Kids In Need Teacher Grants Guidelines & Suggestions
You will have a better chance of being awarded a grant from the Kids In Need Teacher Grants program if you follow the following guidelines when filling out your official application. Applications will be available online from July 15 through September 30.
Teachers may fill out the application online at www.kinf.org after July 15.
- The purpose of the grants is to provide funds for classroom teachers who have innovative, meritorious ideas. Your project may qualify for funding if it makes creative use of common teaching aids, approaches the curriculum from an imaginative angle, or ties nontraditional concepts together for the purpose of illustrating commonalities. Innovation and merit account for 40% of the evaluation.
- The applicant must be a preK-12 certified teacher working at a public, private, charter, or parochial school in the subject of the project. Kids In Need does not fund pre-school projects.
- The program is designed to be the sole funding agent for your project. Grant amounts will be between $100 and $500. In exceptional cases, a grant may be awarded in conjunction with funding from another source. If you are receiving additional funds for your project, you must declare it on the application. A budget must be included. No other materials should accompany the application.
- The state standards by which the project activities are driven are requested. Do not include full descriptions of state standards.
- The project should be your original creation (or your teaching team’s). The Kids In Need program does not fund the purchase of pre-packaged lesson plans. The grant will, however, fund the purchase of written materials or software to be used in the activities of the project. Do not request funds to purchase classroom or library book collections. If the students need books to participate in the project, the books must become the property of the students.
- The purchase of office machines and computers is not funded by Kids In Need. The program is interested in funding the purchase of supplies or materials that students need to do such things as create a product, conduct an experiment, grow or tend living things, or learn a new skill. The project should engage the students in hands-on activities that lead to the acquisition of new knowledge, awareness, or self-discovery.
- Admission fees, bus rental and driver fees, speaker stipends, or compensation to teachers, teacher’s aides, or substitute teachers are not funded by the Kids In Need program. A project in which the sole activity is a field trip, as educational as it might be, is not the type of project funded by Kids In Need. To view what the program has funded in the past, visit The Guide to Award Winning Projects on our Web site, www.kinf.org. However, be advised that since we have already funded those projects, we are not likely to fund similar projects. We are looking for new and different ideas.
- Project Objectives. Objectives describe expected student learning outcomes or changes in students’ behaviors. The clarity of your written objectives accounts for 20% of the evaluation.
- The feasibility of replicating your project is important and accounts for 20% of the evaluation. The concepts addressed in your project should be curriculum based, and the materials necessary to conduct the project should be widely available.
- Project Description. Describe sequentially what the students will do. Provide enough detail that judges understand what’s going on. Your description should communicate the quality of your project and justify its funding.
- Evaluation Instrument. The appropriateness of your evaluation method accounts for 10% of our evaluation of your request.
- Budget. You will be asked to identify the costs of the project by itemizing what you will buy with the funds. Cost effectiveness accounts for 10% of the evaluation. Do not attach catalogue descriptions or pictures of the items you are purchasing.
- The deadline for applications to be submitted to the Kids In Need Foundation is midnight, September 30. You may submit online only. Please do not submit applications for the same project on applications from more than one sponsor. Receipt of multiple copies may disqualify your application. You may submit applications for as many DIFFERENT projects as you want. Receipt of your application will be acknowledged via email using the email address on the application. Also, notification about whether or not you have received a grant will be made by email, so make sure our emails are not blocked by your system.
- Grant Award Notification: You will learn whether or not your project has been funded by December 1. Please do not call or email the Kids In Need Foundation to check on the status of your grant. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual critiques of grant applications that are not funded.
- You are asked to state that your principal has approved the project.
Suggestions from the managing director about completing the Kids In Need Teacher Grants application:
First and foremost, follow the directions! We receive so many applications that we have to weed out what is not to be read by disqualifying applicants for not following instructions. For instance, the application clearly states that grants are from $100 to $500, and yet last year we received several applications asking for $1,000, $2,000, and even $5,000!
Keep in mind that we fund projects, not programs. Projects are usually not more than a few weeks long at the most and have a beginning, middle, and end.
Applications that include attachments are disqualified.
Submit only one application per project. Do not submit applications from more than one sponsor for the same project, although you may submit applications for as many DIFFERENT projects as you want. One project – one application.
The Foundation wants to fund exceptional ideas. Although we realize there is “nothing new under the sun,” we respond well to projects in which curriculum is presented in a unique setting or in which unconventional methods are used to reveal the content. Innovation accounts for almost half – 40% -- of the evaluation. This should communicate to the applicant how important it is to us.
We get many applications each year that describe the educational value of the project but never actually tell us what the students are going TO DO. We need to read about the activities. A general statement such as, “Students will participate in activities that show how a rainbow is formed,” does not tell us anything. Describe the activities.
Of the four tiers of evaluation, the second tier is made up entirely of educators whose mandate it is to determine the educational value of the project, so do not waste your precious words trying to describe that. Your objectives and project description should make that clear. Also, do not waste words trying to convince us of your need. Although we know that virtually every school system is under funded, the Teacher Grant awards are not based on need. They are based on innovativeness and educational value.
The cost of your project does not enter into the evaluation until we look at the budget to determine if the money is going to be spent wisely. We are just as likely to fund a project for $500 as we are to fund a project for $200, as long as the budget seems reasonable and other criteria are met.
The Foundation believes our money is most wisely spent on projects that include hands-on activities for the students. Although we understand the value of computers and other technological equipment, we choose to fund supplies, materials, tools, and books, items students use to make something or do something or learn a new skill. In the past two years, we have been asked to purchase a lot of digital cameras but found that the cameras were going to be used only to take pictures of the students doing the project to put up on a school website and had nothing really to do with the learning experience. In other words, the projects were perhaps only a means of getting a digital camera for the school. We will not fund those types of purchases.
Please feel free to email me if you would like to run your idea by me to determine if it meets our criteria. Please email me (preferred) or call me if you have any questions.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Kids In Need Foundation
877-296-1231, ext. 303