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Peek's Perspective on
Grants and Grant Writing

The Fourth Step: Finding Likely Grants & Making the Call
Once you've identified those grants for which you want to apply, then your real work begins: you must find the ones for which you qualify and then read and reread information on the grants Web site and to get in touch with the grants contact person.

The Third Step: Finding Possible Grants
Grants for schools fall into three categories: federal grants, state grants, and foundation or corporate grants. Many educators attempt to locate grants by using the Internet or subscribing to grant newsletters. Those methods tend to be inefficient and end up costing time and money.

The Second Step: Developing Your Plan
When your school faces a hurdle to student achievement, the key is to build a plan that directly addresses the problem and has the greatest likelihood of success. When you are developing your plan, dont worry about costs. That will come later. For now, the plan is everything.

The First Step: Understanding Your Needs
If you aim to secure grant money, your very first step is to understand -- in detail -- your schools needs. A good needs assessment measures the difference between what you expect of students and what actually happens. The wider the gap, the larger the need.

Get All the Grant Money You Need: Seven Steps
There are no secrets when it comes to winning grant money. You can get your share of grants if you follow these seven steps persistently and consistently. Dont wait to start using this information: you should be applying for grants right now!

Create Your Program With the End in Mind
Can you capture in your mind a clear picture of the successful program you hope to build with grant money? Today, instead of wearing your statistician hat and working with assessment data, I would like you to put on your artist's beret and picture that final masterpiece.

Reading Grants -- Hundreds Are Available
Most granting entities recognize that schools are having trouble teaching reading skills to at least some of their students. Thats why more grants are offered for reading solutions than any other category. Hundreds of grants are available to schools in your state.

Writing Grants Is a Numbers Game 
Writing grants is a numbers game. But any school can win grant money. To get large amounts of grant money, you just have to understand how the numbers impact your chances of submitting successful award-winning grant applications.

Starting the New Year Right
While I concede that many New Years resolutions are broken within a few weeks of making them, I still think goals can help to give us focus. Thats why I think it would be extremely helpful if you would write down your school's grant goals for the year.

Evaluating Your Programs
With the fall semester coming to a close, its time to get serious about evaluating the programs you have in place. These evaluations will help you identify program strengths and weaknesses -- and tell you which programs need grant money to be repaired or enhanced.

How Much Grant Money Should Your School Receive?
Many schools receive multiple grants every year, but some schools never receive a single grant. Almost every school in the United States should be getting some grant money. The amount of that grant money will always be determined by three factors.

Have a Program That Needs Additional Funding?
Fall is always an exciting time for schools -- a new beginning, new programs, renewed hope. And what would fall be without a glitch or two? Like the new, promising program you know will get good results if only you could get with some additional funding.

You Should Be Applying for Grants -- Now!
While your school's grant-writing program should envision you applying for grants throughout the year, late summer and early fall are the best times of the year to apply. You should submit at least two or three grant applications by the end of the first grading period.

Consistency Is the Key
It is not unusual for schools to want or need grant money. Unfortunately, theres a huge difference between wanting and actually receiving grants. The key to getting grant money is consistency. I know of three ways in which consistency counts when it comes to grants.

Making the Call
One of the least utilized but most effective ways to increase the chances of getting your grant proposal funded is to make a phone call to the contact person listed for that grant. The more information you have, the better your chances of getting that grant money.

Three Big Hurdles to Writing a Winning Grant Proposal
Over the years I've talked to hundreds of people about writing grants. As I think back over those conversations, most of them seem to center on three big hurdles that grant writers face. Tackle those three hurdles and you'll be getting grant money before you know it.

How to Get an Edge on Your Grant Competition
To consistently win competitive grant money, you must have an edge on your competition. One easy way to do that is to make sure you thoroughly address every part of a grant application. Another is to avoid the use of fluff if you want to win grant money.

Closing the Gap: Your Ticket to Grant Money
One of the easiest ways to acquire grant money for your school is to find an achievement gap to close. Almost every school has some type of achievement gap; and many granting entities are interested in investing their money to help close those gaps.

Four Basic Steps to Winning School Grants
Winning grant money for your school is not nearly as difficult as many educators think. It requires work -- as does anything else worthwhile -- but if you follow four basic steps consistently and persistently, you will win grant money for your school.

Summer Vacation: Time to Write Those Grants
As a former educator, I have a true appreciation for the value of summer vacation. But summer vacation is also an excellent time to apply for grants; less competition means a greater chance of getting a grant request funded.

The Case for Writing Classroom Grants
I am a firm believer in encouraging teachers to write grants, no matter how small the sum. If used properly, grants of $500 to $2,000 can change a classroom as much or more than $500,000 can change a district.

Grant Money: The Reward for Good Assessment
Spring is a critical time for assessing programs you already have in place. The springtime assessment of your efforts to date is important information that will drive your next round of grant writing.

'Spring' Into Action: April Is the Perfect Time to Write a Grant
Spring is a critical time for schools and grant writing. Unfortunately, just when educators should have their keyboards smoking from turning out grant applications, many of you are shutting down your grant-writing activities as summer approaches.

Does Your District or Campus Need a Grant Committee?
Since most districts do not have one or more full-time grant writers, both districts and individual campuses can often benefit from having grant committees. Committees can do needs-assessments, gather supportive data, and even prepare quality grant applications.

Is Grant Money Still Available?
Several people have contacted me in recent days wondering if grant money is drying up because of the recession. Without hesitation, I can respond that it is not. My grant database currently lists more grants than at any time since its inception in 2001.

Another Way to Strengthen Your Grant Proposal
Another way to strengthen your grant proposal is to use a successful pilot program in your own school as a model for a larger program funded by grant money. To do this you obviously have to do two things first.

Delivering a Quality Grant Proposal
The grant proposals with the greatest chance of being funded are the ones that grant readers believe have the best chance of being successfully implemented. If you convince the evaluators you will be successful, you stand a better chance of getting the money.

Delivering a Quality Grant Proposal
Once you determine that you qualify for a grant, the next important step is delivering a quality proposal. Your proposal will be in competition with others, so the better the application you submit, the greater your chances of being awarded the money.

Does Your School Qualify for Grants?
It is no secret that some schools qualify for many more grants than other schools do. But what if you don't have a lot of disadvantaged students? Do you still qualify for grants? Yes, you do. Billions of dollars of grant money go to schools like yours.

Make Grants a Part of Your New Year's Resolution
Happy New Year! Why not start 2009 with some positive New Year's resolutions? And let's make sure at least one of those resolutions centers on winning grants for your school. I see three ways in which you might focus one of your New Year's resolutions on grants.

What Progress Have You Made?
Good statistical information is always important when you're applying for grants or evaluating an existing grant program. While some schools only gather statistics at the end of the school year, this information is far too important to wait so long to gather.

A Good Time for Foundation Grants
This time of year is one of the best times to apply for a foundation grant. In December, many foundations are still distributing money based on their 2008 budgets. Many of them have to give away a certain percentage of their money in order to remain tax exempt

Writing Grants With a Partner
The complexity of grant applications can be daunting to anyone -- especially if you've never applied for a grant before. Have you considered getting yourself a grant-writing partner? Even if you are both novices, the support may make up for your lack of experience.

Are You Filling Out Your Grant Applications Properly?
You may think that since you have a college degree -- or two, or three -- that you should be able to fill out a grant application properly. For the most part, I agree. But it's not really the application itself that trips most people up. It's their approach to the application.

Can I Really Get Grant Money for My School?
Billions and billions of dollars worth of grant money are available to schools in the United States. Some school districts in the U.S. get millions of dollars in grant money. Some districts get no grant money at all. What is the difference?

Setting Clear, Measurable Goals
It is imperative that you understand the problems you wish to address with grant money and that you clearly your goals and how you intend to measure their achievement. Clearly stated goals and procedures demonstrate that you plan to use grant money effectively.

Using Data to Define Your Problems
Unfortunately, it is not enough just to know that you need grant money. In fact, it is not enough just to identify the problems or needs that you have. To actually get grant money, you have to go one step farther and identify the underlying causes of your problems.

Getting Ready to Write Fall Grants
More grant money is available to schools during the fall semester than at any other time of the year. It doesn't matter if you are an experienced grant writer or an educator who has never written a grant, fall is the best time to write those grant proposals for your school.

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