You know grants can unlock opportunities for your students, but you may lack experience and confidence as an application writer. The good news is, there’s more to effective grant writing than writing. By starting with smart preparatory steps, you can take a giant leap toward success.
If you don’t have a grant coordinator or director, assign a “point person” or committee who can vet grants. Include a variety of stakeholders to participate from the site and district level.
Assemble the information up front that you’ll need about your district or schools. Depending on what you’re applying for, this can include demographic data, state assessment results, each school’s Title 1 percentage, report cards, and attendance data. If you have survey data from your teachers, students, parents, and the community, gather that too.
Another detail, but a critically important one, is to make sure your application’s credentials are up to date before you submit your proposal. This includes your grants.gov login credentials for federal grants or your login credentials for state ones.
What’s Your Story?
Grant issuers want to feel their dollars are helping the recipient achieve something meaningful. Think of your story as exactly that—a story. What’s your desired ending, your goal for the year? How will getting the grant let you achieve it? How much money would that take? What could it do for your students?
Tell the story of how the funding you’re seeking fits your district and project. Be ready to describe exactly what you could achieve with the funds if you’re awarded them. Have a potential budget in mind that includes staffing, materials, transportation, and other particulars.
Partners Can Help You Win
Depending on your request, a local group can be a natural fit as your partner in seeking the grant. It could be a nonprofit, a boys or girls club, the local YMCA, or another local organization. Demonstrating community support adds gravitas to your request and increases your chance of success.