Eight ways to get ahead of the grant-seeking game for 2011-12

3. Update information about your district’s student achievement scores on standardized tests, graduation rates, and dropout rates. Make note of specific curriculum areas where your students need assistance. These areas might provide a guide as you research potential funders for your projects.

4. If your district has created a strategic plan in the last 12 months and you have not studied it, now would be a great time to do so. Pay special attention to areas that your district has identified as requiring specific attention (such as technology, tutoring, mentoring, etc.). These areas might be the basis for grant-funded projects in the upcoming school year.

5. Obtain a current map of your district and where it is located in your state. This is not necessarily a common item that funders ask to see in a proposal, but it might help to have one ready just in case.

6. Obtain a current copy of your district’s financial audit for your files. If there were any findings in the audit, make sure you have a short narrative that explains your district’s response to these findings.

7. Occasionally, funders will ask about the capability of applicant organizations. This might be a good time to write a short paragraph or two about your district’s ability to manage a grant if you receive one. Discuss your district’s business office capabilities, your audit functions, and list the grants that you have received and managed within the last 12 to 24 months. Keep this in your files, and if a funder requires any additional information, include it in this description.

8. If you’re planning to conduct any surveys in the upcoming school year to collect data that you’ll need to substantiate a need for a grant-funded project, now might be a good time to develop the survey questions. If you already have such a survey tool, you could review it to see if it needs any updating.

eSchool News Staff

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