Join Karl Kapp for an in-depth discussion in this video Finding your funding agency: Private, part of Grant Writing for Education.
- Governments are not the only institutions that provide funding for educational efforts and initiatives. There are a number of private corporations, foundations, and groups that can be approached as well. One good place to start is with seasoned colleagues. Ask them at conferences, or within your own institution where they receive funding, or what agencies or organizations fund initiatives within your field or specialty. If your field has a trade show with vendors, ask some of the vendors if their organizations provide any funding or funding opportunities.
Also look at journal articles within your field. Often at the end or the beginning of an article, the articles will provide a credit line indicating the agency or organization that funded their research effort. One area that's often overlooked when thinking about funding organizations for education is corporations. A number of corporations have taken efforts to compile grant information in one convenient place for educators. An example is getedfunding.com, which is a free resource that provides listings of over 3,000 curated grant opportunities.
The mission of getedfunding.com is to help educators and institutions to uncover the funds they need to supplement their budgets and to expand innovative programs. It's worth checking out. Another website bringing together various school grant programs is called GrantsAlert. The goals of GrantsAlert is to help educators find and secure the resources that are available to them to educate students. Also, take the time to look for websites created by vendors that cater to educational institutions.
The large educational publisher, McGraw Hill, maintains grant information where an educator can learn about a number of different funding opportunities. The publisher, Pearson Education, also has grant information on many of its websites, and even offers grant assistance such as sample grant narratives, grant reviews free-of-charge, and answers to your school funding questions if you integrate their products into your grant proposal. Even corporations you might not consider can be tapped for funding.
Lowe's has a program called Toolbox for Education, sponsored by Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation. For the Toolbox grant competition, there's a preference for funding requests that have a permanent impact, such as facility enhancement, as well as landscaping or cleanup type projects. The retailer Target has grants for the arts and the study of design in many schools. Many pharmaceutical companies provide educational grants for live educational activities, as well as educational publications and other types of materials like an interactive website.
These are just a few examples. Hundreds and hundreds of corporations have foundations. Find a large corporation in your area, and check out their website, or approach a store manager. You can even tap larger international firms by checking out their websites, looking for links to their foundations, and learning about grant opportunities that they provide. Another great place to look for funding is from private foundations. There are well-known foundations such as the Kauffman Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but there are many more as well.
One place that brings thousands of foundation funders together in a single location is the Foundation Center. It's a resource for information about philanthropy worldwide. The Foundation Center maintains a comprehensive database on US and global grant makers and their grants. Not all the grants or grant makers in the database are educationally focused, but a large number of them are. If you're serious about pursuing foundations for funding, and are willing to pay for some curation of grants and grant makers, this is the place to look.
Also at this site, you can subscribe to the Philanthropy News Digest, which sends out both a newsletter and an RFP Bulletin on a weekly basis. If you happen to belong to a teacher's union, or professional organization, don't overlook these organizations as potential sources of funding. For example, The National Education Association, NEA, has a foundation called The NEA Foundation, which supports new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning.
Their goal is to fund and share successful strategies to educate and prepare students for bright and rewarding futures. The American Federation of Teachers, AFT, also has funding available for various educational initiatives. Go to the website and search for grants. One such funding initiative is the AFT Innovation Fund. The fund is focused on producing innovations in schools, school districts, and communities that can be shared nationally. As you can see, there are many, many private sources for funding your educational grant requests.
What you need to do is research. Visit some of these sites, find sites on your own, and build a list all the potential funders who might match your idea. As someone seeking funding, it's in your best interest to explore all the funding options to successfully match your project with the right funding agency.
- Finding a private or governmental funding agency
- Locating collaborators
- Understanding an RFP
- Dissecting the anatomy of a grant proposal: front matter to appendices
- Avoiding common grant-writing mistakes