Grant FAQ

Where to Start

  1. How do I find a grant opportunity that will meet my classroom or school need?
  2. What is the best source for grant money?
  3. What types of grants are available to schools?
  4. Can I get grant support from organizations or publishers?
  5. Can I get grants for technology?
  6. How much money can my school get from a grant?

I Found a Grant; Now What?

  1. What do funders look for in a proposal?
  2. What are the key components of the grant proposal?
  3. How much time does it take to prepare a grant proposal?
  4. How long does it take to write a proposal and get a grant?
  5. What does it take to win a grant?
  6. Can the District Grant Writer help me with my grant proposal?

Tax numbers and data

  1. Where can I find my school's Tax ID number/DUNS number?
  2. The grant application asks for poverty statistics, ethnic makeup, and student achievement data for my school. Where do I find that information?
  3. What if a grant requires that the district be the applicant rather than a school or teacher?
  4. What does it mean when it says you have to apply through Grants.gov?

After applying

  1. What should I do if my proposal gets turned down?
  2. What happens when I find out my grant has been funded?
  3. What happens when the grant is over?

Grant Lingo

  1. What does in-kind mean?
  2. What are indirect costs vs. direct costs?
  3. What is private-school participation?
  4. What is the difference between "supplies and materials" and "capital outlay"?
  5. What is a competitive grant?
  6. What is a competitive sub-grant?
  7. What are matching funds?
  8. What do all these terms mean?

Where to Start

1. How do I find a grant opportunity that will meet my classroom or school need?

Please check our Grant Writer’s Twitter, it is regularly updated.
You can also check these sites:

  • https://www.edutopia.org/grants-and-resources
  • http://www.teacherscount.org/grants/
  • https://teach.com/what/grants-for-teachers/
  • https://www.donorschoose.org/
  • https://www.getedfunding.com/c/index.web?s@W3e4CTPXycqQg

2. What is the best source for grant money?

There is no one best source. To be successful, look to all sources for funding, i.e., government, individual, corporate, and foundation sources.

3. What types of grants are available to schools?

There are federal grants, state grants, private foundation grants, and corporate grants.

4. Can I get grant support from organizations or publishers?

Yes. Various organizations and publishers, including Scholastic, can provide you with key information on their products and services and you can add this information to your grant application.

5. Can I get grants for technology?

Some grants have a technology focus, such as Best Buy and Toshiba America Foundation grants. Sometimes you can include technology as part of an overall project – just make sure the technology is critical to the student outcomes. Some funders have very specific guidelines and restrictions about purchasing technology.

6. How much money can my school get from a grant?

Grant awards vary according to the particular program and funding agency or organization. Community foundations may provide grants of several hundred dollars, while federal grants may be in excess of a million dollars. Grants are not a means to fast money. The time period from application to award can be as much as nine months. And there is no guarantee that an award will be made. Every grant program has its own unique focus to address a particular need. From year to year funding amounts and program requirements are subject to change.



I Found a Grant; Now What?

1. What do funders look for in a proposal?

Funders expect clarity, conciseness and uniqueness in proposals. They also look for projects that meet needs and also focus on their stated priorities. Good writing skills are essential to successful grant writing. Extra care should be taken to avoid typographical and grammatical errors and strictly follow the funder's guidelines.

2. What are the key components of the grant proposal?

The most important components of the grant proposal are the statement of need, the proposed solution, and the evaluation or assessment plan.

Statement of need: This is where you lay out the need that your school has for this grant. The need is shown primarily through standardized test scores. Teacher and parent surveys are also important indicators of need.

Proposed solution: This is where you describe the specific steps that you will take to resolve the problem described in your statement of need. The proposed solution usually encompasses changes in classroom instruction, long-term professional development, and some parent or community involvement activities.

Evaluation plan: This is where you describe the assessment instruments that will be used to measure the progress toward solving the problem that was outlined in the statement of need.

3. How much time does it take to prepare a grant proposal?

The amount of time and work that it takes to prepare a grant application depends on the number of people on your project team. Most grants have 30 to 90 days from the time the application is released until the application is due. For larger, more complex grant proposals, this may not be enough time. Planning well in advance of the application release date can give you a head start and alleviate some of the pressure.

4. How long does it take to write a proposal and get a grant?

The time it takes to write a proposal depends on two key factors: your writing skills and the availability of information to be included in the proposal. Remember, grant writing is never done in a vacuum--collaboration with others is essential. You will need ample time to develop your idea, brainstorm with colleagues and experts, and do the necessary research to identify potential funders. And you must allow time for the writing and getting the appropriate signatures before the stated deadlines. It is not unusual for getting a proposal ready for submission to take three to six months. And, it could take longer. The time it takes from submission to the awarding of a grant depends upon the funding source. Some funders make decisions year-round; others meet at various times of the year to review proposals. Read the funder's application materials--they will give you a clear idea on when funding decisions are made. A period of six months to one year is not unusual.

5. What does it take to win a grant?

Many grant applications are accompanied by scoring criteria or rubrics. Read them carefully, because they will give you specific guidelines for creating a winning proposal. In the absence of a scoring rubric, read through the grant application and make a careful list of all the items you must address in your proposal. As you fill out the application, check off each item so that your proposal is in full compliance with the grant requirements.

6. Can the District Grant Writer help me with my grant proposal?

Our grant writer will do her best to help you. At times, she will be “on deadline” for very big projects and her ability to give individual attention may be limited. But please feel free to contact her if you have questions. She can be of better service if you contact her well ahead of your grant deadline.



Tax numbers and data

1. Where can I find my school's Tax ID number/DUNS number?

Contact the District Grant Writer, Caroline Ford, for these numbers.

2. The grant application asks for poverty statistics, ethnic makeup, and student achievement data for my school. Where do I find that information?

Contact your school based PowerSchool administrator, not the district office staff. You may also contact the District Grant Writer, Caroline Ford.

3. What if a grant requires that the district be the applicant rather than a school or teacher?

You must contact our District Grant Writer, Caroline Ford, if you are interested in the grant.

4. What does it mean when it says you have to apply through Grants.gov?

Only our District Grant Writer, Caroline Ford, is authorized to apply for grants through Grants.gov. Contact her if you are interested in the grant.



After applying

1. What should I do if my proposal gets turned down?

The first thing you should do is to ask for a written copy of the reviewers' comments. This is useful information to have so that when you reapply, your proposal stands a better chance of being approved for funding. Remember you have not wasted your efforts, you have learned a lot in developing the proposal and may have formed partnerships and made contacts that can help you in the future. Try, try, try again! Many excellent proposals go unfounded because there is simply not enough money to go around. Do not be discouraged!

2. What happens when I find out my grant has been funded?

You celebrate! Then:

  • Give your building Principal a copy of your email or letter from the funder.
  • Give the District Grant Writer, Caroline Ford, a copy of your email or letter from the funder.
  • Give the original written notification or award to Tracey Cline, Finance Department.

3. What happens when the grant is over?

Be sure you have completed all required grant reports and have sent a nice thank you letter (with pictures of your project activities, if possible!) to your funder. Then, go find and win another grant!



Grant Lingo

1. What does in-kind mean?

In-kind contributions are human and material resources that your school or an outside donor will make available to the project. These could be materials, supplies, space, volunteer time, or other donated good and services. Usually, it is good to have some in-kind resources as part of your project. This shows the funder that you are not asking for all the resources needed to carry out your project.

2. What are indirect costs vs. direct costs?

“Indirect costs” means overhead related to your project, such as administrative support, accounting, or utilities. Most small grants neither allow nor ask for indirect costs, but some larger grants do. The State approved Indirect Cost Rate (ICR) changes each school year. You can get this information from our District Grant Writer, Caroline Ford.

"Direct costs" are those costs (salaries, fringe benefits, contracted services, travel, etc.) that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other educational activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy.

3. What is private-school participation?

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), provides educational services and benefits to private school students and educational personnel, including those in religiously affiliated schools. These services are considered to be of assistance to students and educators and not to private schools. The reauthorized ESEA requires the equitable participation of private-school students and educational personnel in some of its major programs. Should you intend to apply for a grant that requires private-school participation, the District Grant Writer will assist you in meeting this requirement.

4. What is the difference between "supplies and materials", and "capital outlay"?

Supplies and materials: (1) Customarily, items that are consumed or expended in the course of being used; but in some purchasing terminology, all items except construction and services. (2) All property, including but not limited to equipment, materials, printing, insurance, and leases of real property, excluding land or a permanent interest in land. (3) Includes equipment and furniture costing under $500 per item, including maintenance supplies, textbooks, other reading materials, testing materials, food items, audio-visual equipment, computers, awards, trophies, general items, and non-food items such as napkins, plates, etc.

Capital outlay: (1) Capital outlay refers to purchases of fixed assets such as equipment, furniture, fixtures, buildings, and land. There should be an operational definition of "fixed asset" for each county, so that insignificant items, such as wastebaskets, which are long-lived but immaterial in cost are not included in the capital outlay budget. (2) Equipment or furniture costing $500 or more per item and having a useful life of two years or more. Includes building improvements, furniture, technology-related equipment (computers, audio-visual and copiers; software and videos costing $1,500 or more are to be considered capital outlay), vehicles, library books and other cataloged items, and other equipment.

5. What is a competitive grant?

These grants require schools to submit applications or proposals to obtain funding. Awards of funds are based on the merits of the proposal and the compliance of the proposal with the grant criteria. In a competitive grant the organization or agency often releases a request for proposal (RFP) or a request for applications (RFA). Eligible schools typically have 30 to 90 days to complete an application and submit it for funding. Applications are reviewed by a team of experts and scored. The top-scoring applications receive funding.

6. What is a competitive sub-grant?

Several federal programs direct states to make competitive sub-grant opportunities available, with the funding coming to the state. States manage the federal money and schools and districts apply to the state through a competitive process to receive funding.

7. What are matching funds?

Matching funds are sometimes required by funders, in the form of cash or in-kind contributions to a project. Usually the match is a percentage of the total budget.

8. What do all these terms mean?

Grant language cheat sheet:
http://www.eduplace.com/grants/help/grantionary.html

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