Monthly Newsletter – April 2023April 5, 2023
Winning the Grant: Tips for Crafting a Successful ProposalMay 3, 2023
Are you looking to finance your STEM studio or makerspace? In this blog post, we’ll share tips and strategies for finding grants. Stay tuned for our next post, where we will look at strategies for writing grants!
Types of Grants
There are many different types of grants that you can apply for. Knowing the types of grants that are available can help you tailor your proposals and may open opportunities that you hadn’t considered.
Some examples of grants include:
- Classroom Grants: These grants are designed to provide funding for classroom materials, supplies, and equipment that are not covered by a school’s budget.
- Professional Development Grants: These grants are designed to provide funding for teachers to attend conferences, workshops, and other professional development opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge.
- STEM Grants: These grants are designed to support the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. They may provide funding for equipment, supplies, or training.
- Literacy Grants: These grants are designed to support literacy instruction in the classroom. They may provide funding for books, technology, or professional development opportunities.
- Environmental Education Grants: These grants are designed to support environmental education and awareness in the classroom. They may provide funding for equipment, supplies, or field trips.
- Arts Education Grants: These grants are designed to support arts education in the classroom. They may provide funding for supplies, equipment, or artist residencies.
- Special Education Grants: These grants are designed to support the education of students with disabilities. They may provide funding for equipment, supplies, or training.
Levels of Grants
The next thing to consider is the level of grant you want to apply for. There are three levels – major, mid-level, and mini-grants.
Major grants – These tend to be national in scope. They are the largest and most competitive and may provide funding in the range of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Major grants are typically intended to support ambitious, high-impact projects that require significant resources and collaboration. They also tend to have high levels of accountability and significant data collection requirements. If you are looking for a major grant, you may want to start with https://www.grants.gov/, a central platform for finding and applying for federal grants. Examples of major grants include:
- NEA Foundation – These grants are intended to support educators’ efforts to develop new skills and knowledge, strengthen their practice, and improve student learning. The program supports a wide range of professional development activities, including summer institutes, action research, mentoring experiences, conferences, and more. Grants range from $2,000-$5,000 and can be used for really any professional development-related expense, like travel, materials, and registration fees.
- National Teaching Organizations – Most national organizations support grants each year for educators who are part of their organization and are looking to implement new programs or technologies that support the organization’s mission and goals. Check out grants from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Science Teachers Association, and the National Computer Science Teachers Association.
- Nationwide Companies and Businesses – Many companies provide grant opportunities for educators. Check out Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Toshiba America Foundation.
- Crowd-sourcing – Some educators find success through crowd-sourcing like Donors Choose. Just be careful to check with your district policy before setting up one of these accounts.
Mid-level grants – These tend to be state or region-wide. Mid-level grants are larger than mini-grants and may provide funding in the range of several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. They are typically intended to support larger-scale projects, such as the implementation of a new curriculum or the purchase of equipment. You’ll still have accountability and data collection, but often not at the same level of scrutiny as your major grants. Examples of mid-level grants include:
- State Education Agencies (https://www.psea.org/for-members/member-resources2/awards-grants/)
- State Chapters of National Organizations
- Retired Teachers’ Associations
Mini-grants – These tend to be very localized, such as your local education foundation, school district, local businesses, and organizations in your area. Mini-grants typically range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and support small-scale projects or initiatives, such as classroom supplies or professional development opportunities. You’ll still be accountable to the funding organization, but your workload tends to be smaller than for major or mid-level grants. Examples include:
- Electric co-ops
- Banks/credit unions
- Local businesses
In conclusion, securing grant funding is an excellent way to support your STEM studio or makerspace, and there are many options available for teachers at all levels. By understanding the different types and levels of grants and tailoring your proposals accordingly, you can increase your chances of success. In our next post, we’ll delve into strategies for writing effective grant proposals to help you stand out and secure the funding you need. With a little research, planning, and persistence, you can turn your STEM studio or makerspace dreams into a reality.
Don’t forget to check out our extensive list of grants, organized by state, at stemeducationworks.com/grants.