Preparing to apply for a grant will likely be a recurring experience: you have an idea, you research possible funding sources, you discover new information, you revisit your original idea, you make changes and adjustments, and so on until you feel you are ready to proceed; or, in your search for funders, you might find ideas that you had never considered in the first place. Perhaps a local business is offering funds for a specific project that would fit perfectly with the learning objectives you have set for your students.For this task, take the next step and go online to look at the many grant possibilities that are available, and then determine the types of projects funders are seeking.Begin your Web Exploration with your project idea in mind, but dont hesitate to rethink this idea based on information you discover. The objective of this activity is to give you an opportunity to learn more about the grant-seeking process within the context of your own situation.To help focus your online efforts, consider the following guidelines:
Determine if the grant funders require partnerships. There are numerous options available to classroom teachers in terms of partnerships: local organizations; parents; colleagues such as a technology coordinator, other classroom teachers, or even a colleague on the Internet. Do you have potential partners for your grant project?
Is the funder offering enough money to cover your entire budget or will you need to apply for other sources of funding? (You probably dont have a budget in mind yet for your project idea, but you may have some understanding of what your “ballpark” figure might be.)
Make note of deadlines. Think about the amount of time it will take for you to complete the grant proposal. Can you submit a well-crafted proposal in the time allotted? If not, find out when the next deadline is.
Do project ideas you have in mind match the interests and criteria of the funding source?
Be sure to conduct a search for local sources of funding, such as the top 10 employers in your area and technology vendors. Some of the links in the folder below will help you find community foundations.
Put your information literacy skills to work by conducting some searches of your own. You may be surprised by what you find.
Identify other beneficial search tips that will help you during this process.
Staying abreast of available grants isnt easy. A corporation or organization that offers educational funding one day may not be doing so the following month or year. The resources below offer information and links that provide a wealth of information. Bookmark those that are most appropriate to your needs and check them regularly.
GrantStar.org. – Offers links to public, foundation, and community foundation grants
Education WorldGrants Center. – A great resource for teacher-friendly information on grants
eSchool News Funding Center. – A valuable collection of up-to-date grant information
Toyota TAPESTRY Grant Program. – Awards grants in three categories (environmental science education, physical science applications, and literacy and science education) to K-12 teachers of science
The NEA Foundation for Grants. – Provides $2,000 and $5,000 grants to public school teachers for the purpose of implementing project-based learning and break-the-mold innovations that raise student achievement
The Body, Heart and Soul of Grant Writing. – A first-person collection of resources and tips for successful grant writing
Private Grant-Funding Resources
The Foundation Center. – Will help you locate specific foundations
Carnegie Corporation of New York. – Offers grants in a variety of areas of education
The Toshiba America Foundation. – Offers grants in the areas of science and mathematics
As you probably discovered in your Web exploration, theres a lot of information available to grant seekers, and finding a good match for a specific project is a thoughtful and detailed processfar too much to complete in one week. Hopefully, however, the sources you have been exposed to will prove useful when and if you decide to pursue a grant opportunity.
evaluate some of the outcomes of your research and look at some next steps you can take. Then, write a paper that addresses the following:What websites did you find particularly valuable and why?What did you learn that might influence how you approach seeking a grant?What did you learn from your searches that surprised you?What difficulties, if any, did you encounter in trying to focus on a specific project idea?Did you find any valuable Web resources that were not in the resource folders? Why were these of particular interest to you?At the end of your Web exploration, how did you feel about the viability of your original project idea? Is this an idea you might want to pursue? Did you find some funding resources that might be appropriate?Describe your overall experience of searching for funding sources that match your original project idea. What did you learn that influenced the direction of your ongoing research? What sites offered information that was personally valuable to you? Did you learn anything that surprised you? Cite any URLs to support your comments.Describe what you learned through your Web exploration that might influence your approach to the grant-seeking process. Give specific examples and cite any relevant URLs.After your research, how do you feel about your original project idea now? Were you prompted to make any changes? If yes, explain why. If not, what did you learn that assured you this is a viable project?
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