By Don Peek It’s always a good time to apply for grants for your school. Several grants are always available regardless of the time of the year. If I were picking out the very best time to write grants, however, it would be at the beginning of the school year. Here are several reasons why:
1) You have all the data from last school year to determine what problems you had and what needs to be corrected. Why run the same programs and get the same poor results this year? If your math program fell further behind, if your reading levels were not up to par, if your minority students did not perform as well as your other students---all of these are reasons to change your programs and apply for grant money to fund them. You know if you have these problems by scanning last year's data. Use that data to get the grant money you need.
2) More grants are available this time of year than any other. Late-summer and fall is when a majority of state and federal grants are announced. You should be scouring the free Grants for Teachers grant database to see what grants are newly available at least on a weekly basis.
Yes, it's true, many, many grants are available throughout the year as I said above, but it is also true that more grants are available in August, September, and October than at any other time of the year. Apply for several of these grants. You increase your chances of getting grant money by applying for multiple grants.
3) The beginning of school is usually hectic, but right now blocking out time to write a grant or two will be easier than later when things begin to pile up. Write grants before school starts or after things have settled down a little – after the first couple of weeks.
4) You can apply for grant money for the remainder of the fall semester, the spring semester, or even for next summer. You will never have as much flexibility as you do in the fall to apply for money; and, yes, there's still plenty of time to get money for the fall semester.
I've listed 4 solid reasons that NOW is the time to write grants for your school. Start by spending some time in the Grants for Teachers free grant database. Find the grants that match your problem areas and write several grants between now and early in the fall semester. There is simply no better time to go after grant money for your school.
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.