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Show Me the Money!

Show Me the $$$

Unfortunately, finding additional funding sources for classroom instruction has become a reality for many teachers. In the past five years, funding for public education in Colorado has decreased by $1 billion...that's with a "b". At the same time, 21st century education continues to advance and classrooms without technology are at risk of falling further and further behind. To try and alleviate this, there exist literally hundreds of public and private grants that schools and even individual teachers can apply for. This page is a resource to help you do just that! Listed below is information concerning grant proposals, as well as tutorials on how to become an advanced grant writer. Also, the Quick Links section provides a list of grant opportunities to explore and hopefully apply for.

3 Easy Steps to Grant Writing

Step 1: Get Organized
The first step to writing an effective grant proposal is being organized. Much like we teach our students to generate an outline before diving into writing an essay, a grant proposal is no different. Think about what you want to say and how you are going to say it. Follow these steps to ensure you are ready to write the proposal:
    -Print the Request for Proposal (RFP)
    -Read all instructions, including intended goals and rubrics that will be used for evaluation
    -Create a manageable timeline and hold yourself to the deadlines!
    -Assign individual responsibilities (if working with a team)
    -Gather your data and begin writing

Step 2: Writing
As with any type of writing, trying to tackle it whole will only lead to becoming overwhelmed. Instead break up the proposal into sections.
-Abstract: Don't get too detailed here. That's what the proposal is for! Instead, be direct and enthusiastic.
-Introduction: Describe yourself and your school. Who are you and what do you do?
-Needs: Important to discuss why you need the grant. Use personal stories (your own or even those of students) to illustrate the need. Be sure you address the target population the grant will impact.
-Goals and objectives: The "Why" of your proposal. This is important. Specifically address the goals you have for the grant implementation and how those goals are shared by the grant maker. You want to ensure that the grant provider feels your goals are inline with the intended purpose of the grant.  
-Activities and personnel: The "Who", the "What", and the "How" of your proposal. Be sure to specifically address who the main actors will be during implementation and how these individuals will achieve the intended goals and objectives. 
-Evaluation: This portion often is glazed over by applicants. Its easy to do, but can hurt your chances of being awarded a grant. Be sure to specifically discuss how you intend to evaluate the impact of the grant. Be precise, collect data, and prove to the grant provider that your plan will be effective.
-Budget: The devil is in the details. This is especially true for budgeting. You can't afford to be vague here. Be specific, accurate in your projections, and reasonable. Don't "fudge" numbers, instead provide a detailed accounting of how you intend to spend awarded funds.  

Step 3: Final Steps
These are the editing and revision steps that are so often skipped. You're almost there but be diligent. Double-check that your proposal addresses the RFP and all other requirements. Edit your writing and make revisions. Be sure you follow the submission format exactly and all other directions. If the grant provider has requested two post marked copies, provide this!  Be diligent and professional.

Additional Grant Writing Resources
If you want to read more about effective grant writing, access sample budget formats, and see examples of successful proposals check out the links below: