Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thinking Grants for Educators in a Tight Ecomony

The Big Money is Going Away

A wise person once said, “Watch the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.”

In today’s economy with serious budget cuts the order of the day, corporate and foundation donors are tightening their belts, laying off employees and not making as many grants. They have also pared down the size of those grants they will still fund. The big money is going away. Schools and school systems that were getting grants are watching them disappear.

So, it just makes sense to “watch the pennies” and go for the small grants – the grants that are “classroom” grants, usually designed for one teacher/one project. These are grants that are too small for a grants consultant. And, most schools don’t have the luxury of a person dedicated to writing grants. Some larger school systems have a single grant writer whose job is to write grant applications for the system as a whole. So, getting school-based, classroom-level grants is really up to you – teachers on the front lines. A number of small grants will add up to big bucks for a single school. And “the dollars will take care of themselves.”

That’s why it is important look for suitable grants and apply … apply … apply.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Another wise statement that applies to the grantseeking process.

If you have followed all the guidelines and met all the requirements for a grant application, but you are turned down – don’t despair. It’s not personal. Get in touch with the program officer, thank them for considering your application and ask for a review. Ask how you can improve the grant application so that it will be competitive and may be re-submitted. Ask how soon it can be re-submitted. Often a grant application has to be submitted more than once – maybe two or three times – before it is funded.

Have you gotten your complimentary subscription to eSchool News yet? It is a good, free source of grant opportunities.

All for one and one for all!

Send me your questions and comments, please. What else do you want to know from me? Share what you have discovered out there on the grantseeking front. What you know will make each of us a stronger, more successful grantseeker. And that’s a good thing!

Sandy Spruill is the Grants Administrator at Georgia Public Broadcasting and a Member of the American Association of Grants Professionals.

No comments: