If you know anything about the world of public education, you know there’s only so much money to go around. Funding for anything from new technologies to textbooks to simple classroom supplies can be hard to come by, and many teachers end up needing to either pay for certain items out of their own pockets, or look into grant opportunities to get the funding they need.
For teachers or school districts looking to find success with their grants, it can be helpful to get alumni involved in the process. Here are just a few ways you can do so:
- Statements of support: Some grant applications may ask for references or personal statements/statements of support from community members who can speak to the need for the grant money for a particular initiative. Alumni are well positioned to serve in this capacity as they have gone through the schools and can speak from direct experience to how the grant money and a particular project or initiative could be invaluable to current students in their education.
- Professional perspective: Depending on what you’re seeking the grant for, you may have alumni who can provide a unique, professional perspective in a related field. Say, for example, you’re looking to bring in new technology for STEM classes. An alumnus who works in a related engineering field could help you frame your application to better explain how the new technology could directly benefit those students later in their life, should they proceed to seek an education and a career in that field.
- Direct giving: You may have alumni who wish to contribute to micro-grant initiatives or fundraisers. There are a variety of tools available for schools and teachers to raise money for needed supplies and items for their classes, including the website DonorsChoose. Working your alumni networks to raise awareness of these fundraising and grant initiatives can be effective, as the people who are members of your alumni networks are already engaged and looking for ways to stay connected and support their alma maters.
- Networking and connections: In some cases, you might have alumni from your school who are connected with (or are) people in positions of influence with regard to grant applications and awards. You may be able to leverage those connections to increase the odds of receiving a grant for your initiative.
- Communication: Finally, at the very least, you should make it a point to keep your alumni up to date about your schools’ needs and the grant and fundraising initiatives you have in progress. You never know who will be able to help you out.
For more information about how you can get your alumni involved in teacher grants, contact us at Alumni Nations.