January is the perfect time to apply for grants. You should be back into your regular routine after the holidays. That should give you the opportunity to set aside some time for grant writing. I know it’s never easy to find the time to apply for grants, but you should make every effort to do so now because in January and early February the stars align to give you a very good opportunity to win some grant money.
For one thing, many new grants are announced at the beginning of the year. You should use the Discount School Supply® grant database and look for any new grants that have been posted recently. Some of these will be entirely new grants that have never been offered before. Others are grants that are offered annually but are not announced until January each year. Either way, you should find new grants in the database that were not there during the last few months. Take advantage of these new opportunities by applying for one or two of the grants that have just been posted.
A second good reason to apply for grants now is that you have the freshest assessment data to work with that you’ll have all year. As I’ve stated many time before, each of the programs at your school should be assessed at mid-term and at the end of the school year. You should have done your assessments at the end of December or the beginning of January. That means you have access to the best assessment data that you’re ever going to have. You’ve just finished a semester. You know exactly how much progress each student has made within each program. Now you’re ready to sit down and write grants using that invaluable assessment data. You may want to fix a program that’s lagging or expand a successful program. It really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you have the assessment data that you need to apply for whatever type of grant you need.
The third reason to apply for grants right now is that you can apply for three different time periods. You can apply for some quick grant money (probably in the form of foundation or corporate grants) for the spring semester. You can also apply for grant money for summer school which is now just around the corner. Finally, you can begin to apply for larger (probably state or federal) grants for the fall semester. Because many of these grants have much longer, more involved applications, you may want to begin writing them now. It’s never too early to start piecing together the parts of a large grant which may impact your entire school district.
Grant money is becoming vital to many campuses and districts. Hopefully your school has a plan for writing grants. The two very best times to apply for grants is during January and February and at the beginning of the school year in September and October. Since we’re already well into January, you should start applying for grants immediately.
You should never miss these opportunities to apply for the grants you need. Why? Three reasons: many new grants are announced at this time of year, you have fresh assessment data, and you can apply for grant money for the spring semester, summer school, and the fall semester.