Capital Grants for Education

Capital grants are among the most difficult to apply for, but they can be important funding opportunities for schools and districts to improve services. Capital grants are one-time grants that are intended for large projects such as construction, land purchases, or refurbishment. They can also be used for large equipment purchases or vehicles and transportation.

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If your school is looking to apply for a capital grant, it is important to follow some rules. As we have discussed before, your introduction should give an overview of the project you want to fund and a brief overview of your organization. In the realm of capital grants, the introduction should also include information about the facility you want to improve with the grant. For example, if your district is applying for funding to purchase new school buses, the introduction should include information about current available vehicles, number of buses available, and the age and condition of vehicles. If your school is refurbishing facilities, be sure to include a brief description of the current facility (age, condition, and possible issues).

Former teacher turned grant writer Judy Riffle offers this advice in her blog post “Tips for Applying Capital Grants for Education:”

  • The introduction includes general information about the current facility, vehicles, and equipment and leads up to a discussion of the need of the new assets.
  • The problem statement describes the needs of the school and students and how the current assets hinder their needs.
  • The goals explain the aspirations that the school holds for serving students and goals for the capital project.
  • The methods briefly touch on how the school delivers services but primarily focuses on how the school will conduct the capital campaign, including how construction will proceed or items will be bought, as well as the activities being undertaken to connect current and future students to the new assets.
  • The evaluation needs to focus both on whether the capital project will meet its goals (such as achieving all city fire and safety code standards) and on how the improved items will serve students.
  • It is also important to mention if the capital grant will not cover all costs for the project, the need for future and additional funding, how the capital campaign is progressing, and where the school anticipates raising the necessary funds to complete it.

The structure for capital grant proposals is not different from applications for program grants; however, the approach and the facts you must provide are unique.

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