Frequently Asked Questions
Questions? We have answers!
- “My students need…” Can I get a grant for that?
- If your project idea advances the instructional goals of the Anchorage School District, there could be a grant that fits your project! The first place to look is the ASD Grants List.
You’ll also want to check out our Finding Funders page to look for education grants. Be sure your project fits the funder’s priorities.
- Where do grants come from and where can I find out about grant sources and the types of funding available?
- There are two sources of grant funds: public and private. Public funding comes from federal and state monies – our tax dollars. Private comes from foundations and individuals – private and corporate wealth. Most grants that ASD teachers apply for are from private sources. Most competitive government grants are submitted by the Grants Office. Check out Find a Grant on this Web site for a great deal of information on grant sources.
- How do schools benefit from grant funding?
- Most grants are for special projects of a specific duration, intended to produce specific outcomes to meet a specific need. Note: that’s “need,” not “want.” Grants are meant to supplement – not supplant – existing funds. You cannot use grant funds to replace or “free up” your regular school budget. Grant funds are intended to help you to do more, bigger, better things and to meet unmet needs. You don’t get grants to keep doing what you’re already doing. A grantor wants to pay you to try something new, innovative, and more effective. They want to make a difference!
- Does the ASD Grants Office give grants?
- No, but read on!
- What does the ASD Grants Office do?
- The ASD (Discretionary) Grants Office seeks, finds, develops, and wins grants for ASD instructional initiatives. We specialize in competitive (“discretionary”) grants. Most of the grants that we produce are for district, multi-school, or school-wide projects for systemic impact. We also assist program staff, administrators, and teachers in researching and writing grants. We offer professional development through workshops, in-services, credit courses, and direct work with individuals. We do not handle scholarships or grants for individuals.
- Can the Grants Office help me with my grant proposal?
- We will do our best to help you. At times, we are “on deadline” for very big projects and our ability to give individual attention may be limited. But please feel free to contact us if you have questions. We can be of better service if you contact us well ahead of your grant deadline. Please let us know if you are applying for a grant. Please send us a copy of your proposal. This is a district requirement.
- I’m interested in a grant that will accept applications only from 501(c)(3) organizations. Can my school/program apply for this grant?
- 501(c)(3) is an IRS designation for a non-profit organization, such as Boys and Girls Clubs or YMCA. The district and its schools are not 501(c)(3)s, but some PTAs have this designation. If your grant accepts applications only from 501(c)(3)s, you will need to work in partnership with your PTA or another agency. The partner will be the applicant. Please let us know if you are applying for a grant, even if you are working with a partner organization. Please send us a copy of your proposal. This is a district requirement.
- Where can I find my school's Tax ID number/DUNS number?
- Contact the Grants Office for these numbers.
- The grant application asks for poverty statistics, ethnic makeup, and student achievement data for my school. Where do I find that information?
- Here is a useful link: School Statistics, Demographics, and Other Information.
- I want to hire substitute teachers for my grant project. How much should I budget for subs?
- Rates of pay may change from year to year. Not everyone knows that substitute teachers and extra help personnel receive benefits! You can get this information from Karen Karsnia, Grants Office, 742-4468, or Peggy Fisher, Finance Department, 742-4349.
- Can I put addenda for teachers in my grant budget? How do I figure out the budget for that?
- If your budget pays addenda or stipends to ASD employees, you must include benefits. Rates of pay and benefits may change from year to year. You can get this information from Karen Karsnia, Grants Office, 742-4468, or Peggy Fisher, Finance Department, 742-4349.
- My grant project budget includes computers/technology. Can I buy any make and model?
- Be sure to follow the ASD guidelines for computers, software, and other technology.
Log in to the District Connection and consult the ASD Approved Technology List.
- What does in-kind mean?
- In-kind contributions are human and material resources that your school or an outside donor will make available to the project. These could be materials, supplies, space, volunteer time, or other donated good and services. Usually, it is good to have some in-kind resources as part of your project. This shows the funder that you are not asking for all the resources needed to carry out your project.
- What are matching funds?
- Matching funds are sometimes required by funders, in the form of cash or in-kind contributions to a project. Usually the match is a percentage of the total budget.
- What are indirect costs, and how are they calculated?
- “Indirect costs” means overhead related to your project, such as administrative support, accounting, or utilities. Most small grants neither allow nor ask for indirect costs, but some larger grants do. Indirect costs are calculated as a percentage of the total direct costs of the project. The ASD’s Indirect Cost Rate (ICR) changes each school year. You can get this information from Karen Karsnia, Grants Office, 742-4468, or Peggy Fisher, Finance Department, 742-4349.
- How can I learn about grant proposal writing?
- See Write a Grant for helpful tips and tutorial.
- Where can I find examples of good grant proposals?
- Click here for sample winning proposals by ASD teachers. Contact us if you would like to see samples from a particular grant competition; we may have some on file.
- What if a grant requires that the district be the applicant rather than a school or teacher?
- You must contact our office if you are interested in the grant.
- How do I communicate with a funder?
- Follow their guidelines. If they provide a means to contact them for questions before you write a proposal, you may do that. Many funders now require a letter of inquiry first to determine if they want a full proposal from you. If they do, they will have directions on what they want in the letter.
- Can I get grants for technology?
- Some grants have a technology focus, such as Best Buy and Toshiba America Foundation grants. Sometimes you can include technology as part of an overall project – just make sure the technology is critical to the student outcomes. Some funders have very specific guidelines and restrictions about purchasing technology. Also, if you are applying for student or instructional software check with the Educational Technology Department to see if it is district-endorsed student software/resources.
- Are there ASD requirements for applying for a grant?
- Yes. See ASD Procedures and Requirements. Please let us know if you are applying for a grant. Please send us a copy of your proposal within five days after submitting your grant. This is a district requirement.
- What does it mean when it says you have to apply through Grants.gov?
- Only our office is authorized to apply for grants through Grants.gov for the ASD. Contact us if you are interested in the grant.
- What happens when I find out my grant has been funded?
- You celebrate! You contact us to let us know! Please give the Grants Office a copy of your email or letter from the funder. This is a district requirement. Give the original of the written notification or award to Peggy Fisher, Finance Department, 742-4349. This is required by our auditors. There’s more in Manage a Grant.
- What happens if my grant has not been funded?
- You contact us to let us know! You have not wasted your efforts – you have learned a lot in developing your proposal and may have formed partnerships and made contacts that can help you in the future. Try, try again! A lot of excellent proposals go unfunded because there is simply not enough money to go around.
- What happens when the grant is over?
- Be sure you have completed all required grant reports and have sent a nice thank you letter (with pictures of your project activities, if possible!) to your funder. Then, go find and win another grant!