Category Archives: corporate grants

Am I Spinning My Wheels?

money backpack briefcase

After you have a few grant applications under your belt, and you still don’t have a grant in hand, it’s easy to become discouraged. Be brave, there are hundreds (probably thousands) of grant opportunities out there just waiting for the right program idea to attract and woo grant makers. I hear teachers ask, “What am I doing wrong?” My response is always, “You’re not doing anything wrong, just excercise patience and persistence.” There are some key tips to improving your chances of success, but mostly it’s believing in your school, your programs and your idea that will bring home the bacon. Grant writing is also about building relationships. When you identify a potential grantor, don’t be shy, get to know the people in the organization.

The two main types of competitive grants that we are interested in:

1)    Foundation grants

2)    Corporate grants

These are the grant opportunities you will find in the Grants Database on the Discount School Supply® website.

“Competitive” means that you have an equal opportunity to secure the funds available from the grantor, assuming you meet eligibility requirements, and you have a program that meets the grantor’s agenda. Corporations and foundations set up their funding arms to solve problems they feel are important in their communities. Get to know what these issues are, the Grants Database provides links to the organization’s website, you will find plenty of information there for learning what they have set out to accomplish with their charity.

Most of the thousands of foundations that give grant money to schools will continue to do so year after year. They are required to give a certain amount of grant money each year in order to keep their tax-exempt status. While it is true that some foundations may give less money than they have in the past, due to economic downturns, they will still be sponsoring grants. Good news is, as we approach fall of 2013, corporate profits are up, a piece of those profits must go out to the community. Unfortunately, foundations do not typically advertise their grant programs. You have to search for opportunities in a grant database or find them on the Internet. That’s where the Grants Database comes in—it will become a valuable tool as you move forward to snag those dollars.

Schools that write good, strong, competitive grant proposals well before the deadline will get their share. And schools that consistently and persistently apply for grants year after year, will reap benefits. Don’t get discouraged, you can make sure your school gets its share of available grants.

  • Keep your program ideas aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
  • Be data driven
  • Use your test scores to illustrate your needs.

For instance, if you need a new reading program, include graphs and charts about reading scores. Much of this data can be found right in your own district office, or your state education department will no doubt supply the information you need on their websites.  Funding for supplies can often be found as an “in-kind” donation. If you have a technology company in your town, they might step up and give your school some new computers. Or if you already have a grant for an after school program, approach another foundation for a “matching grant”. This foundation’s job will be to provide that last piece of support you need to make your program a success. Make sure their contribution is not treated like an “extra”; the funder needs the acclaim and advertising that comes with any community gift.

With persistence and patience, the brass ring will get closer all the time!

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Grant Opportunity for Youth Gardening!

Grant Name: 2010 Subaru Healthy Sprouts Awards

Funded by: National Gardening Association & Subaru

Description: The Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award recognizes and supports youth gardening programs focused on teaching about our environment, nutrition, and hunger issues in the United States. Through winning programs, youth will learn the skills necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle compatible with environmental stewardship and gain an understanding of how their actions can positively impact the well being of their community.

Program Areas: Science/Environment

Recipients: Public School, Private School, Other

Proposal Deadline: 10/1/2010

Average Amount: $500.00

Website: http://www.kidsgardening.com/grants/healthysprouts.asp

Availability: All States

Quick Tips for Getting More Grant Money

There is no magic formula for winning grant money. I wish it were that easy! Finding and securing grant money can be a slow and tedious process. You have to work hard at it and have a lot of patience if you are truly going to be successful.

I can, however, provide you with some quick tips that, if you follow them carefully, will steam-line your efforts and will help you acquire a lot more grant money than those who don’t follow them.

· Determine your school’s most pressing problems that could be helped by grant money.
· Develop a program to address your main problem that is measurable and replicable.
· Spend your valuable time writing grants, not finding them – use a grant database.
· Make absolutely sure the grant criteria match the needs of your school.
· Before you write any grant, visit the grantor’s website.
· Before you write any grant, call the grant contact person.
· Planning is extremely important in grant writing. Plan first, then write.
· Don’t focus on money; focus on student achievement.
· Follow application directions carefully – all of them.
· Complete each section of the application as if it were the only section.
· Use statistics to be convincing about your need for grant money.
· Make sure your application is of the highest quality because competition can be fierce.
· Be persistent. Complete more applications to increase your chances of getting money.
· Use your computer to check for errors. Get a colleague to proofread your application.
· Don’t give up! Thousands of grants are available. Keep applying until you’re successful.

Again, these short tips won’t make you a successful grant writer overnight, but if you consistently apply them to your grant writing, you will be more successful given a little time and practice.

Check it Out: Grant Opportunity!

Grant Name: Kinder Morgan Foundation Education Grants

Funded by: Kinder Morgan Foundation

Description: Grants are primarily directed to educational programs for youth in grades K-12. Funding is provided to local, state, provincial and regional educational institutions, libraries and programs that provide ongoing support, such as Junior Achievement. The foundation also supports youth programs provided by local arts organizations, symphony orchestras, museums and others. Initial approach is to contact the foundation for application form, which is required.

Program Areas: Arts, Community Involvement/Volunteerism, General Education, Library, Math, Reading, Science/Environment, Social Studies

Recipients: Public Schools, Private/Charter Schools, Other

Proposal Deadline: 7/10/10

Average Amount: $3,500.00 – $5,000.00

Email: km_foundation@kindermorgan.com

Website: http://www.kindermorgan.com/community/km_foundation.cfm

Availability: All States

Corporate Grants

There are two kinds of corporate grants that schools should consider. The first is typically a fairly low-dollar type of grant, usually somewhere between $250.00 and $3000.00. These grants are often given by what are known as big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Best Buy.

These grants are unique in that they are given to schools and other non-profit organizations within the community of these stores. In other words, money is given back to these schools and organizations because they are customers of those stores.

These “store” grants are a tremendous way to get money for a low-budget project in a district, campus, or even a classroom. Never overlook these grants when you are searching for money. It is easy to apply for these grants, and you usually get the money or materials you need very quickly.

The other type of corporate grant is very much like a foundation grant except that the money comes directly from the corporation rather than its foundation. The application is going to be longer and more detailed than the store grant application, but should be very similar to a foundation application.

Also like the foundation grant, you will need to match your problem area very closely to the corporation’s reason for giving. They, too, have a philosophy behind the giving they do, and as with a foundation, you will need to thoroughly understand that philosophy and match your needs closely to it.

Always remember these two types of corporate grants when you’re looking for money. Even though you won’t get a great deal of money, the first type of corporate grant mentioned above is possibly the quickest, easiest grant money available to schools.