Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Well-Conceived Idea, and a Solid Plan for Implementation… Can Pay Off… Big Time.

Every school, district, university and educational organization has been asked to tighten their belts, again and again. Making decisions to cut extraordinary programs and creative personnel is frustrating to say the least.

To try and regain control of the monies spent on these programs, consider a diligent (all be it time consuming) look at the ever-increasing number of private sector grants that may align with your vision. Your unique demographics, personnel, organizational structure or limited resources could even be a benefit when applying.

Susan Brooks-Young has compiled an impressive directory of timely grants that may give you impetus and ideas. They are posted at:techlearning.com/db_area/archives/TL/2003/06/fundingdirectory.html

Susan believes the funding landscape continues to change in these times of economic uncertainty, however, opportunities are out there for educators who have a well-conceived idea and solid program implementation plans. The above website will provide updates throughout the year so keep the address handy.

With the stiff competition for government and private sector grant funds, your educational organization may consider commissioning a marketing agent or a grant writer who has practiced skills in these areas. Here are a few tips that may help you today.


TIP #1: Form a partnership or consortium with other districts, institutes of higher education, or non-profit organizations. There is definitely strength in numbers! Many grantors are interested in funding proposals that have broad impact and are replicable. Partnerships and consortia address both these requirements and strengthen your proposal.

TIP #2: Include alternative financing options in your budget. For example, after years of shying away from equipment leases for technology purchases, many districts now find that this approach enables them to have more up-to-date equipment and keep up with a reasonable replacement cycle.

TIP #3: Partner with a business. This is not a new idea, but many districts are adding twists that reap funding benefits for them and their business partners. For example, by offering to pilot or beta-test a service or program or to participate in a research project, districts can often build in permanent discounts for the future. Or, they can receive slightly used product donations following major activities including conferences, sporting events, etc.

Source: Technology & Learning

What are the keys to writing a winning proposal? Gwen Solomon lets us in on a few tips with his "Deconstruct a Grant" article at; http://techlearning.com/db_area/archives/TL/200106/deconstruct.htm

And to browse and create your own search for grants, contests and other funding opportunities you may want to check out: http://techlearning.com/resources/grants.jhtml