5 Easy Grants for School Leaders

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  • Peggy Downs

5 Easy Grants for School Leaders

Updated: Feb 29

You've got five minutes to read this blog. I know you are probably between meetings or waiting for a phone call. You've got NO TIME to research grants and try to understand complicated applications. But...you're interested in grants and would like to provide new funding for your school. Can it really be done?


In this blog, you will find links to five simple grant applications and a description of exactly what you need to complete each one. I will summarize each grant's focus areas and typical projects, and all the important details you need to decide if it's a match. I'll even provide a list of 40+ grants in case you can't find one here that works for you. All of the information I provide is publicly available and current as of the date of this blog post, but please check each website for updates. Things change!


How Easy Are These Grants?

When you start investigating grants for the first time, the variables can be overwhelming. I have done the work to screen out the more complicated grants so that you can get right to work. Are these grants really easy? Yes! Each grant in this list had to meet 5 criteria:

  1. Funding amounts of $10,000 or less are accepted.

  2. Applications are accepted year-round or at least twice per year.

  3. Application process requires basic documents, nothing too unusual.

  4. Application is one to two pages long or a simple letter of interest.

  5. Application can be submitted online.

You see a need. You have an idea. You want to write a grant. I've made it easy for you. Let's do this!

Grab your free copy of this list of more than 40 grants!

School Grants You Can Use

What Do You Need to Start?

Some basic information is required for nearly every grant. Be sure you have this available before you start filling out any application.

  • 501(c) (3) Letter

  • School mission and vision, brief overview of your school

  • Brief description of project requesting funds

  • Budget for project

  • School's annual or most recent budget

Watch for more details in each grant application description.


What Do You Want to Do?

You may already have an idea for a grant project, but it's ok if you don't. Brainstorm a list of problems your students or your teachers are facing. Which problems are urgent, important, or impactful? An urgent problem needs to be solved quickly. An important problem is connected to your school’s mission and vision, or directly affects student safety and achievement. An impactful problem affects a large group of people or greatly affects a smaller group. Those are the problems you want to address first.


Now, define the problem and what you want to do about it. Have you decided that your teachers need training in differentiation? Maybe your middle school students need a structured technology curriculum. Or you have teacher-leaders you want to develop with a strong leadership training program. Each of these ideas could be a great program for a grant. Choose one or two ideas to pursue and keep it simple.


What Should You Look For?

Now that you have an idea of your project, how do you find a grant to support your work? There are four factors to consider when you evaluate a grant. Answer each of these questions first to decide if the grant MIGHT be a good match:

  • Purpose - Does your program idea align with the grant’s goals and purpose?

  • Deadline - Do you have enough time to prepare a good proposal?

  • Funding amounts - Does the grant offer funding amounts that meet your needs?

  • Eligibility - Does your school qualify?

5 Easy Grants

Let's take a look at these grants in more detail. Click on the link to visit the website for more information.


1. After School Advantage Program (IGT)

https://www.igt.com/explore-igt/about-igt/global-responsibility/supporting-our-communities/after-school-advantage-program

Purpose: Through its After School Advantage Program, International Game Technology (IGT) strives to address the needs of underprivileged and at-risk children ages 5 to 18 with a meaningful and enjoyable learning experience during the critical after-school hours in a safe environment. A computer center must be supervised and may not be used for simple entertainment, such as playing video games. Efforts must be made to provide a well-organized and technology-based educational environment in which children can learn basic computer skills and use these resources to complete educational projects.

Deadline: Applications accepted year-round through online application

Funding amount: Varies

Eligibility: 501(c)(3); must have an existing after school program in need of a digital learning center, or a renovation of an existing center; serve children that After School Advantage targets, and have the staff and means to sustain the computer center once established


2. Burkle Foundation

http://burklefoundation.com/request-a-grant/

Purpose: The Ronald W. Burkle Foundation makes grants to programs that engage children in learning, advance scientific research, strengthen international understanding, foster worker’s rights, empowers underserved communities, and nurture the arts and architecture. Previous grants were used to fund youth outreach programs, health education projects for children and youth, teaching and mentoring programs for underserved children, and youth arts and athletic programs.

Deadline: Accepted throughout the year by submitting a letter of interest and project description

Funding amount: Varies

Eligibility: 501(c)(3)


3. The Charles Lafitte Foundation

https://charleslafitte.org/grants/

Purpose: The Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF) supports innovative and effective ways of helping people help themselves and others around them to achieve healthy, satisfying, and enriched lives. The foundation supports organizations working in four main areas: education, children’s advocacy, medical research and initiatives, and the arts.

Ways to improve teaching results include providing computer-based and technological education, promoting leadership skills, and offering programs about the arts. In addition, opportunities for ongoing education, such as research projects and conferences, promote continuing education as a goal for people of all ages. Within the CLF education initiatives, it supports programs that:

  • Aid students with learning disabilities.

  • Target at-risk populations and integrate all learners.

  • Provide equal access.

  • Offer quality programming using innovative methods.

  • Apply data-driven approaches.

  • Educate the whole child.

Deadline: Applications accepted year-round through online application

Funding amount: Varies

Eligibility: 501(c)(3)


4. Dr. Scholl Foundation

https://www.drschollfoundation.com/application-procedures/procedures/

Purpose: The Dr. Scholl Foundation is dedicated to providing financial assistance to organizations committed to improving our world. Solutions to the problems of today’s world still lie in the values of innovation, practicality, hard work and compassion. In general, the Foundation guidelines are broad to give us flexibility in providing grants.

Deadline: Between October 1 and March 1 annually; request application through website

Funding amount: Varies – typically ranges from $5,000 to $25,000

Eligibility: 501(c)(3), Must have at least 3 years of financial activity


5. Reiman Foundation

http://www.reimanfoundation.org/applicationguidelines/

Purpose: The Reiman Foundation makes grants in the areas of education, health care, the arts, and children. Previous grants were used to fund free admission for children and youth to art museums, educational initiatives, programs for student athletes with special needs, and arts education.

Deadline: Accepted throughout the year by submitting a letter of interest and project description

Funding amount: Varies

Eligibility: 501(c)(3)

Didn't find what you need?

Grab your free copy of this list of more than 40 grants!

School Grants You Can Use

Are You Ready to Write a Grant Proposal?

Set aside an hour to fill out the application and hit submit. Then start thinking about your next project. Once you get the hang of these, they're not that hard. Plan to submit several each school year because you won't win every one. But you might just win this one. Best wishes!


Share your experience with us in the comments below. Did you apply for one of these grants? What was your project idea? Did you win? We'd love to hear about it!

Recommended Resource

School Choice Roadmap by Andrew Campanella

You want your children to benefit from a great education. But every student is unique. One type of school might be a great fit for your neighbor’s child, but it might not work for your son or daughter. Across the country, many parents today have more choices for their children’s education than ever before. If you are starting the process of finding your child’s first school—or if you want to choose a new learning environment—The School Choice Roadmap is for you.

Written by Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week, this new book is an excellent resource to add to your leadership library. It will help you understand the questions parents have and could be a fun give-away item for your enrollment campaigns. Order School Choice Roadmap today.

Grant Writing for School Leaders

Do you have still questions? Not sure how to write a grant? Wondering about the long-term impact of grants? I’ve got you covered.



Check out my new series, Grant Writing for School Leaders.

  1. Start-Up Guide for School Grants (Answers to the Questions You Should Be Asking) – FREE e-book

  2. Charter School Grants (Save Time and Write a Better Grant)

  3. Grant Writing for Impact (Leverage Grants to Dramatically Increase Funding, Impact, and Credibility for Your School)

Each book in this series addresses a different level of grant writing skills. Just getting started and full of questions? Start with book 1. Ready to write your first grant? Choose book 2. Interested in learning how to develop a school grants program? Then book 3 is for you. Each book offers links to free resources to help you be successful with school grants.


Thinking about school grants? Grant Writing for School Leaders can help.

You can find all three books on Amazon. Shop now: https://amzn.to/2Nf2oCC


Important Note

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You pay nothing extra; any commission I earn comes at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Ready to learn more? Check out some of my most popular posts:

  1. Can Grants Help You Reach Your School Improvement Goals? (Yes - Here’s How)

  2. Top 5 Grant-Writing Books for Charter School Leaders

  3. Stop ignoring classroom grants (Here’s why)

Peggy Downs works with school leaders who want to leverage grants to dramatically increase funding, impact, and credibility for their schools. More info and a ton of free resources are waiting for you at:

www.peggydowns.com

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