By Don Peek
There are two kinds of corporate grants that schools should consider. The first is typically a fairly low-dollar type of grant, usually somewhere between $250.00 and $3000.00. These grants are often given by what are known as big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Best Buy.
These grants are unique in that they are given to schools and other non-profit organizations within the community of these stores. In other words, money is given back to these schools and organizations because they are customers of those stores.
These “store” grants are a tremendous way to get money for a low-budget project in a district, campus, or even a classroom. Never overlook these grants when you are searching for money. It is easy to apply for these grants, and you usually get the money or materials you need very quickly.
The other type of corporate grant is very much like a foundation grant except that the money comes directly from the corporation rather than its foundation. The application is going to be longer and more detailed than the store grant application, but should be very similar to a foundation application.
Also like the foundation grant, you will need to match your problem area very closely to the corporation’s reason for giving. They, too, have a philosophy behind the giving they do, and as with a foundation, you will need to thoroughly understand that philosophy and match your needs closely to it.
Always remember these two types of corporate grants when you’re looking for money. Even though you won’t get a great deal of money, the first type of corporate grant mentioned above is possibly the quickest, easiest grant money available to schools.
Don Peek is an expert in school funding. He has run The School Funding Center since 2001. Its database contains over 100,000 grants available to all types of schools in the United States. Don worked in education for 20 years as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent before becoming the VP then the president of the training division of Renaissance Learning, developer of the Accelerated Reader.