This series of tip sheets by Gary Carnow has been devoted on how to best write a winning proposal. Tips #1 to #37 will give you a great deal of detail to the various facets of the grant proposal process. I encourage you to check out the previous tips. Today’s tip #38 addresses how you go about researching and finding a grant program that might fit your need. For teachers who are first time grant writers, I continue to suggest that you search for smaller, community-based grants to gain experience in the grant writing process. For those pursuing larger government grants, you will need a district-level team empowered to write on behalf of the district.
Step One: Find. Apply. Succeed. – Grants.gov
As we focus on government grants, your first stop should be http:/www.grants.gov. Grants.gov is a clearinghouse for information about over 1,000 federal grant programs. The federal government grants approximately $400 billion dollars of grant awards each year. The Grants.gov website receives over 1.5 million visitors a week and distributes more than a million weekly emails to subscribers of its grant bulletins. The website lets you search grant opportunities on-line. The website is best described by its three-word byline: “Find. Apply. Succeed.”
The federal government provides grants from 26 federal agencies in various categories. You will find a link on Grants.Gov website to the various grant-making agencies. One such agency of course, is the U.S. Department of Education (http://www.ed.gov). The 26 federal grant-making agencies offer grants in 21 categories. Included in these categories are Arts, Education, Science and Technology, as well as 18 other categories. From Grants.Gov you can link directly to many of these programs.
Additionally, consider joining the EDInfo Mailing List. Go to http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/edinfo/index.html for information on signing up for one to two email messages a week describing federal teaching and learning resources and ED funding opportunities. Archives dating back to 2001 are also available so you can look at previous opportunities.
Step Two: Some Organizations Worth Checking Out
The National Grants Management Association (NGMA) does not award grants however provides its members with conferences and printed resource materials. You will find them at http://www.gma.org.
The Foundation Center
The Foundation Center’s website helps you locate grantmakers in your field, search their databases to see what is getting funded, and connect to help. You can easily lookup organizations and check statistics.
The Grantsmanship Center, located in Los Angeles and on the web at http://www.tgci.com/ was the first center ever to offer a grantsmanship training program. The Center was founded in 1972 by Norton J. Kiritz, the author of Program Planning and Proposal Writing, the most widely read publication in nonprofit history. The center conducts over 150 workshops annually in grantsmanship training. The Grantsmanship Center boasts a roster of more than 110,000 alumni, of which I am a proud member. New to their website are a variety of podcasts which will be of high interest to any grantseeker.
Step Three: Some of My Favorite Websites
Visit http://www.grantwrangler.com to lasso your next grant. This website provides a free bi-weekly email update on the latest K-12 school and teacher grants. You can subscribe to their free eNewsletter and a blog of recent articles. Grant Wrangler will keep you in the loop of what is available.
Web English Teacher, http://www.webenglishteacher.com, was founded by teacher Carla Beard. Although her career started in 1975 in the era of purple ditto masters, today she hosts a web site where beginning teachers can find guidance and experienced teachers can find inspiration. She calls it a “faculty library and a faculty workroom” on a global scale. A section of the site is devoted to grants, where to find them and how to write them. Check out the grants page at http://www.webenglishteacher.com/grants.html.
I also recommend that you check with your local educational agency, county office of education or state department of education. These institutions often create websites, grant newsletters, and other publications of specific interest to your local agency. For an example, take a look at the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Technology Assistance Project website for Grants and Funding at http://ctap.lacoe.edu/content/Grants_and_Funding.