Monday, July 27, 2015

Successful Grant Writing

Did you know that there is more money available through grants than you have time to write for? In the Education world time is at a premium, but still; it’s nice to know money is available if you have a little time. Teachers always need supplies, books, computers, iPads, software, science equipment … the list is endless! But, the possibilities are endless too.

I attended a course on Grant Writing at ISTE that was taught by Cheryl Abshire. Cheryl was full of motivating and practical ideas to get more money into classrooms. Here are the top 10 rules for successful grant writing:

1.     Most important. Follow the rules of the grant. There is a lot of competition and the grants that don’t follow the rules are automatically weeded out in the beginning. They aren’t even looked at.
2.     Students are #1. Share your vision of the impact this money will have on students and student learning.
3.     Know what you want and be knowledgeable about it.
4.     It’s okay to sound needy, but NOT desperate!
5.     Share what you have already worked to get and tried in your classroom, and what you have done that applies to what you are asking for.
6.     Many grants are given by corporations who are not in the education world. Make sure your writing does not contain educational jargon they might not understand. Have someone read the grant who is not in education.
7.     Use the format that the grant is asking for.
8.     Don’t submit late; it won’t be looked at.
9.     Get clarification if you have questions on the grant; call or email. Don’t be afraid to do a little positive Public Relations while you are at it.
10. If you receive the grant, make sure you share your results with the company. They may have more money to give and remember you.

There are some great resources to find grants. Our EdTech website has a page on grant writing with tips, tricks, and information of grants available found here. Cheryl Abshire also shared her website that has great helps found here.

One last piece of advice from Cheryl that I have personally found useful: volunteer to read grants. It is quickly evident what makes a proposal rise to the top.

There will be an online Grant Writing course taught through the Ed Tech Endorsement program. It starts Sept. 1 and will run through December 16. My goal as instructor is that at the end of the 8 week course, you will have a proposal ready to go and have a grant that you can apply for and receive. Information found here. (IMPORTANT: You can not register for classes yet, but will be able to shortly!)

I hope I have motivated you write a proposal and submit for a grant. You will never get money you don’t ask for.

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