salient points of the proposal.
- It is important to stay with the major points and repeat them frequently. Present the necessity of the project in greater detail. State measurable goals to be realized.
- A positive attitude should be evident throughout, as grantors tend to appreciate those with a “go-for-it” winning attitude.
- Detail the beneficiaries by stating the number of affected students, and note the timeline of the total process to enhance the credibility of the project. Clarification of goals and anticipated results are food for the investigative eye.
- Include measures and means to evaluate the strategies used and a measuring timeline to describe the desired outcomes. The sustainability and long-range results of the project should enhance the overall objectives of the request. The math, science, technology, and language arts influences in our products are well documented. This information is vital to funders who wish to know their contribution will make a measurable difference.
Organizational Capacity and Methods
- Scope of activities that can be achieved in allotted time
- Quality of staff engaged in the project
- Activities covered and why
- Specific recipients of the program
Describe the scope of the activities and the potential for success. The soundness of the management, creativity, and foresight of the program should be demonstrated, verifying its viability after the grant has been utilized. It is also wise to enumerate the resources that the requesting organization will add to the program to demonstrate ongoing commitment to the project. As for our organization, our history and the products’ track record demonstrate long-range durability and service.
The text of a proposal may be sincere and substantiate expected needs but still fail as a result of the compilation and presentation of the program budget. Successful projects require a narrative that specifies the expenditure of requested funds. A summary and narrative of the dispersal of those sums is vital to the reliability of the request. The cost of requested needs from staff qualifications, materials, transportation, and salaries should be considered from the initiation of the project. Keep in mind that the evaluators of your proposal are familiar with budgetary necessities and will empathize with legitimate needs. They would not appreciate surprises in the narrative. Budgetary points to address:
- Be realistic.
- Justify proposed costs.
- Make sure the amount requested is adequate.
- Include copies of previous balance information.
- Include a sample spreadsheet of budget numbers.
- Explain how costs relate to proposed activities.
- Include a budget narrative in government grant applications.
An appendix should be included only if noted as acceptable by the funding source. In the narrative, references to the appendix may be made. Noteworthy professional references or news articles may be included in addition to a list of staff who will be guiding the project. Tables, charts, graphs, and IRS exemption information should be organized in a logical fashion. Appendix information includes the following:
- List of all items as they appear in the appendix
- Information on the board of directors, school board, superintendent, principal, and so forth
- Qualifications of individuals providing services
- Letters of support