Funding Educational Improvements:
Many individuals choose to become educators with the dream of making the world a better place. They want to give back to society and make a difference by educating the youth of tomorrow. If you’re reading this, it’s more than likely that you had this very dream yourself.
Of course, this vision more than likely included having the tools necessary to inspire the next generation to build a brighter future—right?
Caviar Taste on a Tuna Budget?
Let’s say you have some really great ideas to improve your school, your class or create a new and exciting program to engage students. But in response, you hear “there just isn’t any room in the budget.”
You’re crushed—you were looking forward to making your ideas a reality, but the funding simply isn’t there. Most educators struggle with the same plight, wanting to do more. However, basic necessities take precedence over new programs, equipment or activities to enhance the learning experience.
Don’t Shoot the Messenger!
The administration struggles each year to find funds to support new programs, technology, supplies and other improvements. Unfortunately, after allocating funds to operations expenses, maintenance, utilities, security, supplies and so much more, there just isn’t any money left.
Operations and maintenance are obviously important and necessary, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
“It’s the administrations fault!” you might be thinking. “They need to manage things better or they just don’t want to spend the money for my program!”
But the administrators are educators, just like you. They also have dreams of making positive changes within your school. Remember, after all, you’re on the same team. Administrators try their best to work within the budget, but sometimes that means your program won’t be funded this year.
No Doesn’t Have to Mean Never!
When your students struggle, do you tell them it’s okay to give up? Of course not!
You keep encouraging and working with them until they succeed. Maybe it’s time to take a dose of your own medicine—get creative, and look for alternate methods to finance your idea.
Consider a Grant to Fund the Project
But wait, isn’t grant writing hard?
Most people have the idea that grant writing is extremely difficult. In truth, it is only hard in that it is something that you have never done before. But where do you start?
Before beginning your grant search, you should develop an overall vision of your program. Your vision should be flexible, but should give the reader a basic outline of the project, including:
- Hopes for what your project achieved
Search for a grant that support your vision or idea, but be prepared to adapt your vision to the funder’s guidelines. If you can follow directions exactly, you are well on your way to writing your first grant.
In this series we will explore tips and tricks for successful grant proposals, as well as some currently-available educational grants. In the meantime, you can start exploring grants for educators—you may find one that is perfect to fund your project.