As budgets around the country continue to tighten, it is increasingly important to seek external funding for classroom projects. If you are a teacher or administrator interested in seeking grants to support your school’s efforts, listen to this podcast featuring Greater Good Consultants Owner Ashley Pereira. Join Ashley and host Larry Jacobs for an overview of where to find education grants and how to make your proposal stand out in the crowd!
Even if the prospective funder does not explicitly ask for one, you need an evaluation plan. Whether big or small, every project and every nonprofit organization needs to show that a clear plan exists to measure the effectiveness of its programs.
To write a good evaluation plan:
- Name specific things that will be measured. Examples could include student confidence levels, knowledge regarding computer science, or time spent with a certain resource.
- Describe how those things will be measured. In other words, name the data collection tools that will be used to measure what you defined in number 1. Common tools include tracker charts, surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
- Explain how the data will be used. This is the most important part. Once you have the data, what will you do with it? Why?
The degree of detail to which these concepts will be delineated will be driven by the requirements of the funder. For example, National Science Foundation proposals require in-depth evaluation plans that are often several pages long. Conversely, smaller foundations often ask how you will measure results, which can be answered with the above three questions within a paragraph.
As the competition for available grants continues to increase, a solid evaluation plan will go a long way in setting you apart from the competition and building trust with the potential funder.
Before you write a word, it is important to understand the items typically required as part of the grant application submission process. Use this simple checklist to start gathering the materials that will likely be requested. Start early to be sure you are not rushed at the last minute.
GRANT APPLICATION SUBMISSION CHECKLIST
- Fully edited, proofread, and finalized version of the proposal narrative
- Current annual operating budget and, if appropriate, the program budget
- budgets should reflect BOTH revenue and expenses for the organization/program
- Letter(s) of support
- ensure they are signed!
- 501(c)(3) tax determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service
- Most recent financial statements (audited preferred)
- Copy of the most recent Form 990 filed with the IRS
- List and brief biography of current Board of Directors
- List and brief biography of key staff
- List and descriptions of relevant partners and existing funders
- Other pertinent supplemental documents (brochures, newsletters, etc.) if requested/relevant
Submitting an online grant application? Read this. And be sure to double check everything before submitting!
Click here to download this checklist as a PDF, free!