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Peek's Perspective

Can I Really
Get Grant Money
For My School?

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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? Why do some teachers, campuses, and districts get so much grant money while others get little or none?

The reasons for this discrepancy come down to three things. Two of them you can control; and one you cannot.

[content block] Let's get the one you can't control out of the way first. Some schools simply qualify for a lot more grants than others do. If you have a large number of disadvantaged students in your class, your campus, or your district, it's a well-known fact that you will be eligible for more grants than if you don't. It particularly helps if more than 50 percent of your students are categorized as disadvantaged (usually measured by free/reduced lunch counts). Many, many granting agencies are looking for situations where their money can make a difference for these disadvantaged students. If you have lots of disadvantaged students in your population, use that fact to your advantage. Get as much grant money as you possibly can.

If your district doesn't have an abundance of disadvantaged students, don't despair. Just move on to the two other areas you can control when it comes to grant acquisition

The first way to ensure that your school or school district will be given more grant money is to employ a large, school grant database to find grants for which you are eligible. If you're relying on grant newsletters such as this one, Google, or some of the smaller grant databases, your search for grants will be handicapped. On the other hand, a large database that specializes in school grants will help you save time and energy by zeroing in on the grants for which you are eligible and should be applying. A strong grants database enables you to put your energy into applying for grants, not searching for them. You can sit around waiting on granting agencies to inform you of their grants, a printed newsletter that targets a handful of grants, or a Google search that will give you outdated information four out of five times you simply won't end up with the grant money you could have had if you had used a comprehensive school grant database from the start.

A school grant database is a perfect place to search for grants because on a daily basis new grants are added and old grants whose deadlines have passed are removed. Technology allows the information in a database to be kept comprehensive, fresh, and targeted. That's exactly the kind of grant information you need to get the grant money you want for your school.

To see one example of this type of database, go to my Web site, SchoolFundingCenter.com.

The third way to make sure your school get its fair share of grant money is to consistently and persistently apply for grants. Don't dismiss that simple statement, because thousands of schools every year apply for a grant or two. They get them or they don't. (And, more frequently, they don't). So they stop applying. To acquire grant money for your school, you have to be persistent when it comes to applying for those monies. Persistence "pays."

One more piece of advice that might seem like a no-brainer. You can't just use a grant database once. Remember, grants are added and removed every day. You should search for new grants at least every couple weeks. If you apply for ten grants, you may only get five of them, but if you only apply for one or two, I can guarantee you won't get more than one or two.

Getting grant money for your school is not that difficult. You may not have a large disadvantaged student population in your school, but if you use a comprehensive grant database and persistently apply for grants for which your school is eligible, you are sure to be rewarded with many of those grants.

Article by Don Peek
Education World®
Copyright © 2009 Education World

Originally published 02/05/2009


 

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