Grant writing is challenging, but it can be a very effective way to bring new learning tools into your classroom or school. How to become an amazing grant writer? Here are 5 tips that can help you get started!
If this is your first time considering to write a grant, don't worry! First, look internally for someone who could learn to write grant proposals. It might be someone you hadn't thought of...even a volunteer. But, if you do feel that you need a professional, don't hire one because you think it is going to be an instant solution. If someone promises that, beware.
"Grant Writing is becoming more popular as funding decreases" said Technology Educator Jessica Pfau while she shared five actionable tips for successful grant writing. First of all, don't feel frustrated when you want to write grants, you have to keep applying and understand the process with the requirements.
Tip #1 Planning and Preparing your grant application
Ask your administration for grants writing and request permission to share this information with businesses.
Tip #2 Follow Proper Protocols even before you apply
prior to applying for a grant, is getting administrative approval and securing an individual who will implement the grant, ask for a "Pre-approval" request form from District.
Also, Understand the process grant application at your school/district
- Who order supplies?
- Do the supplies you're applying for require special processing or cataloging?
- Will other employees (IT dept) need to install new software?
- Is your hardware/software grant items on an approved list?
Adhere to district policy/school policy on income sources. (Money awarded can be denied)
Tip #3 Find sources and build a strategic list
It's important to be organized and be aware of deadlines. "I put deadlines of recurrent grants into my outlook calendar" said Jessica.
Consider what is "attainable" and "manageable" when looking for grants and applying for them. Explore some products here and get inspired to write your grant proposal!
Tip #4 Proof your application relentlessly
Find someone to help you edit for typos, math mistakes, and readability. Make sure to include the following 7 elements in your grant proposal:1. Introduction to the organization – Description of your school or agency
2. Project description – Include your project goal and solution, what you hope to achieve, funding level sought, and identify your population.
3. Needs – What problem are trying to address or correct?
4. Solution – The program you wish to purchase and why?
5. Project Plan and Activities
6. Budget – What the grant funds will be spent on.
7. Evaluation – How do you know if the program was successful in accomplishing your goal? Did it solve the problem that you identified?
Tip #5 Plan out implementation of the grant
Reach out to direct manufacturers for pricing or for special teacher deals, consider the life expectancy of a deal and don't forget the shipping and/or applicable tax fees.
- Be organized and timely
- Understand and adhere to the grant process of your district
- Choose grants that match your desired outcomes (tangibles, classroom supplies, software, hardware)
- Send thank you letters or emails
- Actively apply for your next grant opportunity, keep applying and stay positive!
Be realistic and optimistic, remain positive that your grant will get funded, Hang-in-there. Make changes and ask for feedback from other grant writers.