You’ve probably taken plenty of classes about writing lesson plans that tend to your student’s needs while adhering to your school district’s standards. It may come as a surprise, but grant writing is similar to writing lesson plans.
Many arts educators find it challenging to get the funding they need to make a deeper impact on their students, but grants present an opportunity for you to change the narrative and improve your curriculum. Basically, grants are an investment made by stakeholders for a project that makes a positive change in the community.
If you’re interested in bringing Soundtrap for Education to your classroom but don’t have the funding, it’s time to hone your grant-writing skills! Here’s how you can improve your music program and bring Soundtrap for Education to your school.
So, Why is Grant Writing Important?
When it comes to education, arts programs are the first sector to experience budget cuts and the last to receive funding. Consequently, educators and students often miss out on the opportunity to have fulfilling artistic experiences in the classroom. This is especially true in regard to music education.
Many school districts need more funding to purchase expensive instruments and other materials that are generally required for traditional music education. However, modern EdTech tools make music education accessible to all students for a fraction of the cost, but you’ll need to convince grantmakers that it’s a worthy investment.
Grant writing allows arts educators to take their power back and receive the funding necessary to create a well-rounded educational experience for their students.
7 Steps to Grant Writing for Your Music Program
Ready to get started? These seven simple steps will help you write grant proposals that are sure to dazzle and persuade grant makers! With an epic grant proposal, you can bring Soundtrap for Education to your school in no time.
1. Identify Your Goals
First off, you’ll need to identify the issue that the grant will resolve. Would a little extra funding enhance your learning materials and help students have a more engaging educational experience? Incorporate this in your grant writing!
Since you’re interested in improving music education, begin with the challenges you face as a music educator. For instance, if you’re struggling to engage students due to behavioral issues, you could explain how Soundtrap for Education allows students to work through their emotions in a healthy way for better learning outcomes.
It is also beneficial to discuss how music education fosters student engagement and allows your students to develop skills that will enable them to navigate the workforce more effectively. Ensure that you clearly state your challenges as an educator, the solution to your issue, and supporting evidence that your solution is effective.
2. Find Potential Funders
While there are several tools available to search for educational grants, the Foundation Directory Online (FDO) is the most well-known and trusted grant discovery platform. The FDO allows you to search for grants using EIN, location, assets, giving range, an organization name, or your interest. You can also view funder profiles which include the average amounts of grants made, essential contacts, open RFPs, and IRS 990 tax forms.
The FDO also includes information about the following:
- Public charities
- Corporate foundations
- International foundations
- U.S. Federal funding entities
- Public charities
Most educators begin with a small foundation grant before submitting a proposal for a large federal grant. Although foundation and corporation grants are funded between $500 and $50,000, most range from $5,000 to $10,000.
3. Confirm Your Eligibility
Before you select a funder and begin grant writing, you need to confirm that you’re eligible to apply for the grant before you start strategizing and writing the application. You won’t receive the funds if you don’t meet the specific eligibility requirements for each grant. You can check eligibility requirements with the following steps:
- First, narrow your search based on applicant type. In this case, you will apply for educational grants, so other grants will not appear in the search results.
- Second, read the grant synopsis, and pay close attention to the eligibility section to confirm that your educational institution has the ability to obtain the grant.
- Lastly, look at the detailed eligibility section of the official funding opportunity announcement (FOA) document, which will provide you with specific information about the eligible entities for the grant in question.
4. Prepare Your Grant Proposal
Now that you’ve assessed your specific needs, found suitable funders, and confirmed your eligibility, it’s time to begin the grant writing process! The best grant proposals will include the following:
- Proposal summary and an introduction. The proposal summary is a short overview of the entire proposal, which should include the amount that you’re requesting. In the introduction, describe your educational institution and establish your ability to responsibly steward the grant.
- A problem statement and your needs. Explain why your school needs Soundtrap for Education and the consequences of not funding your project. Ensure that you also explain how students will benefit from your proposal. Use statistics to support your grant proposal.
- Desired outcomes and program plan. What do you hope to achieve with Soundtrap for Education? Express your desired outcomes and measurable goals.
- The evaluation plan and program budget. And of course, you’ll need to describe how you’ll determine whether or not these objectives have been met. Include a realistic budget as well, complete with in-depth explanations.
When it’s time to write your grant proposal, tell a story that evokes emotions while conveying you and your students as real people. However, you’ll still need to maintain a professional tone with all the right data and project planning that demonstrates your need for funding. By the time grant reviewers read your proposal, they should believe in your cause and understand that you’re a credible professional worth the investment.
5. Submit Your Grant Proposal
About 1 in 10 applications are approved for funding, and yours could be one of them. You should receive feedback from the funder in two to three months. If they reject your proposal, you can always contact the funder for insight into their decision-making process. Consider asking for a copy of the reviewer’s comments and ask if they will allow you to resubmit your grant during the next funding cycle.
Even if your grant doesn’t receive funding, there’s still plenty to learn from the process. Take note of your feedback, and use it to create grant proposals they can’t refuse! Remember, the reviewers are real people, just like you, and each grant reviewer follows a specific grading rubric.
Get together with your team and go over the comments together. Take note of all that you’ve learned, then use it to create a plan and improve your grant writing skills. This way, your next grant proposal will be better than ever!
6. Repurpose Your Content
The great news is that you can always reuse your proposals with other funders and refine your grant writing skills. Reassessing your grant proposal gives you the opportunity to develop clarity about your goals with the grant and create a more persuasive proposal.
Don’t let all your hard work go to waste! Get the most bang for your buck and submit your proposal to multiple grants. If you don’t receive feedback, you can always submit the same proposal next year.
And if you find a worthwhile grant, you can always submit more than one proposal unless the fine print says otherwise. When it comes to grant proposals, the world is your oyster. It’s rare for a grant to say that you can’t submit to another, so go ahead and stack the odds in your favor! This is a wonderful way to make a significant impact on your students.
7. Document the Process
If your grant proposal was approved, you’re ready to get started! Make sure that you document the entire process from start to finish. This means you’ll need to store receipts, assessments, photos, videos, and more.
Now it’s your time to shine, so get ready to share these documents with all involved parties. Let your grant funders see the positive impact they’ve made by showing them how your students benefit from Soundtrap for Education.
And, of course, give your grant funders a heartfelt “thank you” for contributing to the betterment of arts education. Not only will they appreciate the acknowledgment, but they’ll also be more likely to fund projects in the future.
Benefit from Grant Writing with Soundtrap for Education
Soundtrap for Education is the ultimate audio production platform for students and teachers to create and edit audio recordings. Pupils and educators can easily tap into their artistic side with this intuitive audio platform that facilitates a creative learning environment for every subject, regardless of the student’s age or experience level.
With Soundtrap for Education, students and teachers can collaborate with advanced cloud technology at any time or place. In addition, the platform comes equipped with a robust resource portal, with tutorials, an external curriculum, and lesson plans to complete the educational experience. And to ensure privacy, teachers can ensure that student collaboration is safe and secure with invite-only groups in Soundtrap’s versatile digital environment.
If you’re ready to enhance your educational experience with an intuitive cloud-based audio production platform, get started today with Soundtrap for Education! And be sure to share this article with other teachers in your network to help spread the joy of learning through sound.