Where’s the Money Tree?

We all wish we had one, not only for work but also for play. One thing teachers struggle with a lot is knowing where funding for classroom resources is and how to best maximize those funding pots. I hear all the time, “Man, this is cool, but I just don’t have the money.” Your budget for your personal classroom might not have those funds, not might your school budget, but the money doesn’t stop there. You can find so many other ways to acquire additional funds to do what you want to do with the resources you have. When looking for any additional funding outside of your regular budget, just make sure to follow this advice;

Have a purpose and defined outcomes

What I mean is, most outside regular budget resources will want to know what you want to do with the funds and how you will measure success with them. Make sure you have those parameters defined before going to search for funding. Finding a cool project or new initiatives like a permanent center or new piece of technology to create a new learning experience for your students would make it more fun for you as the teacher, but also stand out in a pile of applicants.

So once you’ve got your plan, where do you go? There are a lot of options out there, but here is a place to start based on research from 2023;

  1. AdoptAClassroom.org is a great site to get quick funding from donors to immediately spend in their marketplace with approved vendors. This site does not ask for project proposals but is limited on where you can spend funds. So pay close attention to their approved vendors before jumping in.
  2. DonorsChoose.org does ask for a specific purpose for the funds you are requesting and donors can find you on the site by your specific projects to donate. This site is more geared towards smaller funding asks but you have a bigger list of vendors to request your materials from.
  3. Arts.Gov/Grants National Endowment for the Arts grants has several opportunities for arts educators to gain funds to get resources and unique opportunities for their students. The deadline for 2023 is July 6th.
  4. NeaFoundation.Org offers student success grants at different periods throughout the year that require a project in order to be considered for selection. The next period for application starts March 1st.
  5. Look for grants on your state’s DOE website. Sometimes this is one of the easiest ways to get some funding because they only choose projects from your state. They are a little more in-depth because it is a local thing, but the outcomes and create some amazing results.

Where else do you look for grants and additional funding?

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