Securing a grant is a great way to take your current or planned wellness program to the next level. The state and federal government, corporations, foundations and local businesses offer funding opportunities and resources that can help make Kansas schools healthier and smarter places for kids to thrive.
Applying for a grant can be a daunting, so here are a few helpful tips, writing resources and national and state grant opportunities to get you started.
Grant Writing Tips and Tricks
- Thoroughly search for opportunities. Take your time finding the grant that makes the most sense for your school or program.
- Start preparing early. Give yourself plenty of time to gather your materials and submit well before the deadline.
- Follow the directions. Make sure the grant is a good fit and then provide all requested information.
- Be organized and logical. Make sure reviewers can easily follow your application. Don’t make reviewers search through your application for information.
- Include a cover letter and budget. Explain why you need the grant and how you will specifically put the award to good use.
- Be careful in the use of attachments. Don’t attach information that is needed in the body of the application. Make sure to correctly reference all supplementary tables or attachments.
- Keep your audience in mind. Be sure the application and responses to the program requirements and expectations are complete and clearly written. Do not assume that reviewers are familiar with your needs.
- Be brief, concise and clear. Make your points understandable. Provide accurate and honest information, including candid accounts of problems and realistic plans to address them.
- Print and proofread. When submitting electronically, print out the application before submitting it to check the formatting and requirements one last time.
- Submit everything at once. Be sure to submit a complete application. Many grantees will not consider additional information or materials that you send in after your initial submission.
National Grant Opportunities
- Pinnacle Food Service supports efforts to ensure every kid has the opportunity to begin their day with a nutritious breakfast. The Breakfast Building Grant program is designed to help schools increase student breakfast participation by providing up to $1,000 for a new or existing program. Inquiries may be submitted at any time.
- The General Mills Foundation was launched in partnership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Through the Champions for Healthy Kids program, the Foundation awards 50 grants of $20,000 each to nonprofit organizations working to improve nutrition and physical fitness behaviors for youth. Applications are available in February 2015 for the 2015-2016 school year.
- Walmart believes in operating globally and giving back locally. Through the Community Grant Program, Walmart employees support the needs of their communities by providing grants to local organizations of $250 to $2,500. The deadline to apply for the 2014-2015 school year is December 31, 2014; otherwise, Walmart offers this grant on a yearly basis.
- Funding is available to qualifying K-12 schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 to kick start healthy changes. To qualify for the competitive, nationwide funding program, your school must participate in the National School Lunch Program and have a registered Program Advisor, the coach for a school’s Play 60 team. To apply choose one Healthy Eating Play and one Physical Activity Play from the 2014-2015 Playbook.
- The RGK Foundation offers grants in areas of education, community and health. Their youth development programs include after-school enrichment programs to increase the likelihood of successful outcomes in school and life. There is no deadline for submitting an inquiry.
- Action for Healthy Kids works to ensure kids eat healthier foods and exercise more. Every year, they award 1,000 grants to schools ranging from $500 to $5,000 to help support breakfast and physical activity programs. Funded schools are also matched with experts to help ensure their project leads to sustainable change.
- The Harry Chaplin Foundation funds programs that align with community education, arts-in-education and agricultural and environmental programs. There is no deadline to apply.
- Kroger’s Foundation aims to enhance the quality of life in its communities. The foundation funds local education programs, particularly K-12 schools. There is no deadline.
- Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is dedicated to improving public education and community improvement in communities nationwide. The program, now in its 9th year of providing grants, gives funding priority to K-12 public education programs across the country.
State Grant Opportunities
Kansas After School Enhancement Grant (KASEG)
- The Kansas State Department of Education’s Kansas After School Enhancement Grants are available to improve new or existing after school programs for low income, at-risk children. A school or organization may request up to $25,000 per year with a dollar-for-dollar cash match. There is no deadline for this opportunity.
- These grants are intended for organizations and agencies proposing meaningful and charitable projects that fit within the Foundation's mission of improving the health of all Kansans. In addition to supporting projects, the Foundation also seeks to support initiatives that focus on promoting policy, systems and environmental (PSE) transformations that support health. Many school districts and buildings have received grants from this program over the past 15 years.
- The Kansas State Department of Education’s Kansas Middle School After School Activity Advancement Grant (KMSA3) aims to provide safe, supervised, enriching and skill-building opportunities for middle school youth. KSDE will fund new programs or expanded afterschool and/or summer programs that provide: age-appropriate physical activity, career and higher learning opportunities and academic enhancement. There is no deadline for this opportunity.
Additional Grant Resources
- GetEdFunding is a great (and free) website in which you can comb through a collection of more than 3,000 grants and opportunities gathered from federal, state, regional and community sources. It is also available to public and private, Pre-K through 12 schools, districts and educators, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations you may work in collaboration with.
- Healthy Kids Challenge’s Grant Alerts and Help not only supplies grant opportunities offered by other organizations and agencies, it also provides grant application training, consulting and resource coaches to help further your efforts in creating healthy change for kids and families through your school(s).
- Grant Making at ED provides a simple guide to applying for grants from the U.S. Department of Education.
- Introduction to Grant Writing is a user friendly guide to writing grants from the Purdue Online Writing Lab. The site includes information on what materials to submit, how to submit them and how to convincingly make your case for funding.
The Grantsmanship Center is a collection of the top giving foundations in Kansas, all of which have been prescreened to ensure that they have a staff, issue RFPs or otherwise indicate an interest in receiving proposals. The Center also lists community foundations and corporate giving programs focused on enriching lives in Kansas.
- The Kansas Health Foundation’s grant database features various projects and organizations the Foundation has recently funded, especially as it relates to helping influence healthy behaviors in schools. In addition, their Recognition Grants are targeted for organizations proposing meaningful projects that fit within the Foundation's mission of improving the health of all Kansans.