"Many grant proposals are rejected because they do not meet the guidelines. For example, I've read proposals that required 30 percent of the funds allocated for professional development and [the applicant] only included 10 percent." — Barbara Bray, president and CEO, My eCoach, Oakland, Calif.
"Buy the same type of equipment whenever possible so parts are interchangeable and teachers can assist each other on projects. For example, if the same type of digital camera is purchased for several departments, the same type of battery charger and software can be used throughout the building." — Sheryl Hinman, English/journalism instructor, Galesburg High School, Galesburg, Ill.
"I started an ink jet/laser cartridge and cell phone recycling program (www.eagles.k12.mo.us/sullivan/elem) at my school last year. We've made approximately $1,000 — money we used to purchase an updated keyboarding program for the school — and we're helping the environment in the process." — Sharon Sumner, instructional technology teacher/specialist, Sullivan Elementary School, Sullivan, Mo.
"When it comes to grants, keep trying and don't give up. Some years I'm 50-50, some years I get nothing, and other years I get everything I ask for. There are too many variables to know why — you just have to keep going." — Betsy Norris, Title I reading teacher, Harris Middle School, Shelbyville, Tenn.
"Always have an updated wish list ready to go when the funding opportunity comes along. At Beacon, we are always talking two steps ahead — what do we need next? And have some boilerplate constructions of how you can sell your programs to funders. If you're constantly reinventing the wheel with every grant application, you will drive yourself crazy." — Chris Lehmann, technology coordinator, The Beacon School, New York, N.Y.
"Before writing to a foundation to request money, go to Guidestar (www.guidestar.org) to locate the form 990 of the charitable foundation run by a company you're interested in. Check out who received grants in previous years and what the amounts of those grants were." — Dan Lake, systems consultant/grant writer, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, Syracuse, N.Y.
"Funding from high-tech companies is often forthcoming if the requesting organization can make a convincing argument for how they will build good publicity about the donated technology. I call this "cash or splash." Though educators may not have much cash, they do have the opportunity to offer good publicity and to promote the effectiveness of products to meet educational goals. This is splash!" — Patricia Johnson, eduction consultant, San Jose, Calif.