Category Archives: School Funding Center

The Third Step: Finding Possible Grants

If you want to secure grant money for your school, the first step is to understand in detail the main problems/needs your school faces. The second step — the subject of the last blog — is to develop a solution that has the greatest chance to solve that problem. And the third step is to locate all possible grants that might help fund your solution.

Grants available to schools fall into three basic categories: federal grants, state grants, and foundation or corporate grants. Federal and state grants are generally larger, and their applications are longer and more difficult to complete. Foundation and corporate grants typically yield schools less money, but their applications are less complex. That means you can usually fill out several foundation applications in the time it takes to complete one federal or state application.

Many educators attempt to locate grants on the Internet by using search engines or by subscribing to grant newsletters. Those methods tend to be inefficient and end up costing both time and money. The best way to locate potential grants is to use a grant database. The more comprehensive and up-to-date the database, the better it will serve your needs.

Your very best choice for using a grant database is the free one offered by Discount School Supply®.  It is large, free, and fairly comprehensive.  By far the most comprehensive grant database available to educators is the School Funding Center Grant Database. It contains virtually all federal, state, foundation, and corporate grants available to schools in the United States. Old grants are removed and new grants are posted on a daily basis. The one drawback to using this database is the cost — $397.00 per year. While relatively expensive, it still saves educators both time and money because of its comprehensive nature. First, use the free database provided by Discount School Supply®.  If you need even more grant information, go the database provided by The School Funding Center.

If you are looking specifically for federal grants, another good database to use is ED.gov Grants. This resource comes directly from the federal government, and it is free. It lists every federal education grant available to schools in the United States. It does not list state, foundation, or corporate grants. If you use this grant resource, you will still want to track down discretionary grants for schools.

If you are specifically looking for state grants, your best bet is to go to your state education agency’s website. Some of those sites include good grant databases that will help you locate current state grants. Others are not so good — or worse than that — and will take a little more work on your part. Go to ED.gov’s Education Resource Organizations Directory page to find your state education agency’s website. If your state’s site does not have “grants” or “funding” listed in its menu bar, type “grants” into the search box on the site to see if you can find listings that way.

If you are specifically looking for foundation grants, your best bet is to go to the Foundation Center. This organization lists thousands and thousands of foundations in its database. Many of those foundations offer grants to schools. The database is good for finding foundation grants, but the subscription cost ranges from $595.00 – $995.00 per year depending on the number of foundations you want listed in your searches. The more comprehensive the database you wish to search, the more your subscription will cost.

While you can find grant listings in many places, if you want to find all of the grants available to you quickly and easily, you will want to use one or more of the grant databases listed above. Remember, grant writers should use their time to write grants, not look for them. Save both time and money by using a good, established school grant database to locate the funding solutions you need in order to improve student achievement.

April & May Seem to Present a Unique Opportunity

I’ve been running The School FundingCenter for more than 10 years. In that time I’ve always tried to monitor how many schools were out there looking for grants at any given time. While I know that some schools may still be on spring break or have it coming up, I have never seen the activity on our database go this low. How could that be important to you?

As our economy has begun to recover ever so slowly, grant opportunities have increased. That means if more grants are out there right now, and less people are looking for them, it greatly increases your odds of securing some of this grant money.

You still have plenty of time to write grants for summer school, and this would certainly be a good time to begin writing grants for the fall semester. You’re just going to have to alter your thinking a little. Instead of this being the home stretch where you focus completely on getting to  the end of school year, you need to think of it as an opportunity to have plenty of money for next year’s programs.

I’m not suggesting that you neglect any of your teacher or administrator duties.I’m just saying that if you’re going to write a grant or two, you’ll never have less competition than you will right now.

If you are going to write several grants, remember the sequence. First, find the problem in your district, campus, or classroom that needs correcting. Develop a good, workable plan that will help you fix or alleviate these problems. Use a grant database to help you find grants that match up with your problems. Gather the materials and documentation that you need to demonstrate that you have problems and that you have ideas, strategies, and programs that will help you resolve those problems.

Then, write your grant proposal.  Make sure you beat the deadline for submitting them.

Working with a good grant databasewill help you quickly and easily identify the grants for which you qualify.  I’d like to recommend the use of the following school grant databases:

Discount School Supply(free and very comprehensive for the categories listed)

The School Funding Center(subscription fee, but the largest and most comprehensive available)

Ed.gov (free, lists only federal grants)

Grants.gov (free, lists all federal grants, not just those for schools)

Foundation Center(subscription, comprehensive list of foundation grants)

50 State Education Agencies (free, lists all state education grants for that state)

With the use of one or two of these school grant databases, you will make your task much easier. The time is right.  The competition is less.  You have April and May to make use of these conditions before you get out of school for summer vacation.  Let’s get started — today!

We’re in the money! Grant money, that is.

Discount School Supply has recently developed and implemented a searchable education grant database! We are excited about this new, FREE, valuable service to Discount School Supply customers.

By going to My School Grantsm and searching for a grant, you can find financial support available to you and your early education program! The database even allows you to narrow your search to your specific state and your specific needs.

Discount School Supply has also partnered with School Funding Center to provide customers access to a wealth of grant writing support. Once you’ve identified a grant that fits your needs, you can send an inquiry to School Funding Center. They will evaluate your situation and if it seems like you’ve got a fair chance at winning the grant, School Funding Center can write the grant for you—on contingency! School Funding Center is the only national grant writing company that writes grants for schools on a contingency basis. This inquiry is completely free to you and requires no commitment on your part.

Need advice on finding a grant that’s right for you? School Funding Center Founder Don Peek writes about how to get a school grant on his blog, How to Get a School Grant .