Grant Writing 101: Getting Your Hands On Good Stuff

By Stacey Burt on August 17, 2009

Face it you’ve got great, no stellar, ideas for classroom instruction this year. Think about what you would provide for your students if money wasn’t an issue. Go ahead, the sky is the limit, dream BIG. I bet instruction could get exponentially more engaging. Acquiring tools, resources, and materials for our students can present quite a challenge. With ever-changing state budgets and limited funds, money can be scarce. Armed with enough how-to-knowledge, grant writing can provide the answer. I’d like to share a couple grant resources and writing tips with you in this week’s blog.

Years ago I was very reluctant to even attempt grant writing. I was concerned about things like; locating grant opportunities, how to write a grant, and being embarrassed if my proposal wasn’t chosen. Finally, I realized that I was crazy for not attempting to get in on the opportunities that grant money could provide for my students. I wrote my first grant and was rejected. Down, but not out, I wrote my second grant proposal. This time I consulted colleagues in the building that I knew had received grants in the past, and got input, lots and lots of input. It proved fruitful. My first grant was funded and I was able to put 9 GPS units into the hands of my students. Navigation, geography, triangulation, and physical science had just gotten a lot more exciting for my students.

School 2008-2009 250

I have prepared a list of things to consider when writing a grant proposal. These are my “top 6” to-dos when grant writing and what I consider every time I sit down to sell one of my ideas.

  1. Make a wish list-
    Do it. List by content area all of the items you’d like to purchase for your students. From technology to math and language arts manipulatives, knowing what you want ahead of time will help facilitate the writing process when you hear about the grant that has a deadline of less than 24 hours.

  2. Know the guidelines of the grant-
    What is the focus of the grant? Math? Science? Technology? Service-learning? Keeping in mind what the grant provider is looking for is crucial. Can your name be on the grant, and if so where, only the cover page? Believe it or not, this one completely eliminated me from a grant proposal I submitted last year. It was a great grant too. That’s what I get for not reading the fine print.

  3. Consult with a colleague-
    From brainstorming to reading the final draft, it’s always better to let another set of eyes take a peek at your masterpiece. Some grants even require that more than one person be included in the writing process.

  4. Catchy title-
    Engage your reader. You could have the best idea in the world and the title could leave it a little flat. Grant readers are supposed to read every grant in a cycle; however, I happen to know per a “reader of grants” that if the title doesn’t do anything for him, then it can be torturous to continue reading.

  5. Know the deadlines-
    Sounds obvious I know, but deadlines have a way of sneaking up on us. If you have some sort of electronic way to remind yourself of upcoming deadlines, I would begin to include your grant deadlines in that list as well.

  6. Bigger is better-
    The larger the number of students impacted by your proposal the greater your chances of getting the grant. Also keep in mind that including special or underserved populations is also a great idea. Diversity is key.

Finally, I would like to include a link to the Dell website that lists, by month, grants (with deadlines) that are available specifically for educators. The page is for the 2009-2010 year. I just love this resource. There are even grants specifically for kids only (check out the Do Something link). I am also including another link to grants available to classroom teachers. I will post updates as I locate more resources. Also, please feel free to share any resources or best practices you know of for grant writing. You can so do this! Now get out there and go put your hands on some good stuff for your students!



http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/solutions/public/Tools/K12_Grants_Calendar.pdf http://www.topteachingresources.com/grants_funding.php?page=1


Happy Writing,
Stacey

Comments

Thank you for the grant writing tips! One thing I wish I knew more about was grant writing, and with your advice I wish to give it a try!

That's awesome Becky!

Please let me know if about the grants you receive. Good luck and have fun with it!

Cheers-

Stacey

Hi Stacey,

Thank you so much for the grant Writing advice. I have taught for 12 years and always have been hesitant to try. Your encouragement is appreciated. Now I can't wait to stat my wish list!

Thanks. Teri

Teri-

I am so happy that you are going to give a go! You'll find success I am positive. Please let me know about the grants you receive and any ideas that you can share with me...always searching for new grant ideas.

Have a great weekend-

Stacey

Stacey, I love the Grant Writing advice. I have received some great classroom resources through generous grant funding. Thanks, Cyndee

Hi Cyndee-

Thanks for posting your comments. The pay off for writing grants is so worth the time and energy that goes into the proposal. Congrats on the grants that you've recevied and best of luck on future proposals!

All the best-

Stacey

Thank you so much for breaking down the grant process. I have been writing grants for several years, successfully for my school and myself. I have always told teachers that a lot of the grant writing is about their passion for the idea and what you want or need. Your advice is so simple, but right on target to get someone started.I hadn't seen the Dell Calendar before. What a handy resource. Pat Gill

Pat-

I just love that Dell grant calendar. I was thrilled when a colleague shared it with me. Thanks for reading and responding.

Cheers-

Stacey

Thanks so much for the great ideas on grant writing ideas. This blog really helped me out!!!

Andrea-

You are so welcome. I hope that you get all of the grants that you apply for...best of luck! (I'd love to know which grants you get for your classroom this year! :O)

Stay in touch-

Stacey

Hi Stacey~ Thank you so much for sharing. You have provided very useful hints and resources. Thanks! Jill

Hi Jill-

You are so welcome. I know that there are thousands of other sites dedicated to providing links to grant opoortunities for educators. The Dell page just seems like a very user-friendly way to get started. Thanks for taking the time to post and I hope to hear from you again soon.

Smiles-

Stacey

Stacy, I think your 6 steps are wonderful! It is amazing how much money is out there and it is just a matter of time and a effort to write a grant. I remember how scarey it was to think about writing a grant. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Hi Laurie-

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree, the first couple of grant proposals can be intimidating. I hope you have complete success in you grant writing endeavors.

All the best-

Stacey

Hi Stacy!

Thanks so much for the grant information. I always think about writing one and never follow thru. The dell information is priceless.

Great Stuff! The grants calendar is a great resource. I always find it overwhelming trying to research grants. There are so many available but sometimes hard to find.

Janet-

I am glad that you find the calendar helpful. I definitely like the format that the calendar provides...very user friendly. Good luck with your grant writing this year and please continue to check back for future postings.

Cheers-

Stacey

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
top
RSS Subscribe ButtonSign up to get these great teaching ideas delivered automatically.Subscribe now >