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Grantee FAQs

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.

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

Grant applications focused on the following topics are most likely to be funded:

  • Enhanced critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Master of essential academic content
  • Communication and collaboration skills
  • Project-based learning and learning experiences connected to real-world issues and challenges

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?

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 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.

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

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 incurred prior to 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.

When should I send my grant application?

We normally review Learning & Leadership Grant applications three times a year. To have your applications considered for a specific notification, you must submit your application by the posted deadline.

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 neafoundation@nea.org.

My project requires classroom supplies and materials. Are those expenses eligible for funding through these grants?

Grant funds can be used for resource materials, supplies, equipment, transportation or technology. Although some funds may be used to support the professional development necessary to implement the project, a majority of grant funds must be spent on materials or educational experiences for students.

Grant funds cannot be used to pay indirect costs, grant administration fees, salaries, or for lobbying or religious purposes.

While we recognize there is a tremendous need for student devices, unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to fund proposals solely focusing on electronics such as laptops, Chromebooks or tablets.

If you have a proposed project that does not meet these criteria, we encourage you to visit our grant resources.

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 agent?

No. If you do not designate a fiscal agent, 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 agent, 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 agents.

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