Resources to help you find the $$ you need for your school
We all have big dreams for the things that we’d like to do in our schools. Designing active learning spaces. Creating makerspace environments. Putting powerful technology into the hands of our students. Building a collection of library books that our students love.
Unfortunately, our budgets aren’t always as big as our dreams. The resources gathered on this page are aimed at helping with this dilemma. These are presentations, articles, and websites I’ve curated that focus on finding grants and funding resources for schools. Over the course of seven years at my previous school (2010-2017), I secured over $15,000 worth of grants and other funding to help build our library collection, refurnish our space and create our makerspace. The money is out there if you put in a little time and elbow grease to get it.
(Please note that information about grants can change frequently. I do my best to keep links on this page current, but sometimes various organizations move their resources. Also, while I do my best to look over the various resources linked to here, I cannot vouch for everything linked to on each page. Please use your discretion and do your research before applying to anything. Page was last updated on August 2, 2020)
Page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, I get a small commission that helps support running this blog. All opinions are my own.
Resources I’ve created:
- Money, Money, Money: How to get grants and other funding for your library
Presentation slides from a presentation I gave at the Florida Association for Media in Education conference in October 2014
Blog posts & more resources
- 10 Tips for Writing Grant Proposals – My tips for writing successful education grants. These tips come from years of experience applying successfully and unsuccessfully for grants.
- 5 Tips for Creating DonorsChoose Projects – My post on lessons I learned from funding projects worth over a total of $6,000 through DonorsChoose.
- 5 Tips for Starting a Makerspace on a Budget – Post that links to an article I wrote for the ISTE Librarian’s Network on funding a Makerspace.
- How to Transform Your Library Space on a Budget – Advice for things you can do to change up your library space without spending a ton of money.
- The STEM Maker Library – Information on a grant I wrote to add more STEM books to our library
- Our Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant – I received a grant in 2014 for $5,000 to transform our library into a vibrant, flexible learning commons. I write about that grant in the posts below. (Note: This particular is no longer available, but the ideas can still be applicable).
Resources I’ve curated:
Grant search engines/lists
- GetEdFunding – grants resource site curated by educators. Allows you to create an account, search for grants and save grants to a wishlist.
- DEMCO Free grants search – Allows you to search library and technology grants by category, with keywords, etc
- Mackin Grants Channel – lots of resources, including a regular free newsletter with library grant opportunities.
- Demco Grants and Funding Resources
- Scholastic Grants for Librarians
- The Library Corporation Library Grants and Funding
- Tech Funding page curated by Shelly Terrell
- DonorsChoose – Teachers can create projects with certain vendors which then get funded by parents, community members, etc. Great for books, technology, supplies, etc (How to submit a project)
- PledgeCents – Another education focused crowdsourcing platform. This one allows you to keep all money you raise, even if you don’t meet your goal. Can be used for school projects, classroom projects and even professional development (hello conference fees!)
- GoFundMe – Not education focused. Individuals can create pitches for projects they’re trying to raise money for and offer “rewards” for different levels of donations.
- IndieGoGo – Another crowdfunding site where individuals can create projects and ask for donations.
- Kickstarter – Generally for larger, innovative projects, like building an entire library after a disaster. Must raise total goal to get funds.
This is a great little grant writing book focused specifically on school librarians. I read this early in the process of learning about grant writing, and it really helped me out. There’s lots of ideas in here for both beginners and experienced grant writers.
Rather than being a book about grant writing, this book focuses on various sources for finding grant money. This comes from ALA, so not every grant will apply to schools, but there’s still a lot of useful information here. This is the 9th edition (2014) so hopefully an updated one will be coming soon.
Crowdfunding For K12 Education: A Guide For Teachers, Parents And Children: How To Raise Money For Your Project, Classroom, Field Trip, Sport Team Or A Club
I confess that I haven’t read this one yet, but it has some good reviews on Amazon. This is a short and sweet eBook on the basics of using crowdfunding to support educational projects.
Grant & Funding Sources
- Laura Bush Foundation – Grants for books focused on low-income schools
- Dollar General Literacy Foundation – Grants to increase literacy in schools
- AASL Grants and Awards – Lists of grants and awards given out by the American Association of School Libraries
- Junior Library Guild’s Book Grants Page – List of various grants for books.
- Dow Teacher Challenge – STEM grants for innovation
- STEM Grants for K-12 Nonprofit schools
- STEMfinity STEM Education Grants
- NEA Foundation – Grants for high-quality professional development experiences.
- Fund for Teachers – Funds teacher travel for experiences that they can bring back to the classroom
- Pro tip – Look for awards offered by various professional organizations (ISTE awards, AASL awards, etc). Many of these awards will cover the costs to attend major conferences.
More Grant Resources
- Funding Opportunities Abound: Here’s Where To Find, Apply for And Get Grants for Libraries (School Library Journal article in 2019)
- Cybraryman’s Grants Page
- Value of volunteer time – Website that calculates the value of an hour of volunteer time in your state. Can be useful for grants involving volunteers.