This is a special two part blog post on finding grants for your afterschool science program. Check back next week for a post on how to keep track of grant opportunities.
Though the economy is still recovering from the recent recession, funding is still available for education programs across the country. Government resources as well as corporate and private foundations continue to provide grants for a variety of educational purposes, including for administering and attending afterschool science programs.
The Coalition's website lists funders who have demonstrated a commitment to funding science, technology, engineering, and math education in informal and afterschool settings. The list includes government-funded entities like the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. Private foundations listed include the Motorola Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, and Time Warner Cable (through their Connect a Million Minds Initiative).
Professional associations often offer grants or prizes to their members or participants. The NSTA (National Science Teacher's Association) and AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) offer prizes for accomplishments in the field of informal education (as well as other areas).
If you're looking for even more granting opportunities—such as small grants to fund just portions of your program—consider joining or using one of the many grant databases that exist online. Here are some that are easy to use and extensive:
The Foundation Center lists thousands of grants that can be used for special projects, general operating funds, professional development, and more.
Grantwrangler is a searchable grant database devoted to education, and even has a specific STEM database.
The National Education Association (NEA) has a very extensive grant database. While many of the grants are for classrooms, there are many that can be applied to professional educational development as well as out-of-class time programs.
And don't forget that “funding trends” is one of the strands in our upcoming conference. Attending the conference will let you know about the latest developments in out-of-school time funding.