The Right Way to Complete
Foundation Applications
By Don Peek

Most state and federal grant applications are similar.  That is not true of foundation grant applications,  If fact, you may be asked to fill out one of four different type of grant applications when you apply for a foundation grant.

1) A foundation may have its own on-line application.

2) A foundation may have its own paper application.

3) A foundation may use one of several standard applications.

4) A foundation may have no application and simply want you to write a letter.

More and more granting entities provide on-line applications. You simply go to their individual sites on the Internet and fill out the application while you’re on line. Normally, you can print these applications out to work on your narrative and budget, but you will actually submit the application with the information you fill out on line. This type of application certainly helps when dealing with deadlines. You won’t need to worry about getting a certain postmark or the grant application getting to the foundation on time.

Many foundations have their own paper applications. You can usually download the application from the foundation’s website and print it out. When the application is complete, you simply mail it or FedEx it to the foundation. Be sure to allow plenty of time for the foundation to receive your proposal before the deadline. Overnight mail does not always reach its destination when promised. You may get your money back from the post office, but your grant won’t be considered for that round of funding if it does not meet the foundation’s deadline.

Many foundations use a common grant application. The problem is that a host of these common applications exist, and you need to be sure to use the right one for the organization to which you are applying.

You can find a list of many of these common applications at:

or by Googling “common grant applications”.

Finally, some foundations don’t even use an application. You have to write a letter to them requesting funds. When you write that letter, however, I recommend that you include most of the information you would have had you completed a regular application. You’ll just put it in the form of a letter.

Foundation applications are usually the shortest and simplest. You should be able to complete several in just a few days if you have all your information gathered and organized.

You should always start your search for grants using the free grant database provided by Grants for Teachers at:

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.

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