Grants, Where to Start

Grant Writing – Where do you start? 

  1. Who are you?
    1. Describe your organization. Remember to include community demographics.
    2. Assess your ability to implement, administer, complete and evaluate a project. Consider staff, facilities and community issues. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
    3. Complete a needs assessment; survey your students, parents, faculty and community.
  2. Why do you want a grant?

    1. Look at your needs assessment and SIP plan.
    2. Review the school’s Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) report identifying achievement gaps and academic weaknesses.
    3. Develop a list of goals and objectives you wish to address with grant funds. Identify target populations and justify relationships to goals and objectives.
  3. What will your program look like?

    1. What programs will you offer to address your goals and objectives?
    2. What research based methodologies and resources do you plan to employ?
  4. What do you need to run the program successfully?

    1. How many children do you plan to service?
    2. How many individual groups will you have? Is this a whole classroom activity? Are there several classrooms involved? Is this an after-school setting? Effective after-school programs recommend groups of 6-8 students.
    3. How many personnel will be necessary?
    4. Who will be responsible for what?
    5. What transportation, equipment, supplies and materials costs will you incur?
  5. How do you plan to evaluate your success and who will be responsible for the evaluation?

    1. Evaluation should include QUALITATIVE data (opinion surveys, interviews, attitude measurements) and QUANTITATIVE data (pre & post assessments, TVAAS scores, attendance data, failure rates, discipline data).
    2. Evaluations should be FORMATIVE (allows opportunities to reflect and modify as necessary for the success of the project) and SUMMATIVE (final overall evaluation that describes the progress made and overall benefit of the project).
  6. Sustainability, how do you plan to sustain the program beyond the funds?
    1. What structures will you have in place that will allow this project to continue beyond funding?
    2. How will the classroom, facility, or system afford to continue this project? What assets do they need (personnel, alternative funding, community support, expertise, business partnerships, higher education partnerships, etc).
  7. Now, what funding agency will meet your needs?
    1. Project ideas must be aligned with the funding organization’s mission, goals and strategies.
      1. Read previously funded grants from an agency if not clear of their interests.

Locating Data

  1. National Center for Education Statistics
  2. Report Card Data
  3. Tennessee Educator Survey
  4. Tennessee Data Downloads
  5. Clarksville Montgomery County data – City

TSBA District Data Dashboard

TSBA designed the dashboard to assist local boards of education in preparing their students for relevant pathways of success and ensuring that their strategic plans are not only focused on strengthening college readiness but also career readiness. The dashboard provides district and regional labor market statistics and district demographics and academic and financial data to assist boards in their planning process.

Why are Grants often not funded? 

  1. A poorly prepared application. Carefully follow the grant application instructions focusing on the requisite format and requirements.
  2. Request of funds fall outside the funding agency or foundations realm of interest.
  3. The grant applicant lacks integrity.
  4. The grant application does not reflect a clear, precise, and comprehensive analysis of the educational facility’s needs. Remember to avoid jargon, explain concepts.