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Search Show Me the Money: Tips and Resources for Successful Grant Writing Many educators have found that outside funding, in the form of grants, allows them to provide their students with educational experiences and materials their own districts can't afford.
Learn how they get those grants -- and how you can get one too! Practical tips to help first-time grant writers get the grants they need. You have a great idea for a class project, a school field trip, a district-wide anti-bullying curriculum, a You dream of providing accessibility software for your special needs students, an after-school program for gifted students, a visual arts curriculum for all students, a But your school or district just doesn't have the money to make your dreams come true.
What's a teacher to do? Many educators, like Robin Smith, an educational technology specialist in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, have found that outside funding, in the form of educational grants, can provide the answer. The grant, awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, provided money for technology initiatives by classroom teachers.
At the time orI was teaching a multimedia class, and I used the money to buy advanced for that time equipment, including a scanner, a laptop computer, digital cameras, and software.
Research extensively to find the most appropriate funders for the project you have in mind. Assemble a team -- consisting of at least a researcher, a writer, a proofreader, and a typist -- to help with the application process.
The grant was for a technology training program for the teachers in our district, and it included using the FutureKids Professional Development Curriculumpurchasing additional computers and projectors, and paying for trainers.
Can you do what she did? According to Smith, "Anyone can do it if they're willing to put in the time and if they have decent writing abilities. The more writing experience you have, the better off you will be.
I had no special training or experience when I started. Experience is the best teacher and you should be prepared to not get every grant you apply for -- or even the first few you apply for.
But it does become easier as you learn what funders are looking for, although it's always very time consuming! Many grants for more than a few thousand dollars require a senior officer's signature to agree to implement the grant within the school system.
If you're applying for a government grant, you'll need permission -- whatever the amount. Before you even start the funding process, however, you need a project. The writing is much harder when you don't have a clear plan in mind and know exactly what you want to do before beginning applying for a grant.
Don't wait until you're faced with a grant application form before solidifying the details of your project! Begin right away with a written account of the project's: Document the need for your project with demographics, test results, and anecdotal evidence.
Identify the project's potential outcome. Make sure they are specific and measurable. Having this information in hand will make it much easier to locate appropriate funding sources -- and to complete the grant application when the time comes. And be sure to start the process early.
Experienced grant-writers say that, depending on costs and the amount of funding, it can take months, in some instances a year or more, before you receive any funds.
After you have a detailed picture of all aspects of your project, it's time to find the necessary funding. Start by searching online and library resources. You might begin your search with some of the resources in the Grant Resources and Grant Sources sections at the end of this article.
You should also investigate local government agencies, educational and civic organizations, and businesses as possible sources of funding. According to Smith, "the best funding sources are education-related businesses, U. Department of Education programs, state department of education programs, and philanthropic organizations.
Many magazines also highlight education grants. The Grant Match Rubric will help you determine how close a match various funders might be.Be realistic about the time and effort involved -- both in the grant-writing process and in the project itself.
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