Will Your School Need Grants This Year?
By Don Peek

The faltering economy will likely make it another tough year for schools financially. Home values throughout most of the nation are still far down from where they once were. With property values down, less taxes will be collected. Some property owners will not be able to pay their property taxes because they haven't even been able to make their house payments.

Add to the property value problems the fact that cities and states aren't collecting as much sales tax or any other tax from businesses and corporations because of the slowdown in the economy. As a result many schools will collect even less money than they did last year while prices for fuel and many supplies stay relatively high.

The question is not whether you should write grants for your school this year. The question is can you write and receive enough grants to offset the shortfall that is almost surely coming. What can you do about it?

I suggest you do three things:

First, if you are not already using the free Grants 4 Teachers grant database, you need to begin using it today. The database will allow you to spend a maximum of your time filling out grant applications and a minimum of your time actually looking for grants that are a fit for your school.

Second, recruit and train several people to write grants at your school. You need to be working on a grant application at all times--in fact, several of them. A person cannot write his/her second grant until he/she writes the first one. Get other people involved so you can get enough grant applications out there that it will really make a difference.

Third, consider using The School Funding Center's grant writers. We write on contingency, so you will only risk a $500 up-front fee in order for us to write any grant for you. If you get grant money, you will owe us a percentage based on the amount of money you receive. If you don't receive the grant money, you won't owe us anything else.

There are just two keys to getting large amounts of grant money for your school. You have to make sure the grants for which you apply match up well with the needs of your school. And, you have to fill out enough grant applications, so that if you only get 25-30% of them funded, you'll still have plenty of money to cover your needs.

The bad news is that tough economic times are here to stay for awhile for most schools. The good news is that you can help address this problem in a positive manner with the number and quality of grant applications you submit this year .

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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