Finding Funding

So you’ve discovered a need in your classroom. You carefully studied the problem, researched solutions, and have decided on purchasing the latest, greatest, “whiz bang magic” piece of hardware to help your students. In a perfect world you would simply fill out a purchase order, have it approved by your administrator, and exactly two to four weeks later you would be the proud owner of a new engaging piece of technological wonderment. Of course, in the real world the district technology budget has just been drastically cut for individual classroom spending, the upgrade and improvement schedule has been temporarily suspended, and the last six instant win tickets you scratched off were duds.

How do you bank roll your ideal tech savvy classroom then? Personally, I’ve been using the Grant Database at Tech Learning’s website, but there are numerous databanks and collections of grants across the web. Simple type in “education technology grants” in just about any search engine and you’re sure to find hundreds of results. Most often the first result is the U.S. Department of Education. However, most of the grants from the Department of Education are geared towards state and district level applications (not to mention the relative non-user friendliness I’ve experienced with the U.S. Ed site). That’s why I use Tech Learning; it has an up to date listing of grants and contests geared for schools, students, and educators. Many are at or below the $1000 level, making them perfect ways to start your grant-writing career. It’s also a good idea to check your local community or state foundations. I was amazed to find that even my rural county had a quite active and generous community foundation. More often than not, they’ll be quite receptive to hear proposals from educators, as schools are one of the cornerstones of communities.

To facilitate the spread of easy to use, and monetarily appropriate grants, I’ve started a new thread in the General Technology Forum called “Money, Money, Money.” Please feel free to share your sources here, in the forum, or in both places.