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Peek's Perspective

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 -- and to keeping it coming -- is consistency. In the paragraphs that follow, I will idenitfy three key areas where consistency counts when it comes to grants and grant writing.

[content block] First, to earn grants you must consistently assess school programs to identify weak or problem areas. You cant do that just once a year or several times in one year and then stop. Assessment must be regular and ongoing. Some programs garner poor results from the start. Others may be successful for a while and then falter. It goes without saying that every program you use, whether it relates to reading, math, science, after-school, service learning, music... must be regularly assessed to ensure youre reaching the goals you set. If you dont do that, you wont know you have problems and you wont have the statistical documentation you need to successfully apply for grants.

Second, to win grants you must consistently search for the grants that align with your school's needs. Grants are not all announced at the first of the year or the start of the school year. New and updated grant information is announced on a daily basis. If you are not routinely (and consistently) monitoring grant sources, youre going to miss some of the very best grant opportunities. You should look for grants on a weekly basis, or at the very least once a month, because many grants have fairly short deadlines.

Third, you must consistently apply for grants. Winning grant money is a numbers game. The more quality grant applications you put in the mail or send via the Internet, the greater your chances of winning grant money. Send in just one application and you may or may not be awarded grant money. Send in five applications and your chances have improved dramatically. Apply for ten grants and youre almost assured of getting at least some grant money.

There has never been more grant money available. Consequently, there has never been a better time to apply for grants. And the best way to ensure that your school gets its share of this grant money is to be consistent.
-- Consistently access the needs of your school.
-- Consistently search for grants that match closely with your schools needs.
-- Consistently apply for those grants over the coming weeks and months.
Then, and only then, will you consistently win the grant money your school needs to correct its problems, build achievement, and ensure success.

Don Peek is former educator and past president of the training division of Renaissance Learning. He now runs The School Funding Center, a company that provides grant information and grant-writing services to schools. Learn more about The School Funding Center at the bottom of this newsletter.

Article by Don Peek
Education World®
Copyright © 2010 Education World

Originally published 08/17/2009