Six Questions to Ask Before Seeking Funding
It can be tempting to jump into the search for funding, but taking the time to ensure you have a clear vision, the right support, and the resources necessary to apply for grants can save you from a fruitless search. Before you begin your funding search, consider these questions.
Do you have a compelling need and a clear vision for a project to address that need?
It may be tempting to find a grant first and then try to come up with a project to fit the funding criteria, but this actually makes the application process much more difficult. If you don’t have a clear plan in mind, writing a cohesive proposal will be difficult. You also might not end up with the funding that fits your needs if you compromise your idea. You should have a well-defined vision for project that should address a compelling need. The clear need your project will address should be at the heart of your proposal.
Is there data to illustrate your compelling need and is it organized?
Having the data to back up your claims will make your proposal much stronger. The grant-writing process will also be easier if that data is organized and easily accessible. You don’t want to spend most of your grant-writing time searching for statistics.
Do you have support from administration?
Before writing a grant, it’s best to have support from your principal, superintendent, or school board. Many grants require a senior officer’s signature, especially if they are for larger sums. Your school may also have a policy about how much funding you can apply for before you need the administrative approval. School districts are also limited in the amount of state and federal grants that can apply for, so you will need to permission to apply for state or federal funding.
Do you have the staff to implement the funded activity?
It’s easy to get caught up in trying to find funding, and not consider what will happen after you actually receive a grant. Who will write the evaluations and final reports? Who will record and organize the data that shows your projects success? Who will implement the project and ensure it adheres to the specifications, budget, and timeline? Be sure you have the staff and time to successfully implement funding.
Do you have the expertise to write a grant?
If not, you may want to consider hiring a professional grant writer. You can also attend grant-writing workshops or even volunteer to review grant applications to get a sense of what the review process is like, what grants others are writing, and what a good and bad proposal look like.
Do you have time to write a tailored application?
You will likely submit proposals to multiple funders before your project is funded. Each proposal should be specifically tailored to the funder’s criteria and mission.
When you’re ready to start your funding search, GetEdFunding hosts a collection of thousands of grants and opportunities to help educators and institutions find the funding they need.