How to Find Funding for Technology
A foundation’s guidelines may not specifically mention technology, but that doesn’t mean technology cannot be purchased as part of the proposed program or project. Funders are often more interested in supporting innovative projects enabled by technology rather than solely supporting technology purchases, equipment, or materials needed for success.
Effective proposals go beyond the purchase of equipment by pinpointing why certain technology is needed and how it will empower students. We’ve gathered several success stories illustrating real-life examples of how grants that did not focus specifically on technology were used to support technology purchases.
Success Story: Chromebooks
The $2,500 Grant Program—sponsored by Farmers Group, Inc. and Thank America’s Teachers—funds classroom supplies for kindergarten through grade 12 teachers. Jane Mouttet, librarian at Mesilla Valley School, won a grant for her “Reading for Research” project, allowing her to purchase four Chromebooks, a subscription to the World Book Encyclopedia online, and books that met the research needs of students.
Success Story: Internet Software
Grants from the Kinder Morgan Foundation support programs that benefit kindergarten through grade 12 youth and focus on science, mathematics, art, and music. The guidelines do not specifically mention technology; however, middle school educator James Boneck used the grant to fund an intervention program utilizing an Internet-based software system to help students learn basic middle school mathematics.
Success Story: ActivExpressions Pods
The Nickelodeon Big Help Grants, sponsored by the NEA Foundation, supported the implementation of ideas, techniques, and approaches addressing environmental awareness, health and wellness, right to a quality public education, and active community involvement. Suzanne Costner, a school library media specialist, used funds to purchase supplemental materials to Promethean Boards installed in her school. The grant supported the purchase of two sets of ActivExpressions voting pods, a Classroom Jeopardy set, and DVDs with interactive content. She was able to fund these purchases because the materials increased achievement scores while actively involving students with lesson content by utilizing whiteboards through interactive DVDs and pods to facilitate questions, polls, and quizzes. While the Nickelodeon Big Help Grants are no longer offered, there are many similar funding opportunities supporting the purchase of materials and technology to increase student achievement.
When seeking funding for technology, it is important to focus on the program and outcomes the technology will enable. If technology or equipment is truly integral to your program, it is likely to be funded along with your program. The result is the technology you need and an innovative program to maximize it.