Funding in Physical Education: Be prepared not scared Pt 3
So my third tip for funding will center around "Be prepared not scared". It's no secret that writing grants can be scary and may not be a strength for some who need it. Being prepared for a grant opportunity when it comes along can be a high benefit! A little grant prep "homework" can go a long way.
Grantfinders on websites are a dime a dozen. Some even make you pay for the free information! Regardless of how it's presented, one big issue is the amount and process of how funding for PE will change. It's not as simple as simply looking up a grant on a web based grantfinder (although helpful). Many of you may know I have been a human grantfinder for many years and have helped hundreds of individuals and organizations (schools, out of school, local orgs, etc.) find funding. While I haven't been 100% successful, I would venture to humbly say I have been at least 80% successful in finding them funding. Sometimes the funding wasn't immediate nor the total amount, but in all but a few cases, I found a solution! Being prepared definitely helps.
1. Do your SWOT or SHI every 3 years and have in file.
2. Check and know the procedures for writing and receiving grants in your district.
3. Know a general timeline (some take months if they need Board approval or signatures).
4. Know what you want vs need so that you can clearly make decisions and justify what you align to standards.
5. Think about how you would assess it, follow up, and sustain the opportunity. In other words, how will it make a difference.
6. Have support ahead of time. This could be from your principal, LEA, supervisor, partners, or anyone that you may need support.
I also have to prepare, do my homework. I research the funding trends, various types of grants, and what the actual opportunities may be, which takes hours of my time. I have created a unique system over the years and can often share at least 3 opportunities at any given time. It's my way to help my profession and people trust me because I am not a sales person. I am NOT saying there is anything wrong with sales people funding funding at all! I certainly assist sales persons to do this as they have to make a living also (it's a win win). But I believe it's my personal calling to be honest, up front, and look after your best interest, not the bottom dollar.
While funding will change for PE, it's not impossible. Don't give up! Great programs can happen without grants, for sure. But if you have some support, funding may be possible. I will leave you these final thoughts:
Make friends before you need 'em (pt 1 of 3)
Make 'em smart before you make 'em mad (pt 2 of 3)
Be prepared not scared (pt 3 of 3)
I look forward to working with you in the near future.