The Union County Education Foundation Teacher LIFT Grant goes live every summer and continues into the school year for applicants to create unique ideas for use in UCPS schools. These grants award UCPS teachers funds for innovative projects and programs that focus on the EmpowerEd framework of Connect, Create, and Collaborate. All UCPS educators are eligible for a LIFT Grant, but it takes effort!
What do you mean by effort? So here is the deal (you know, the down low, how it works?) The foundation board members on the Encouraging Educators Committee read each and every grant application and evaluate them with the mindset that a rubric exists to set parameters. It is the belief that applicants not just follow the rubric but exceed expectations. For any person evaluating grant applications, no matter how great or small the amount, this is important. Here are some Dos and, of course, Don’ts for grant writing.
- Follow the rubric – easy step one!
- Collaborate with other individuals who have either previously written a grant or will take part in the application process. Two minds are greater than one, and so on…
- Utilize a catchy title that is thematic and described throughout the application. This creativity cannot be beat!
- Reach out to the organization offering the grant with ideas or questions. This extra step will get you NOTICED.
- Be Innovative – Let’s be real, when a lot of applications are received and multiple have the same idea, it is BORING and less likely to be noticed and remembered.
- In addition to being innovative, be aware of your audience. Although Google is great, please do not use boilerplate proposals or simply repurpose previous proposals. (Psst, evaluators can tell.)
- Ignore grammar mistakes, oh no, no, no, no, no. They will be glaring and make your application appear less professional and, to be honest, less important to you because these mistakes are easily fixed.
- Use acronyms that either your audience does not know or understand.
- Provide a laundry list of “wants” that are not cohesive. Instead, think, what is the goal?
- Submit without approval from your superior. For example, for the LIFT grant, you need approval from your primary administrator. A letter of support is even better.
- Neglect to research the supplies and items you will need to bring your grant to fruition. This will leave the evaluators asking questions about whether you have a true understanding of what physical items you will need to meet your grant goals.
- Do the bare minimum for your application. If you do, will the goal of your project be realized?
Our final DO, please apply for grants! While it seems like extra work, the payoff is well worth it!