Dwindling school budgets make it difficult for educators to bring innovation and creative practices into their classrooms. However, educators determined to bring the best to their students do not have to be limited by a small school budget. Multiple education foundations provide non-profit organizations and educators with the funds they need to bring revolutionary programs into their schools and communities in order to significantly impact the lives of their students.
The Annenberg Foundation seeks to fund large-scale projects designed to improve education and also have a greater impact on the community. Priority is given to organizations in the Los Angeles County area. Grants range from $10,000 to $250,000. In addition, the Annenberg Foundation offers free educational materials and provides workshops to help leaders of non-profit organizations learn how to write and submit grant proposals.
In the United States, the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focuses on helping children receive a quality secondary and post-secondary education. The majority of grants are focused on organizations and schools in the Pacific Northwest and range from helping implement kindergarten readiness programs and aligning instruction to the Common Core State Standards to creating programs designed to help prepare students for college.
Every year, the American Honda Foundation awards multiple grants ranging from $20,000 to $75,000. Grants focus on all areas of education, but are particularly focused on improving literacy and STEM education. Organizations seeking to implement programs focused on those areas may submit grant proposals to this education foundation four times a year.
Grants from The NEA Foundation focus on improving student achievement and teacher leadership. More than $8 million in grants have been awarded by the education foundation, with nearly 200 new grants awarded each year. Learning & Leadership grants are $2,000-$5,000 awards designed to help educators plan, present and attend professional development sessions. Student Achievement grants are also $2,000-$5,000 awards and are designed to support programs, activities and experiences to improve students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
These are only a small sampling of the many foundations offering grants to help improve education in the United States. According to The Foundation Center, the top 50 foundations alone awarded more than $850 million dollars to elementary and secondary education in 2007. While many of the grants went to universities and large non-profit groups focused on education, many were also awarded to those who simply wanted to make a difference in the lives of the students in their schools and communities.