Classroom Teaching and Learning Grants

The Coca-Cola Foundation

Contact: Program Director

Grants Administration

P.O. Drawer 1734

Atlanta, GA 30301

Though not an obvious source for technology funding–and though it does not emphasize technology in its grantmaking materials–the Coca-Cola Foundation does have a track record of supporting technology-related projects in public schools.

According to the foundation’s 1997 report (the most recent available), a handful of grants were made to public or private schools and districts to fund such things as distance learning programs, computer lab equipment, and technology education.

The grants to these schools ranged from $10,000 to $25,000, including an award of $10,000 to the Pottsville Area School District in Pottsville, Penn., to support a technology-education program for middle school students.

The foundation supports new solutions as well as existing programs addressing the problems that are now impeding schools. The foundation seeks educational programs that foster global understanding, enrich lives through art, encourage students to stay in school, train and support those who lack sufficient opportunity, and link higher education to younger students.

Grants are awarded in three categories: Classroom Teaching and Learning (K-12), Higher Education, and Global Education. Classroom Teaching and Learning grants support innovative public school programs and those that take students outside the “four walls” of the classroom to help them lean more about the world they live in.

The foundation also funds teacher development programs and in 1997 awarded more than $78,000 in various teacher grants.

“When teachers are overwhelmed, they can lose the connection to the student,” says Ingrid Saunders Jones, chairperson of the Coca-Cola Foundation and former classroom teacher. “When I was a teacher, I was startled to see how easily that could happen. What helps teachers stay connected? It’s when they have an opportunity for training.”

The foundation additionally supports “smaller” projects that deal with specific activities in the elementary and secondary classroom.

Its grants to higher education institutions also should be noted, since some foster direct relationships between public schools and local colleges and universities.

For example, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., was awarded $50,000 in 1997 to fund teaching workshops for public school educators and administrators to learn about technology that advances student learning and achievement.

The Coca-Cola Foundation was established in 1984 to support communities through charitable contributions. In 1989, the foundation decided to take on education as its singular focus, and a year later it committed to provide $50 million in support of education over the next decade. That commitment was doubled to $100 million through the year 2000.

In 1997, the most recent year for which figures are available, the foundation made contributions totaling more than $12.5 million.

To apply, grantwriters must complete a two-page application form, a printable version of which is available online. Applicants must additionally develop a program description of no more than five pages, using the following format:

1. Organization mission statement

2. General program description

Describe the proposed program: Why does your organization want to do this program? Why should The Coca-Cola Foundation fund it? This is your opportunity to present your program and to convince the foundation of its importance and desirability.

3. Program detail

What are the goals and purposes of the program? How does the program relate to the goals of The Coca-Cola Foundation? What are the objectives for the program? Are they measurable? What are the specific activities that must be carried out to meet the objectives? Are they on schedule? Who are the members of the staff that will carry out the program? What are their backgrounds and qualifications? What is the relationship of this program to your institution’s overall mission?

4. Program budget and narrative

Prepare a summary budget as outlined on the application form. Attach a narrative description and include an explanation of each line item in the budget (direct and indirect costs) and how the cost was determined.

5. Additional information

Copy of the latest IRS documentation letter(s) of tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) and foundation classification under Section 509(a).

One original copy of the proposal description and application form should be sent by regular mail to the Coca-Cola Foundation. Proposals are accepted by the foundation quarterly, with the next application deadline set for Sept. 1.