One of the greatest challenges for educators is finding sources of money to allow for innovation and technology in the classroom. Funding is barely available to pay salaries and buy basic supplies. Therefore, teachers and administrators who truly wish to try new ideas that require additional funds have to personally find sources for this money. Grants can be a godsend to solve financial shortcomings. However, two major stumbling blocks are associated with attaining grants: locating them and writing them.
Locating GrantsAssessing Needs
Before your search even begins, you must have a project that you wish to fund. What is it that you want to accomplish? Any project you support must align with the needs of your school or community. Grant providers want to clearly see the necessity of your program. To make sure that your project fulfills a need, compare what your school or community has now to what you feel it should have. Use this information to create possible solutions. The upfront time spent investigating this chasm between your school's reality and your vision for it will pay off when it comes time to write your grant proposal. Do some preliminary research to find a solid educational basis for your idea. Map out the steps necessary to complete your project including necessary funding at each step. Remember throughout your design phase to keep in mind how you will evaluate your project using measurable outcomes. Make a Project Worksheet
Make a preliminary worksheet concerning what you believe you will need for your project. By doing this, you can get a clear picture of what the grant you are searching for must look like. Some items your chart could include are:
- Project Overview
- Need for Project
- Research Sources
- Amount Needed
- Special School/Community Circumstance
- Evaluation Methods
The most important piece of advice you can get when beginning your grant search is to carefully match your project with the grantor's award requirements. For example, if the desired grant is only given to schools in inner cities, only apply if you meet that criterion. Otherwise, you'll be wasting your time. With that in mind, three major sources for grant money exist: Federal and State Governments, Private Foundations, and Corporations. Each has its own agenda and differing levels of requirements concerning who can apply, the application process itself, how the money must be spent, and the methods of evaluation. So where can you search for each type? Luckily there are some awesomesites on the internet.
You are welcome to modify and use this basic grant match rubric to determine how well the grant fits your project.