COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants

In response to educators’ emerging needs, addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning, the NEA Foundation is offering three new grant opportunities. Grant guidelines for a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, including the criteria and timelines, are provided below.

  • COVID Response


The purpose of the NEA Foundation’s Rapid Response Funding is to support educator-led initiatives to adapt to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer months of 2020, for instance:

• Addressing the social and emotional needs of educators, students, and students’ families;
• Learning new pedagogy and/or adapting curricula to support distance/virtual learning and instruction;
• Addressing students’ summer learning loss;
• Preparing for the transition back to traditional schooling or adapting to continued virtual schooling;
• Supporting students’ parents’/caregivers’ efforts to support their children’s learning (via virtual class instruction or summer enrichment activities); and
• Meeting the nutritional needs of students who rely on school meals and school-based summer feeding programs.

Proposed projects must also identify and note how the proposed project addresses contributors to educational inequity and educational opportunity gaps.


These grants will be awarded for a six-month grant period beginning in May-June 2020 and for amounts of $1,500 to $5,000. Applicants requesting funding should be prepared to begin their project during the summer 2020.


To be considered for this opportunity, applicants must submit: a) a narrative of 500-1000 words describing the proposed project; and b) a simple project budget. The budget should indicate the total amount requested (any amount between $1,500 - $5,000) and the basic costs of the proposed project.

Proposals will be evaluated applying the following four criteria. The narrative and budget should:

• Demonstrate how the proposed activities will achieve one or more of the priorities outlined above
• Note especially how the project will support educator(s) in addressing equity and opportunity gaps exacerbated by the pandemic
• Serve high need districts/students. Please include the percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch at the school(s) they attend, and other relevant indicators of student need
• Include a simple but clear plan for spending the requested funds and demonstrate a capability/plan to put the funds to use quickly upon receipt


Applicants must be teachers, education support professionals, or specialized instructional support personnel and must be current NEA members. Current NEA Foundation grantees are ineligible for this funding opportunity. A successful proposal will also make an individual ineligible for other NEA Foundation funding opportunities, until the grant is successfully completed and closed out.

*Education support professionals (ESPs) are defined as: paraeducators; school bus drivers or other transportation staff; custodial and maintenance staff food services staff school nurses, health aides and other health and student services staff; clerical staff; security staff; skilled trades staff; and technical services staff.

*Specialized instructional support personnel (SISP) include professionals such as school counselors, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, library media specialists, speech pathologists and others.

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Deadlines & Notifications


The grant application opens Thursday, April 23 and will close at 11:59 PM Eastern, on Thursday, June 11. Applications will be reviewed on a biweekly basis:

The first deadline for applications is May 14, 2020.

Successful grantees will be notified of their status by June 1, 2020.

The second deadline for applications is May 28, 2020.

Successful grantees will be notified of their status by June 15, 2020.

The third deadline for applications is June 11, 2020.

All grantees will be notified of their status by June 29, 2020.

We anticipate that a maximum of $15,000 will be awarded in each of the first two rounds of funding, with up to $50,000 awarded in total over three rounds of grants.

Apply Today

Click here to apply for a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant

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