How Many Grants Does Your School Receive
By Don Peek

Almost every school in the United States should be getting some grant money every year. The amount of that grant money will always be determined by three factors: 1) the number of grants for which you apply, 2) the dollar amount of those grants, and 3) your level of eligibility.

How many grants do most schools get in a year? We did a survey several months ago, and the results may surprise you. Of the 248 educators who responded and actually knew how many grants their school received, we gleaned the following information:

When asked, “Approximately how many federal, state, and foundation grants did your district receive last year?”

Number of Grants Response Total Response Percent

     0 to 5                      166                        67%
     6 to 10                      42                        17%
    11 to 15                     15                          6%
   More than 15               25                        10%

Even though these are district numbers, you have to realize that almost half the districts in the United States contain four campuses or fewer. Many campuses receive multiple grants every year while some campuses never receive a single grant.

Obviously, you have no control over your school’s level of eligibility. You do, however, have absolute control over the number of grants you submit and a great deal of control over the amounts of grant money for which you apply.

Make sure you are not a part of the 67% of schools that gets zero to five grants each year. You should try to be a part of the 10% that gets more than 25 grants. All the grants you write don’t have to be large. Even if ten teachers apply for classroom grants of $3,000 each, that’s $30,000 extra dollars for your school. Many times getting grants is simply a numbers game. The more applications you put in the mail asking for more and more dollars, the more grant money you receive. It takes commitment and aggressiveness to get all the grant money you want and need.

Billions and billions of grant dollars are available to schools in the United States. It’s such a shame that a few aggressive schools get so much grant money while thousands and thousands of schools get so little. That lost grant money could make a tremendous difference to the students in those schools. I suggest that you put a grant committee together as soon as possible and start a widespread effort to bring more grant money into your district.

Don Peek is an expert in school funding. He has run The School Funding Center since 2001. Its database contains over 100,000 grants available to all types of schools in the United States. Don worked in education for 20 years as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent before becoming the VP then the president of the training division of Renaissance Learning, developer of the Accelerated Reader.

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