The Top 10 List for Grant Writing Success: Tips for Novice Writer

Grant writing can be a challenging task for teachers, but with the right strategies and tools, it is possible to secure resources and opportunities for your students. Here are the top 10 tips for grant writing for teachers:

  1. Align the project with the needs of the students. Identify the specific needs of your students and tailor your grant proposal to address those needs. This will help you demonstrate the impact of the project on your students and increase your chances of success.
  2. Show a direct connection between the project and your skills. Share your qualifications and expertise related to the project. A few years ago, I aspired to establish an in-house yoga studio at my school. Why am I the right person to do this, aside from my wish? I had just obtained my 200-hour yoga certification, tried yoga with my students, and they were very eager to continue if we only had space.
  3. Choose a problem that you can resolve. When describing the problem you are trying to solve, focus on issues that you can realistically address with your project. The first question on an application is to describe the problem. The issue you talk about needs to relate to the project. In my case, I relayed what my students expressed about feeling very stressed both at home and at school.
  4. Share how the district or school leaders will support your effort. Demonstrate that you have the support of your school or district, and outline any resources or support they will provide for the project. My school leaders were supportive and allocated a vacant classroom to convert into a yoga studio and wrote a letter of support for my grant proposal.
  5. Demonstrate a clear connection between the requested funds and the supplies you are buying. Be specific about how the funds will be used, and provide details on the materials and supplies that will be purchased with the grant. Often, I am invited to serve as a grant reader, and I served in this capacity for the U.S. Department of Education, reading a million-dollar grant proposal. Even with a budget that large, there were times when I saw no correlation between the proposal and the requested funds. For example, with my project, I wanted to use the funds to purchase yoga mats and music. I did not list club t-shirts.
  6. Show how you will be a good steward of the funds you receive. Share any cost-saving measures you have taken, such as researching vendors or seeking discounts, to demonstrate your commitment to responsible budget management.
  7. Consider a partnership with a colleague. Collaborating with a colleague can help you leverage additional resources and expertise and increase your chances of success.
  8. Indicate innovative approaches to community outreach and/or family engagement. Share any plans you used that worked or existing partnerships and resources.
  9. Explain how you plan to sustain the program. Share your plans for maintaining the project beyond the grant funding period and demonstrate how the project will continue to benefit students and the community. For example, that you will remain with the district and that it is your wish to continue and expand.
  10. Include how the project will have an impact on participants. Outline the specific benefits of the project for participants and provide examples or data to support your claims.

By following these tips, teachers can increase their chances of securing resources and opportunities for their students through grant funding. Grant writing may require time and effort, but the rewards can be well worth it in the long run.

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