Find answers to the most common questions about eligibility, proposal guidelines, budgeting, deadlines, fiscal sponsors, and more.

Do I need to be a member of the National Education Association to apply for your grants?

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

I’d like to become a member of the National Education Association. How can I apply?

Here is information on how to become a member of the NEA.

Are there types of projects that are more likely to be funded?

Yes. We give funding preference to projects that incorporate STEM and/or global learning. The NEA Foundation also strongly encourages Education Support Professionals to apply for funding in any area.

Are educators who are not members of the National Education Association allowed to assist in the implementation of the grant project?

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

Am I eligible to apply for your grant programs?

If you are a current NEA member who is a U.S. teacher, counselor, or education support professional* employed by a public school, including public higher education institutions, then you are 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 include: 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.

I want to attend a conference that takes place before the official notification date. Can I apply for a grant and use the funds to reimburse my expenses?

No. Grant funds may not be used to reimburse expenses, so we can’t award a grant for events before the notification date. Applications that include activities or expenses scheduled prior to the notification date will not be considered. We encourage you to plan ahead.

Our whole study group wants to attend a conference that is related to our work. Can we fund this travel with a group Learning & Leadership grant?

No. Group Learning & Leadership grants 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 their knowledge with the rest of the group when they return.

When should I send my grant application?

We review applications three times a year. You can submit an application at any time, but 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 want to be notified about funding by April 15, then we must receive your application by the close of business on February 1. If we receive your application on February 2 or later, we’ll hold it for the next round with notification by September 15.

The posted notification date has passed and I haven’t heard anything from the Foundation. What should I do?

We notify all lead grant applicants via the email submitted on the application. If you haven’t received an email the Foundation by the notification date, please contact us at

My Student Success grant project is going to involve some after-school planning time. In my grant budget, can I include stipends for the educators who will be helping?

No. Student Success grants cannot pay stipends, salaries, or grant administration fees. We will not consider applications that include. Stipends are only allowed as part of a group Learning & Leadership grant.

I need materials for my classroom. Do you have any grants to help pay for supplies or materials?

Student Success grant funds may be used for resource materials, supplies, equipment, or technology. However, the proposed work and related materials should focus on students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. If your budget includes materials, they 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 resources that support materials-centered projects.

Does my budget have to total exactly $2,000 or $5,000?

Yes. Your budget 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.

If I have received a grant from the NEA Foundation in the past, can I apply for another grant?

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 like. However, you must submit a unique proposal; we won’t consider identical applications.

Do I have to designate a fiscal sponsor?

No. If you do not designate a fiscal sponsor, we award the grant to the lead applicant. In that case, 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.

How many grants does the Foundation award?

The application process is highly competitive, and like many other foundations, we receive more worthy applications than we can fund. The Foundation typically awards approximately 120 Grants to Educators each year.

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