Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions regarding eligibility, proposal guidelines, budgeting, deadlines, fiscal sponsors, and more.


Yes. Lead and partner applicants for Student Achievement and Learning & Leadership grants must be current members of the NEA.   


Yes. Although the educators assigned as the lead and partner must be NEA members, non-members can certainly take part in the implementation of the project.

Yes. Funding preference will be given to projects that incorporate school farming, aquaponics, global learning, and/or the NEA Foundation’s online courses. 


The NEA Foundation also strongly encourages Education Support Professionals to apply for funding in any area.

Any NEA member who is a practicing U.S. teacher, counselor, or education support professional* employed by a public school, including public higher education institutions, is eligible to apply for a grant from the Foundation. NEA members in the Department of Defense school system are also eligible to apply. Full time administrators, such as principals, assistant principals, and school district staff, are not eligible.


*Education support professionals can be classified as: para-educators, school bus drivers, maintenance and custodial staff, food services staff, school nurses and student services workers, clerical and office assistants, school security officers, and technicians.

No. Grant funds may not be used to reimburse expenses. Applications that include activities or expenses scheduled prior to the notification date will not be considered. Applicants are encouraged to plan ahead.

No. Group Learning & Leadership Grants are to fund collegial study and funds may not be used to support travel costs or conference fees for more than one person. One member of the study group may travel to the conference and share his or her knowledge with the rest of the group upon return.

Applications are reviewed three times a year, so you may submit an application at any time. However, if you want your application to be reviewed for a specific notification date, then you must submit your application by the posted deadline. For example, if you wish to be notified about funding by April 15, then your application should be received by the close of business on February 1. If your application is received on February 2nd or later, it will be held for the next round with notification by September 15.

All lead grant applicants are notified via email. If you have not heard from the Foundation by the notification date, please contact us at

No. Stipends, salaries, and grant administration fees are prohibited in the Student Achievement Grant guidelines. Applications that include these expenses will not be considered for funding. Stipends are only allowed as part of a group Learning & Leadership Grant.

While Student Achievement Grant funds may be used for resource materials, supplies, equipment, or technology, the proposed work and related materials should facilitate the development of students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The proposed materials must play a central role in deepening student knowledge and habits of inquiry. If you have a proposed project that does not meet these criteria, we encourage you to visit our grant resources page for alternative resources that support materials centered projects.

Yes. The budget submitted with your application must account for the full grant amount. We do not award partial grants. You must also plan to spend all of the funds within 12 months of the notification date.

Yes. As long as you have submitted all of the required reports for your previous grant, you may apply for the foundation’s grant programs as many times as you wish. However, you must submit a unique proposal; identical applications will not be considered for funding.

No. If you do not designate a fiscal sponsor the grant will be made to the lead applicant and the IRS may consider the grant personal income and therefore taxable. Fiscal sponsors are usually non-profits, schools, districts, or local unions that can accept the funds without tax liability. Before you designate a fiscal sponsor, make sure you know the organization’s procedures for dispersing funds. You will have to abide by these procedures and should be sure you are comfortable working with that system. Find more information on fiscal sponsors.

The application process is highly competitive and like many other foundations we receive more worthy applications than we can fund. The Foundation typically awards 150 to 170 Student Achievement Grants and Learning & Leadership Grants a year.