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Grant Writing

Considerations for Writing Education Grants
By Dawn Gernhardt, 3/13/13

Grants for education are more competitive now than ever. Consider that some funding sources might approve about 7% or less of the applications they receive. Often, educators (teachers, schools, districts, colleges) have to submit multiple applications—often revising after they receive feedback, if they receive feedback at all. It’s important to consider several factors. When writing grants, Dr. Katherine Hayden of CSU San Marcos’ College of Education, who has written and been on the review board of countless education grants, recommends the following.

1.     Consider how much time you have to devote to the grant writing process. This is a time consuming process, often taking several people part-time, or one person full-time to write.

2.       Be reasonable with your request. Grants are competitive.

3.       Make sure you align your grant with the funding organization goals

        a.       For example, if they are giving a grant for adaptive devices for the classroom, but you want a grant for iPads that will also be used by students with special needs, be sure your proposal lines up with what it is they want to or are willing to fund.

4.       Completely answer the questions that are listed on the application. Be explicit. Get to the point.

5.       Remember you may have to submit multiple times for the same grant. Sometimes you’ll receive feedback if your grant is denied; then you’ll have a chance to make the specific revisions and resubmit.

6.       Consider your goal or idea. If your idea is that you want to get a set of iPads or iPod touches for the classroom. So what. Almost every other teacher wants that, too. How are you being innovative? How can you get the funder’s interest? Just like any good writing piece, get their interest in the first paragraph. Sell it up front.

7.       Writing grants acts as a reflective practice to align your goals with the best interests of your students. Be prepared that you may not receive funds for the first grant you write.


Find information about grant writing examples and grant writing tips by following the links of the subpages below.