Posted by Membean
6 months ago

Finding Funds

As a teacher, you strive to give your students the best possible education that you can provide. This often means with the help of tools and resources that don’t come free. Finding the funding necessary to provide these tools and resources may seem overwhelming, but we’re here to help. There are thousands of grants and funding sources out there waiting to be snagged. Why not for you and your students?

We’ve compiled this list of funding sources to help. 

If you’d like more guidance after browsing these sources, please reach out to us at success@membean.com for our free Grants and Funding Guide. It walks you through the grant writing process, has tons of helpful tips, and even shows a sample Membean grant. 

Local Sources of Support

You can tap into local sources of support to get funding. You’ll face less competition with these local sources, which means you’re more likely to be successful. 

  • PTA/PTO: Many middle and high school parent teacher organizations help to fund teacher requests for instructional materials. Even if they can’t cover all of the cost, a pledge of $100 from the PTA/PTO makes an impression on a granting organization that you have a winning idea they should support. Talk with your parent-teacher organization to determine if this is a viable option for funding.
  • Minigrants: Minigrants may be available in your school district. Your principal, district language arts leader, or grants office may know about these. Even if your district doesn’t have a grants office, there must be someone with the title “grants coordinator.” In smaller districts, such roles might be combined with other roles an individual plays. Grants coordinators usually love it when teachers have done their homework in terms of preparing their grants document. 
  • Community Foundation: A community foundation is a public charity created by and for a community, supported by local donors and governed by a board of private citizens to provide grants. Find the one serving your area: http://www.cof.org/community-foundation-locator  
  • Local businesses: Is there a business near the school that would support your work with language and literacy? Is there a parent who owns a business or is a senior manager? You can call and ask or check out the business website and see whether they mention corporate donations. 

State Funding Sources

Your state likely has state-specific grant programs for special areas. Here are a few places to start. 

  • One quick way to check on state-specific funding sources is to search in http://www.Getedfunding.com and include your state in the search. Sign up for a free Getedfunding.com account to save your searches. Even better: you can sign up for alerts when new grants of interest are added to their database. 
  • Often the state government provides a website with information about grants they administer. Go to your state’s website for the department of education and search for “grants” to see what you can find. You could also email or call the state’s curriculum leader for English Language Arts to see whether that office has information about grants for ELA or technology-based activities. While they may not have funds to provide, they may be able to share information or point you toward someone else at the state level who could help you.
  • Don’t forget to check out educator associations in your state, too!

National, Foundation and Federal Funding Sources

Across the USA, many different foundations fund projects in classrooms and schools.  You can learn about the hundreds of thousands of foundations in the USA through candid.org

Here are a few programs that might be a good source for grant funding for Membean.

  • NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grant: The NEA Foundation provides grants for more than 150 teachers to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area. Preference is for NEA members and teachers in public schools in their first seven years of teaching. https://www.neafoundation.org/for-educators/student-success-grants/
  • Dollar General Literacy Foundation Youth Literacy Grants: Dollar General Literacy Foundation Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations in the 44 states where Dollar General stores are located. Grants should help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Grant funding assists in implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs; purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives; and/or purchasing books, materials, or software for literacy programs. https://www.dgliteracy.org/grant-programs/#ylg
  • National Companies: Is there a major company with a headquarters or a manufacturing plant in your town? Look at the company website under “corporate responsibility” or “giving” or “philanthropy” to see whether they have one or more opportunities for you. 
  • Federal Grants: All federal grants from different government agencies are posted in one location: www.grants.gov. Money for schools and students logically comes from the Department of Education. But other agencies also have money for various schools, including HUD, the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, NOAA, and others. 

Crowdfunding Sources

Need funds fast? Crowdfunding has gained popularity in recent years, and it can be the quickest way to raise smaller amounts of money for your classroom. Here are some of the many crowdfunding sites to check out.

*Make sure crowdfunding is allowed by your school district. A few districts have asked teachers NOT to use crowdfunding or to use only one specific site, while others promote it and even match donations.

  • DonorsChoose – www.donorschoose.org: Donorschoose reports that 84% of all public schools have one or more teachers who have used their site, and about two-thirds of requests are fully funded. Even though this is one of the most well-known crowdfunding sources, know that there’s a 15% fee charged to support the site added onto what you must raise, and if you don’t raise all the funds, you don’t get any of them. DonorsChoose is for public schools in the USA only. 
  • Adopt a Classroom – www.adoptaclassroom.org: Public, private and charter schools can be “adopted” by a business. Sponsors are matched to teachers based on sponsors’ objectives: key-business markets, curriculum focus, grade levels, or other sponsor criteria. 
  • Classwish – https://Classwish.org: Classwish is designed for any public, private, or parochial K-12 school, day care center, after-school program, community college, or youth nonprofit in the United States or UK. No fees except for standard credit card fees of about 3%; contributions are tax-deductible; more than 16,000 companies match employees’ donations. 
  • GoFundMe/Education – www.gofundme.com/start/education-fundraising: Using the platform is free. A standard transaction fee (about 3%) allows for credit card processing and safe transfer of funds. Donors can choose to give GoFundMe a voluntary tip to help cover their expenses.

Other Helpful Resources

We know how much you care about your students’ success, and we commend you for looking into creative ways to secure funding👏.

Reach out to us success@membean.com for our detailed Grants and Funding Guide or to get more guidance on how to find funds for Membean. We’re always happy to help!