by Kimberly McCloud, M.Ed.
- Research the company you are applying to. I read my husband’s subscriptions of Money, Kiplinger’s, Smart Money, etc. to look for companies that have a strong financial portfolio and have a philosophy about their grant foundations that meet the needs of the grant I am applying for. I then read up on as much information as I can about the company.
- Be focused on what you truly want. Give the grant your total commitment when writing it. Your passion for your proposal and your students will come through.
- Follow all directions on the grant form. Some corporations will ask you to send an inquiry letter before applying. Also, they may request a certain font size or limit your application to one or two pages. Whatever they ask for, be sure to do it! They will immediately disqualify you if you can’t follow their directions when applying.
- Give yourself plenty of time to apply. Write rough drafts before filling out application forms. Give yourself time to think and re-think your proposal. I write each grant proposal several times before I send in the one I’m satisfied with.
- Carefully proofread and don’t leave any spaces blank.
- Don’t be afraid to apply! Grants are much easier to apply for than you think! I cannot stress this enough to people. You will be amazed with the results if you only try!
- The more grants you apply for, the easier the process becomes. I started writing proposals for small amounts and then increased the monetary value of the grants I was applying for as I gained confidence in my grant writing abilities.
- Consider writing grants not only for your own classroom, but also for your grade level and school. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you have helped as many children as possible with the funds from a grant.
- Be sure to write a thank you letter to the companies that give you grants. Have your children write letters to thank them as well. Companies love to hear how much their donations mean to the teacher and students.
- Some companies will ask for your school’s tax exempt 501(3)(c) status and Federal Tax Identification number. This is easy to get from your school secretary or principal. Be sure to include this information if the company asks for it.
- Be sure to look for grant opportunities from companies in your own community. You will be surprised how many companies have grant opportunities but don’t advertise it. Don’t be afraid to call and ask!
- Consider joining a grant writing mail ring or website. I belong to the Teachers.Net (http://teachers.net/) grant writing mail ring, which gives me an opportunity to chat with educators about their grant writing successes and tips. There are also many grant writing websites you can subscribe to for a fee that list private and public grants available, which saves a lot of time researching grant opportunities. I am currently a member of SchoolFundingCenter.com (http://schoolfundingcenter.info). I was given this subscription by its owner, Don Peek, who contacted me after reading about my successes on Teachers.Net.
Feel free to contact me if I can help you with applying for grants. It’s incredible to see how they enrich and enhance the learning process for your students. It is well worth your time and energy.
Thanks to Kim McCloud for permission to post this information. Kim McCloud is a first grade teacher in Tumwater, Washington, who has written and been awarded 11 grants in the last two years.
Thanks to Barbara Jean Hicks for providing the information to ALSC Blog in the first place.