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Where to Begin

Writing a grant proposal for educational purposes is a multi-step process. The first and foremost step is to identify the institution from which you want to apply for the grant. Some institutions fund individual teachers and organizations, while others fund only one or the other. It is important to check the guidelines of the grant you are applying for. All states have a variety of grant opportunities available for schools that would like to promote literacy or implement a PBIS system.


United Way by region list of contacts


Education foundation by region list of contacts

Look up local education foundations in your district.

In addition to researching, it is essential to determine why you want the grant. What purpose will the funding serve, who will benefit from it, and why do you want the grant in the first place? Grant makers want to fund innovative ideas like the Bookworm machine, but they also want to ensure that you know what you want. So be sure to use the resources on our site to describe the benefits, mission and innovation of the program. Make sure to make it specific to your school!


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Stay Updated

Keeping up-to-date with available grant programs is vital. There are multiple sites that offer education grants and info. If you need help finding and writing a grant proposal, we recommend checking out these few resources.

However, it is recommended to check if your local community has any grant programs available. Funders may have children in your classroom, which could tip the scale in favor of your proposal. Including similar successful projects in your proposal is also helpful. For example, check out our news stories to see how often grants for book vending machines get approved!

Details Matter

Funders expect grantees to have a solid plan in their proposal, explaining how the Bookworm will benefit the students and community. Asking for a book vending machine to be installed in your elementary school is acceptable, but stating that you need the vending machine for PBIS rewards and to improve reading and comprehension throughout the student body, as they prepare for middle and high school, has a higher chance of being approved. Funders don’t just pay for materials; they also pay for innovation and ideas.

Additionally, it is important to have a feasible project with a reasonable timeline (typically about a month to a year). You cannot ask for $10,000 for a vague reason without having any long-term goals or plans. Your goals should also be achievable for the students. Promising that the whole student body will ace their standardized tests is not feasible. However, stating that you wish to improve test score averages, behavioral shifts, attendance and participation is more realistic and measurable.

Patience is Key

Writing a proposal takes time. Ensuring that you have all the required information and are following the guidelines takes a moment. Then, there is the proofreading, budget proposal, and signature collection. Signature collection often causes the biggest delays. Ensure that you get the proposal to the dean/principal and the school’s accountant/finance department, as they typically handle these sponsorships. Waiting until the deadline day could sink your entire proposal. 

Team Effort

You absolutely should be writing clearly and having colleagues proofreading the proposal too. Think of the way you ask your students to write essays, following style guides and having the kid next to them read over the work to flag mistakes. It’s easier for someone else to read your work and find a mistake than it is for you, because you know what you meant to say and your brain fills in the gaps.

These steps are the most important when it comes to writing a grant proposal for education. There are a few others, but these should help strengthen your case the most. Regardless of whether or not your grant proposal is accepted, you’re trying to improve the students you’re entrusted to educate, which is commendable and admirable!

You can contact us by filling out a form here to enquire about bringing a vending machine to your school. Stay up to date by visiting our news and blog page. Also, if your grant proposal is accepted and you go with one of our book vending machines, there’s a possibility we feature your school in a post. Our machines are very customizable, able to be wrapped with whatever fun design you can think of. If you need help fundraising, fear not! We’ve helped thousands of schools make the reading dream a reality!

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