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How Do You Chose Which Foundation To Apply To?

The chances are good you have more than one project you’d like to get funded.  You might need to hire a guest speaker, to purchase science lab supplies, or even to bring in updated technology to support a new reading curriculum.  While it can sometimes be a challenge to decide which project you need funded first, you’ll want to determine the best foundation to approach for funding.

With more than 86,000 foundations that gave just a hair under $60 Billion during their latest reporting period… yes, that’s 60 with a “B”… there are a lot of funding opportunities for you to consider.  Here are three simple tips to help you begin picking the perfect foundation to fund a project for your school or classroom.

 

  1. How much money does your project require? One of the first things you should think about is how much money you need to successfully carry out your project.  Are you trying to get new computers for your classroom? Do you simply need a little money to buy a few classroom supplies?  Or do you have a really unique field trip or lesson plan idea you’d like your class to experience?  Obviously, each of these projects would require a different amount of money to complete. If your project only requires $500.00, there’s no point in applying for a larger grant.  Look for foundations that are offering grants for the activities you want to fund, in the price range you need.  Ask just for what you need, complete your project in a timely manner, and you’ll be on the road to building a great relationship with that funder!
  1. Make sure your project aligns directly with the interests of the foundation you’re applying to. Most foundations have very specific activities they’re willing to fund.  For example, a foundation’s interest could be in music education, community gardening, technology, or field trips. With as many different foundations as there are, you can almost be assured that you can find one or more that is interested in funding your project.  It’s important, though, to know a foundation’s interests before applying to it.  You certainly don’t want to ask for money to create a sensory room in your school from a foundation that’s only interested in funding science lab equipment!
  1. Local community foundations can be a great place to begin your search for money. When looking for grants, especially for smaller projects for your classroom, it makes sense to consider working with your local community foundation.  During the last reporting period, there were 750 community foundations.  So you’ll want to first check to see if your community has a foundation. If it does, sometimes it’s easier to get support from your community foundation because it has a vested interest in serving local nonprofit organizations like your school district. And according to the size of your community foundation, you may actually have less local competition for their dollars.

These three tips will get you started on your search for the right foundation to work with.  Once you identify the project you need funding for, you can begin looking for a foundation that has an interest in providing money for that type of project.  You may not need to go any further than your own community foundation to find support to get your project funded.

What kind of projects do you need funding for?  Please share a few of your ideas in the comment section below.

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