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Grant Applications: Your Roadmap to Success

All Grade Levels

In previous posts, 5 Steps to Winning Grants and Increasing Student Success and 5 Things To Know About Science Grants, the Ward’s Funding and Grants team outlined key steps that make it more likely that you can secure funding for your classroom and labs. This post breaks down the application process step-by-step to show you how easy it can be.

Consider the steps below, then take 30 seconds to contact the Ward’s Funding and Grants team today. Their expert done-for-you service takes most of the application work off your plate, and it’s FREE!  Psst, that means even if you need a lot of help, our team will be there every step of the way.

With our help, you will only need to spend 3-5 hours TOTAL for a couple of weeks to prepare your grant proposal. How can you not do this???

A step-by-step grant application guide—let’s get started.

When you follow the Ward’s Roadmap, the path is simple and includes minimal writing on your part!

TALK it through:  Because the people below are your greatest resources and supporters

Ward’s Funding and Grants team experts. They’ll help you make sure that the grant is the right fit for your project and will ask you questions like:

  • What do you want your students to learn?  
  • What equipment, materials, and supplies will help teaching and learning?
  • What is the need for students? How can the project meet a local need?
  • What partnerships do you have with your local community, businesses, or industry?

Students, Colleagues, Community

  • Brainstorm with students to get their ideas. Funders love to know what the students think!
  • Chat with fellow teachers, principals or CTE director for project and partnership ideas
  • Talk to everyone who cares about your students and school to hear their ideas.

NOTE: Be sure to check with your administrators right away because often, you will need their signature on the application.

PLAN it out: It is good practice to plan your work and work your plan!
  • Build your shopping list (with ballpark costs)
  • Get one or more hard copies of science product catalogs to share with your students. We guarantee that asking the students for their ideas will spark motivation, creativity, and innovation for you and your students! And it is fun for the students.
  • Jot down any existing materials and resources from your classroom or the district—funders want to know what you have as well as what you need.
  • Start making connections with local partners early. Ask if they will write a letter of support for your project. (Ask us for sample elevator pitches and sample letters.)
COLLECT information: Because funders want to see your eligibility and strengths
  • Your resume (be sure it is updated)
  • At least one lesson plan
  • Your school’s non-profit tax designation
  • Have NGSS and your state’s standards handy to connect standards with your project.  
  • The free/reduced lunch rate, student ethnicities, students with special needs, or ELL.
  • A list of your school’s clubs, science competitions, student activities, etc.
  • If your school/district has community or industry partners, get the list. If you have a CTE program, check with them about partnerships.
DESCRIBE the activities: Funders want to know exactly what you and your students will do.
  • Say exactly what your students will do with the equipment, materials, and supplies. Give examples of what you mean by “hands-on.” Funders want specifics, and the easiest way to be specific is to talk with the Ward’s team to get examples.
  • Describe your project so funders can picture active students in their mind’s eye. When funders “see” students in action, they are motivated to learn more and support the project.
  • Consider the parts of your project that you already do or can do even before you get funding. Funders want to know that the project is strong even without funding.
  • Recount how you ensure equity and opportunities for underserved students.
  • Think about how you will show progress and success. Evaluation is an important activity, and tests are not the only answer. Ward’s team can help you with creative and easy evaluation activities that demonstrate success, leading to more funding. The adage “success breeds success” is true: many of our winners have submitted new applications and won year after year.
  • Describe how you can keep the project going after funding ends. Sustainability is huge for funders.
REVIEW before you hit submit: Because your project deserves to be in the running!
  • Double check funder guidelines. Have you addressed all the funder’s questions?
  • Read over your proposal carefully to ensure it makes sense and that the content is accurate, and there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Unfortunately, we have seen grants get rejected for such errors.
  • Be sure that you have all the signatures and have attached all required documents.

Ward’s has checklists, worksheets, and templates to help get you started. Then, the Ward’s team will help write the responses for you. After all, about 70% of applicants who start the process with the Ward’s Funds and Grants team are successful! Did we mention this service is free? We help do the work; you get the money. That’s just how we roll!

Here are three great examples of real-world, difference-making, grant-winning projects we’ve supported that got the attention of funders. Really! So, what’s going on in your community?

  1.  A high school teacher in Florida focused on connecting algal bloom in the Everglade watersheds to marine science and biology lessons. The teacher created hands-on activities using live fish specimens so students could investigate the problem and come up with potential solutions.
  2.  A middle school teacher in New York used Ward’s mini-wave tanks to help students study the impact of waves after the army corps of engineers built a break wall in their community to prevent flooding.
  3.  Students in a virtual, online school received hands-on science materials delivered to their homes so they could practice science safely with materials like those that students in traditional labs use to become prepared for college and careers.
"Absolutely worth using this service. My high school medical laboratory program has gotten $17,000 in grants ALREADY this year. They were amazing to work with and are helping me get some amazing pieces of science equipment. I plan on working with them on several grants per year!" 
Jim Payne IV, April 2023

WARNING: Don't wait until the last minute to prepare and submit your project. Procrastination is the enemy of success. With our help, you’ll only have to spend 3-5 hours over three weeks to complete a grant-winning application! And we’ll be sure to help you submit it well before it is due.

So, be in it to win it! Contact the Ward’s Funding and Grants team today!

Connect with our Funding and Grants team today to get started with these five steps or learn more.