Grants to Educators

We support new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning. Our goal is to fund and share successful strategies to educate and prepare students for bright and rewarding futures. We have learned that the best teaching methods come from our greatest assets: educators. That is why, over the last 10 years, we have awarded more than $7.1 million to fund nearly 4,500 grants to public school educators to enhance teaching and learning. To build our knowledge base and to uncover new, great practices in public education we invite all eligible educational professionals to apply for these grants. 

Deadlines for applications are due February 1, June 1, and October 15.

Frequently asked questions

Any 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. Educators 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.

Although you may serve public school students through a community-based after school program, parochial school, or in some other setting, you are only eligible to apply if you are employed (and paid) by the local public school district. If your school is listed as part of the system on the district's web site you are probably eligible to apply.

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 15th, then your application should be received by the close of business on February 1st. If your application is received on February 2nd or later, it will be held for the next round with notification by September 15th.

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

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 must address students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills. The grant should focus on deepening student knowledge and habits of inquiry and not on acquiring materials. To inquire about posting a project strictly for materials, please visit our DonorsChoose.org page. (We are no longer accepting projects for the "Double Your Impact" offer on DonorsChoose.org. Please check back soon for updates on our DonorsChoose.org parternship.)

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 agent the grant will be made to the lead applicant and the IRS may consider the grant personal income and therefore taxable. Fiscal agents 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.

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.

Student Achievement Grants

The NEA Foundation provides grants to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area(s). The proposed work should engage students in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection.

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Learning & Leadership Grants

Our Learning & Leadership grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes:Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research; or grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment.

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DonorsChoose.org

The NEA Foundation funds and supports educator-driven solutions to improve student performance. Through our work, we've learned that the best teaching ideas come from our greatest assets, educators. Teachers have great ideas to help their students learn more, but often lack the resources they need to bring these ideas to life. Last year, through our partnership with DonorsChoose.org, we matched public donations to support 1,500 NEA member requests for classroom materials, reaching 120,000 public school students. This year, with your help, we hope to reach even more.

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Special Grants to Educators

The NEA Foundation frequently partners with other organizations to offer grants for projects in specific subject, grade, and geographic areas. Find out if any of our special grants align with the work you’re doing, and apply for these grants through our normal Student Achievement or Learning & Leadership Grant application.

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