Best tech grants for K-12 schools?
August 5, 2010 8:55 PM   Subscribe

What are the best technology grants for K-12 schools?

My son is starting up at The New York French American Charter School this year and they are just getting started.

One of the areas for volunteer parents is the grant writing space and the school needs to get some stuff up and running around technology (I'm thinking computers, printers, networking, maybe even projectors) but I do not know where to start in terms of technology grant writing.

Are there any grants that are better than others? Any organizations giving items instead of cash?

Does anyone have any suggestions?
posted by TNLNYC to Education (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
"Are there any grants that are better than others?"
The grant that you can get is far better than the grant that you can't get. You can search around Guidestar and see what comes up. Look at local tech companies, or national/international tech companies, that have branches or are doing business near you. Look at these companies' websites under Community or Corporate Giving or whatever. The school should have a fundraiser, right? Ask that person for ideas. Ask the Board of Directors or parents group or fundraising committee for their contacts. I think you would be more likely to get items instead of cash. Look at the manufacturers of the equipment that you want. Is there a parent at your school who works at company x that happens to sell x products that you want? Having a way in is very helpful.

Who would have interest in your unique school and your unique needs?
posted by fieldtrip at 9:05 PM on August 5, 2010


Best answer: also be prepared to communicate in detail what technology you need and how specifically it will benefit your students. what will they use it for? will teachers receive training in how to use the new technology (you can request funding for this also)? Some funders will be curious to know what the long term benefits of their grant will be -- can you convince them that a computer lab will have a real impact on the school and the students, both in the short term and over the long term? setting up some computers is great, but having a plan lined up to put them to good use is even better.

Apple, Hewlett, and IBM have nationwide initiatives focused on technology in schools. You might also consult your regional association of grantmakers for advice on more local opportunities -- NY is dense with funders in the education space.
posted by cubby at 9:44 PM on August 5, 2010


I don't know if charter schools qualify for their buying program, but TechSoup is a great resource for technology grants and discounts for non-profits. Even if you can't buy from them, the resources on the rest of the site are really helpful in getting a handle on what's out there.
posted by advicepig at 6:12 AM on August 6, 2010


Charter schools, in general, are a bitch to get grants for. I know this because I write grants for one.

The suggestion to check out Apple, IBM, etc. on their grant programs - cash or in-kind technology - is a good one. I'd start there. Since you're in NY, it should be easy to find reps from these companies that are in charge of regional grant making. You can try some of the less corporate foundations that are related that might be worth a shot, like Paul Allen Family Foundation or something like that.

Best Buy has a small in-kind, store-based grant program where an individual store will donate technology to a school or NPO. Not a lot of Best Buy's in nyc - I can only think of the one in Soho - but it's worth a shot.

There are more general sorts of grants from any number of foundations that could be applied to for tech upgrades - the problem is that this is probably a capital expense, and foundations are usually sort of not so hot for that.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:34 AM on August 6, 2010


I also noticed that the website says you're 'currently applying for non-profit status.' Until you actually have your IRS letter, it's going to be hard to apply to any non-individual funding source.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:36 AM on August 6, 2010


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