Finding the necessary funds to support your science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs can often be challenging, especially when the supplied budgets are barely enough to incorporate creative, technological initiatives within the classroom. However, this financial dilemma is no longer a factor that has to inhibit the delivery of any education. Grants are an amazing way to obtain additional funding that can ultimately help to evolve and transform all learning environments.
Research is key aspect of finding what grants are right for you and your needs. Every grant will have specific qualifications and requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the additional funding. Don’t give up if the first one isn’t right for you. There are plenty of sources out there willing to provide assistance, we’ve even listed a variety of potentials below. The process of receiving the grant is fairly straightforward as once our proposal has been accepted, you are simply tasked with completing the project and deadlines assigned by the provider.
Before writing your grant proposal, it is important to establish what project you wish to fund and the necessary items needed for success. Brainstorming with colleagues is a great way to identify potential resources and topics that can help support your proposal, as working in groups will often provide varying perspectives. Once you have created a general idea of items to include, adjustments should be made to ensure that only the necessities remain. After the modifications, you should have a specific list that outlines both the prices and product numbers of the equipment and services you wish to support with funding.
2. Finding a Source:
Grants are readily available resources that are often overlooked. They are provided by a variety of groups ranging from local organizations and school boards to large corporations and the government. The research aspect might be daunting at first, but majority of these sources make it easy for individuals by advertising the potential for funding through the internet. It’s important to keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better, many of the smaller sources are often forgotten and end up having extra funds. Don’t be afraid to apply to more than one source, as this will only increase the chances of your project receiving funding.
3. Reaching Out:
Every organization will have different objectives and guidelines for their funding criteria. It is important to take the time to establish which grants will best fit the your project, the amount of time need for completion and the submission period. Taking the opportunity to contact an Organization’s representative through email, call, or a meeting can be a great way to determine if a source is right for you.
4. Creating a Proposal:
A proposal ultimately represents the backbone of your potential funding. Without a strong foundation and direction, it can be very challenging to encourage an organization to provide support to your project. By incorporating the following advice, writing a grant proposal can be an extremely straightforward process.
i. Understand your source and their various guidelines by reading the instructions
ii. Select a format for your proposal that is easy to read and creates a natural flow
iii. Communicate distinct information in a way that is understandable and well-written
iv. Begin with a short summary to inform the source of your request
v. Propose a request that is realistic
vi. Provide all of the supplementary documents and materials
vii. Satisfy the deadlines
5. Assembling your Information:
Keeping the previously stated advice in mind, it’s finally time to write your proposal. When beginning your grant application, it is important to reference the following format that is generally accepted by most organizations.
First, begin with a title page that contains basic information (name, address, phone number, program, target of the grant, cost) and a short summary that briefly addresses the needs and objectives of the program. Secondly, convey the problem and how you plan to resolve said issue in a way that highlights the objectives and individuals being benefited in a compelling and inspiring manor. The point of this section is to establish interest and a desire to aid within the organization. Following this, your goals and objectives should be clearly defined in order to create motivation and devotion towards the program you are hoping to support. The funding source should feel intrigued and compelled. Now state your project’s action plan, outlining specific details on how you will meet your goals through the use of the stated materials and services. A crucial part of this section is identifying a timeline for the project, as it allows organizations to obtain realistic projections of a project’s ability to meet deadlines. Individual’s involved in the project are state next, outlining how their work will adhere to the needs of the project using the designated facilities, equipment, and targeted training. Finally, the last two sections consist of identifying success and establishing a budget. Establishing how success will be measured and supported throughout the project is a key aspect of conveying productive funding to an organization. Be sure to include requirements specifically stated by the source to target desired outcomes. As for budgeting, include all equipment and training being funded, accompanied by a detailed summary of the costs and precautions taken by the individual managing the financial transactions. Remember that the request should be reasonable and provide an accurate representation.
Finding funding that fits your program can be easily achieved by taking the time to research and apply your passion to discovering new grant opportunities. There are Organizations right now who wish to support your vision and provide the necessary resources. Remember to always exercises patience and thorough thinking when creating your grant proposals, establishing emotion and interest. Finally, it is important to understand that not all sources will accept your project. Take the opportunity to learn from their advice and reasoning to enhance your next proposal.