Category Archives: Using a grant database

It’s Grant-Writing Time

It’s always a good time to apply for grants for your school. Several grants are always available regardless of the time of the year. If I were picking out the very best time to write grants, however, it would be at the beginning of the school year. Here are several reasons why:

1) You have all the data from last school year to determine what problems you had and what needs to be corrected. Why run the same programs and get the same poor results this year? If your math program fell further behind, if your reading levels were not up to par, if your minority students did not perform as well as your other students—all of these are reasons to change your programs and apply for grant money to fund them. You know if you have these problems by scanning last year’s data. Use that data to get the grant money you need.

2) More grants are available this time of year than any other. Fall is when a majority of state and federal grants are announced. You should be scouring the Discount School Supply grant database to see what grants are newly available at least on a weekly basis.

Yes, it’s true, many, many grants are available throughout the year as I said above, but it is also true that more grants are available in August, September, and October than at any other time of the year. Apply for several of these grants. You increase your chances of getting grant money by applying for multiple grants.

3) The beginning of school is usually hectic, but get past the first week or two, and blocking out time to write a grant or two will be easier now than later when things begin to pile up. Write grants before school starts or after things have settled down a little – after the first couple of weeks.

4) You can apply for grant money for the remainder of the fall semester, the spring semester, or even for next summer. You will never have as much flexibility as you do in the fall to apply for money, and, yes, there’s still time to get money for the fall semester.

I’ve listed 4 solid reasons that NOW is the time to write grants for your school. Start by spending some time in the Discount School Supply grant database. Find the grants that match your problem areas and write several grants early in the fall semester. There is simply no better time to go after grant money for your school.

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It’s All in the Numbers

I firmly believe that almost anyone can get grant money. It’s all in the numbers. Fortunately for most of us, you don’t have to be a mathematician to get grants. You just have to understand how numbers impact your chances of writing successful grants.

First, the more grants you find that apply to your problem area, the greater your chance of getting grant money. That’s where a good grant database comes into play. You should use a grant database regularly until you find several grants that match the needs of your school or classroom. The closer you can match your needs to the grantor’s purpose for giving a grant, the greater your chance of getting the grant money.

Second, as I’ve written several times before, the more quality grant applications you submit, the more grant money you will receive. That sounds simple enough, but many people just write one grant. They either win the money or they don’t. Then, they just quit. If you really want to impact your classroom or your school with grant money, you need to apply for multiple grants, not just one. Write two, three, or four grants. If you have a large problem, you may need to apply for multiple grants to get all the money you need.

Third, the more statistics you use in your grant application the better. These statistics need to apply directly to the problem you’re having. They should show exactly what the problem is and how bad it is. You might show that 60% of your 4th graders are reading 1.5 years below the national average by using the data from your last standardized tests. You might also include that the at-risk students from this group are reading 2.5 years below the national average. These statistics show that you know your problem, and you know that you have to fix it.

Finally, you will use numbers in the budget you submit with your grant application to show that you understand the solution to your problem, and you know what it will cost to fix it. The budget will detail the materials and/or personnel you will need to get the type of growth you expect. Again, this will show the grantor that you thoroughly understand the problem you have, but you also understand what you will need to do to fix that problem.

You may not be great in math, but you should be able to use numbers well enough to understand how greatly they impact your success in getting grants. Use a database to find as many grants as you can that match your problem. Write multiple grants to address your problem. Use statistics to show the depth of your problem. Use the budget in your grant application to show you understand what you will have to spend to correct your problem.

Writing grants is a numbers game. Be sure you understand those numbers and use them to get the grant money you need.

Have a Program That Needs Additional Funding?

Fall is always an exciting time for schools — new programs, renewed hope. And what would fall be without a glitch or two? Like the new, promising program that’s just getting off the ground… that you already realize is not properly funded. You know you’ll get good results from the program as it stands, but not nearly as good as you could get with some additional funding.

The solution?
Apply for a grant.
Not next semester.
Not next month.
Apply this week!

Don’t let a program that could really make a difference to your students falter because of a few thousand dollars that you can get with a few hours of intensive grant writing.

It’s not that unusual for a good program to be underfunded. A program might look well funded on paper during the planning stages, but you don’t really know how popular or successful that program will be until it gets started. You may have so many students show up for a new after-school tutoring program that you need five teachers to accommodate everyone instead of three. You may find that you that you need math manipulatives for a new elementary school math program that you thought weren’t necessary during planning. We once started a piano lab for our students in middle school and had to add both keyboards and class periods to take care of the huge interest.

Often you don’t even need a large amount of money. Sometimes an extra $3,000 to $5,000 can make a tremendous difference in the results you get from the program. For that kind of money, educators often tap into grant programs offered by local retail outlets such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, or Home Depot when those companies’ programs match the school’s needs. Local foundations are another excellent source for this type of grant money. For larger, longer-term money, you may want to look for state or federal grants to support your program. Of course, getting state or federal grant money is usually more involved; it takes longer to complete the application and to receive the money if you are successful in winning the grant.

So here’s the plan for the rest of the semester:
— Start looking closely at any program in your school that you feel could be very successful but is, at present, underfunded.
— Calculate the amount of money you need.
— Immediately begin searching for grants that fit the needs of your program.
— Apply for at least two or three grants to be sure you get most of the money you need.
— Start today.

Let me add one word of encouragement: For some strange reason, educators are not applying for as many grants this fall as they have in the past. They may be discouraged by the current economic climate, or they may simply be applying for fewer, larger, federal grants. Whatever the reason, your chances of getting your grant application funded have increased. If you start applying now, you can avoid a rush of applications that always come at the beginning of a new semester. Again, your chances of winning grant money are better right now than ever before!

Grant Name: Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards™.

Funded by: Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation & Children’s TYLENOL®

Description: Recognizing the need to raise the status and visibility of quality child care, the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation (TLLCCF) created the Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards™. These awards acknowledge the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality early care and education. Child care teachers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are invited to apply. Fifty teachers are selected for their commitment and dedication to the children they serve. Of the top ten recipients, one is selected to receive the Helene Marks Award. As part of the application process, each applicant is asked to design an enhancement project for the children in their classroom illustrating the educational, social, and emotional benefits from the project. A committee of early childhood educators and specialists review the applications. Award recipients receive $1,000 – $500 for the teacher’s personal use and $500 to implement the project. An award ceremony takes place each spring in Pennsylvania – hotel and transportation are provided for the recipients. The event celebrates the best and the most dedicated of our child care teachers.

Program Areas: Early Childhood

Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter School

Proposal Deadline: 12/4/09

Amount: $1,000.00

Telephone: 610-992-1140

Website: http://www.tllccf.org/pr_nccta.php

Availability: All States

Grant Name: Allen Foundation Health Education Grants

Funded by: Allen Foundation, Inc.

Description: The Allen Foundation Grants are limited under the terms of the foundation’s charter to projects that primarily benefit programs for human nutrition in the areas of health, education, training, and research. Priorities Include: To make grants to fund relevant nutritional research. To support programs for the education and training of mothers during pregnancy and after the birth of their children, so that good nutritional habits can be formed at an early age. To assist in the training of persons to work as educators and demonstrators of good nutritional practices. To encourage the dissemination of information regarding healthful nutritional practices and habits.

Program Areas: General Education, Health/PE

Recipients: Public School, Higher Education, Other

Proposal Deadline: 12/31/2009

Amount: $5,000.00 – $90,000.00

Telephone: 989-83205678

Website: http://www.allenfoundation.org/

Availability: All States

Grant Name: Finish Line Youth Foundation

Funded by: Finish Line Youth Foundation Grants

Description: Finish Line Youth Foundation focuses funding on organizations that provide opportunities for youth participation in the following areas: Youth athletic programs – Community-based programs addressing active lifestyle and team building skills. Camps – Established camps with an emphasis on sports and active lifestyle, especially programs serving disadvantaged and special needs kids.

Program Areas: Health/PE

Recipients: Public School, Higher Education, Other

Proposal Deadline: 12/31/2009

Amount: $1,500.00 – $5,000.00

Website: http://www.finishline.com/store/youthfoundation/guidelines.jsp

Availability: All States

Using a Free Grant Database Most Effectively

Getting something for free is always a treat, and the grant database access provided to you by Discount School Supply through MySchoolGrantsm would cost you $30-$40 per month if your school subscribed to one of the database services. But don’t take it for granted just because it’s free. Use the DSS school grant database to find as much grant money for your school or organization as possible.

The database is set up so that you make 3 choices before you search: your state, your type of school, and the type of grant for which you are searching. This narrows the number of grants down for you. Once you make these selections, you are scanning through only grants that are likely to be relevant. You’re automatically weeding out thousands of grants that are not relevant. If you’re looking for reading money in Alabama, you don’t care about the science grants that are available in Oregon.

That does not mean, however, that every grant that comes up in the search is going to be applicable to the problem you’re trying to solve. Now you have to scan the grant description for each grant to see if that grant is likely to apply to your situation. If it seems to apply, jot down that grant name or number and review the rest of the grants listed. When you finish scanning the description of each grant, you should have a small list of grants that you feel might be applicable to your situation.

Go back to those grant listings and read them thoroughly. If the grant listing has a live link to its website, go to that website and read every bit of information you can find about the grant and the application process. These live links are one of the very best features of the Discount School Supply’s free MySchoolGrantsm database. You can get complete information about each grant. In fact, you can often download a grant application from these websites.

To review:

  1. Search for grants using the state, type of grant, type of school to narrow your list.
  2. Read each grant description to see if that grant applies to your situation.
  3. Then, if the grant listing provides a live link to its website, use it to get complete information before applying for the grant. If you’re not using these links, you’re not using the free grant database effectively.

Next time, we’ll discuss what to do if you still have questions after linking to the website or if the listing doesn’t provide a live link to a website.

CHECK THIS OUT!

Grant Name: Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation
Funded by: Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards
Description: These awards acknowledge the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality early care and education. Child care teachers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are invited to apply. Fifty teachers are selected for their commitment and dedication to the children they serve. Of the top ten recipients, one is selected to receive the Helene Marks Award. As part of the application process, each applicant is asked to design an enhancement project for the children in their classroom illustrating the educational, social, and emotional benefits from the project. A committee of early childhood educators and specialists review the applications. Award recipients receive $1,000 – $500 for the teacher’s personal use and $500 to implement the project. An award ceremony takes place each spring in Pennsylvania – hotel and transportation are provided for the recipients. The event celebrates the best and brightest, and the most dedicated of our child care teachers.

Program Areas: Early Childhood

Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter, Other
Proposal Deadline: 12/5/2008
Total Amount: $1,000.00
Contact Person: Lisa Kemmerer
Telephone: 610-992-1140
Email: tllccf@childcareabc.org
Website: http://www.tllccf.org/pr_nccta.php
Availability: All States