By Jesse Graytock
The NEA Foundation
As the October 15, 2014 deadline for applications for Student Achievement and Learning & Leadership grants approaches, we thought it would be helpful to share a few key grant writing tips that can guide you as you prepare your proposal.
- Know why you want a grant. Clearly articulate your short and long term goals, and explain what you wish to achieve if you receive grant funding.
- Build a proposal preparation team. Be sure to involve all pertinent parties as you assemble your grant proposal. This team will consist of individuals with whom you’ll be working on your grant project, including colleagues, administrators, school/district finance professionals, parents, and community members.
- Read and follow guidelines precisely. Address everything that is asked of you in the application, and avoid including superfluous items that are not required. Failure to adhere to even the simplest requirements could remove your proposal from consideration.
- Include an evaluation plan. Establish the way in which you’ll measure the project’s success by identifying interim and final benchmarks. Make sure that growth throughout the course of the project can be measured.
- Write clearly. Write in a manner that would make your proposal understandable to educators not necessarily familiar with your subject, grade, or geographic area. By all means, avoid using jargon or acronyms, since these things may be completely foreign to certain audiences.
- Proofread. Scour your proposal and make certain there are no typos, blank information sections, missing signatures, etc. Inability to proofread your proposal may lead to its rejection on technical grounds, regardless of the strengths of the project idea.
For more tips on how to improve your grant proposal, check out our Grant Writing Tutorial. If you have questions about the NEA Foundation’s education grants, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!