Money Talk: Funding Your Creative Projects

As the saying goes, “Money makes the world go around.” It’s true in the education sector as well. In order to teach, educators need resources. Especially for educators who are teaching non-traditional, equipment-intensive subjects, there are many expected and unexpected essentials that must be purchased.

Below is a list of grants and scholarships that you or your students can apply for today to fund your projects.

National Art Education Foundation

The mission of the National Art Education Foundation (NAEF) is to invest in innovative initiatives that support visual arts education. It offers several grants that teachers can use to purchase new computer software, physical equipment, and more. The deadline for all NAEF grants is on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Visit the NAEF website for more information.

Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund

The fund was launched in May 2020 to support individual creators by offering grants of $500-$5,000 USD. The applicant must be at least 18 years old. No professional degree is required. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a monthly basis. The next application deadline is November 1. Please visit Adobe Creative Residency site for more information.

Donors Choose

You are probably already familiar with DonorsChoose, a site that allows teachers to raise money for their classes.

Here are some tips for your next project that needs to be funded.

  1. Go with the bite-size. Smaller requests are more likely to get funded than big ones. In fact, according to Donors Choose, projects under $200 have a 90% chance of being funded, while projects over $1000 are funded only about 43% of the time. Consider breaking down your big project to several smaller projects. Think of different ways to lower the cost.
  2. Check who is willing to match. Check if there are companies or foundations that would match the money you collect. Click here to view available match offers.
  3. Watch out for jargon. “Manipulatives.” What comes to your mind? If you are an elementary school and/or math teacher, toy-like objects that students use to learn mathematical concepts will come to mind. But most people will draw a blank. Make sure to explain your vocabulary.
  4. Get the word out. Link your DonorsChoose project on your social media. Let small businesses in your area know. Let your PTA know. Don’t estimate the power of word-of-mouth.

Searching and applying for grants and scholarships is exhausting and time-consuming. Thank you, teachers, for going above and beyond your teaching duty to give students the best opportunities to develop their artistic and creative skills!

Have other ideas for classroom funding? Share them in our CERTIFIED Educator Community!