Finding funds for new initiatives within your district can be a daunting task. It’s often necessary for schools to go beyond existing budgets in order to supply their technology teams with the resources necessary to keep up with the rapid evolutions in tech. Many of these schools turn to grant writing as an effective path toward funding outside their budget.
Education Tech Grants
An enlightening article regarding grant writing, Gaining Edtech Grants, by Emily Ann Brown of District Administration gives solid, in-depth advice on the process of writing your grants and where to send them. Below is a summary of Brown’s main points.
As the article discusses, grant writing can be an incredibly daunting process. Especially if the writer is a classroom teacher, assistant principle, or somebody where writing grants is not necessarily in their job description.
Something that may make this task more manageable and successful is to focus your time on small, local grants instead of the more popular—and sometimes unrealistic—options. Brown quotes Rita Oates—the former education technology director for Miami-Dade County Public Schools—as saying, “The idea is that local money is going to local choices.” Local sources, especially those within your same community, want to see their communities made better and their schools improved. Take note, however, that each grant you receive from these local sources will be substantially smaller than the popular grants, but the trade-off is the lack of competition and the realistic probability that you will receive some form of funding.
Another advantage of applying for smaller, local grants is the fast turnaround on the funding and the possible relationships that can be built and maintained for future opportunities.
Tips for Writing Grants
Brown presents a few helpful tips on writing your grant proposal that could make the difference between receiving funding or turning up empty handed.
• It’s a good idea to include photos in your grants, showing what needs to be changed in the school. This gives the funder a tangible look at where the money is going.
• Avoid simply giving a list of things that need to be bought/fixed and instead focus on a vision such as student engagement, teacher success, etc. Address the impact that the money will have on the school and students.
• Ground your proposal in research. Even if the reason you need funding is for an out-of-the-box idea, it’s a good rule of thumb to include research in some way or another about how the funding and proposed idea will benefit the school.
Want more tips on grant writing? Download our resource, Writing a Successful Grant Proposal, and be sure to check out our blog post, Advice for Nailing Down the Perfect STEM Grant.