It breaks my heart when I see passionate school leaders and educators wanting to serve students but feeling hindered by a lack of funding or what feels like a lack of funding.
One of the ways I help schools maximize their resources with my consulting is creatively reviewing where money is already being spent and evaluating the effectiveness of those dollars spent. Often times, some simple shifts can have big results. But then there are times when there’s no other way to stretch the dollars and additional funding is necessary. In both my direct work and my consulting work I’ve seen direct contributions and in-kind donations be very helpful, but grant funding is often an overlooked funding source.
Grants, which are dollars donated to individuals or organizations that do not have to be repaid, can be used to fund small specific needs like a professional development conference, all the way to larger program objectives like purchasing computers or even vehicles. Most often these are made through larger federal agencies, but most non-profit organizations either benefit from grants or fund them for others.
In order to qualify, you will generally need 3 things. First, to be a non-profit organization. Sometimes private schools are eligible for funding, but the grant guidelines will tell you for sure. Next, you need to have an objective that aligns with the mission or the funder. These are generally very broad categories like education or community support. And lastly, you have to have a method for how you will do what you say you will and then verify that it was done. An outcome of some sort needs to be provided in general, but again these can vary from program to program. On occasion there are more specifications such as a certain location or serving a particular population, but if your program participants or objectives aren’t specifically mentioned as not a fit, it’s generally safe to apply.
The great thing about grants is that most schools have already met most of the requirements to receive the grants and because we have so much data, proving our outcomes is usually easy. While some grants do have complicated applications, the payoff can mean literally thousands of dollars for your students. When in doubt, consultants like myself, can support you in writing and evaluating your grants and even helping you to write the proposals for consideration. I’ve even had schools write my services into the grant so that they know they can afford the work we’ll be doing together.
Have you considered writing grants for your school? Check out these below and give it a shot! And as always feel free to request my support by completing our consultation request application.