Thursday, May 19, 2016

Secrets About How To Get Your Grants Funded

Secrets About How To Get Your Grants Funded by A Word On Third

It's that time of year where some of us start to get thirsty for change. Our new ideas are taking over in our brains, and we want to make our classrooms a magical place! We are already looking forward to next year with big hopes and dreams. But...

IT'S GOING TO COST SO MUCH MONEY!!!!

Don't worry... that's what grants are for! I just wrote my first grant with some colleagues, and let me tell you... it was not that bad at all. I was really intimidated by the idea of writing a grant, but most grant applications walk you through what you're supposed to write. I know some people love websites like Donor's Choose, but I'm going at this from a different angle. I just applied to a grant in my school district. Many school districts and Parent-Teacher Associations offer grants too, and it's silly not to take advantage of them. Here are my tried and true tips for how to get your grant funded.


1. Collaborate.
If you work with others, you've got two or more minds working on the same project. Find your tribe, and get going! You have now doubled or tripled the amount of talent and wisdom working on writing that grant while simultaneously lowering your stress-level.

The extra benefit here is that your grant will impact more students. Price might go up (or it might not), but student learning will be more significant now. BOOM. More people are interested in funding you.


2. Use student data.
If you've got real-life classroom experience that can back up your grant use it. So, let's say you're writing a grant on flexible seating like I did. Ask your kids how many want different seating options and include that in your grant. Maybe you might take some other informal data. At any given moment, track how many students are standing at desks or sitting elsewhere. This is useful stuff!


3. Use outside data.
Plenty of research can support your claim. It's out there and it's been done before. Use it!


4. Offer to be a resource.
Can other teachers go to you for advice on the project you're looking to get funded? Now your district is more excited to fund you because you will be a teacher leader!


I've talked more in depth about this in my most recent Periscope video. I'll put it in this post when I get home tonight and can upload it to YouTube! For the next few hours until I edit this post, you can find my video by logging onto Periscope and following AWordOnThird. 


My extra secret tip, which I didn't included in my video, is to USE. OTHER. PEOPLE'S. LANGUAGE. Someone has already written some of this for you. Now listen up before you go crazy and copy and paste someone else's grant proposal. Don't do that.

I wanted to fund alternative seating, so in my proposal, I included some really well-written tidbits from the magazines trying to sell these seating options. Don't go and plagiarize, but pay attention to how things are worded. Some things will sound more professional and be more convincing than what you'd come up with on your own.  I can say that the kids will focus better on this seat, or that it will "improve balance, spatial awareness, and help kids burn excess energy." Which do you want to fund? Think about the item(s) you're trying to get into your classroom. Think about how they advertise the value of their product. Use that language in your proposal!

I hope that my tips help you fund your grants! Get going, Teachers! The hardest part is the first step!! Once you've started, the rest will come into place. Feel free to reach out to me if you need help too!!

If you had unlimited money, what's the first project you'd get started in your classroom? Comment below!

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