FETC: Build your Grant Writing Toolkit

These are my notes from the “Build your Grant Writing Toolkit” session at the 2016 FETC conference.


Creating the Dream

  • Grant writing is the same as fiction writing.
  • Elevator pitch – short abstract of the proposal.
  • Think about who benefits.
  • Don’t write just an equipment list. Think about what is going to change.
  • Draft your dream in a few sentences:
    Students will use mobile technology as a daily part of their education. Teachers will take advantage of the equipment to not only augment the learning, but also to transform the way that students learn. Students would have a high enough access to technology that obtaining devices for a lesson or project poses an insignificant obstacle to the teacher. Technology would be accessible in a manner that students can pull out devices on short notice.
  • Build a dream team.
    • Find a critical friend to help edit.
    • Work with community partners, such as a local business that will provide food during meetings.
  • Find research to support your dream.
  • Make a shopping list.
  • Develop a rough budget.
  • Check in with principal or district office.
  • Think about indirect costs. There may be requirements to include this.
  • You might be able to find an organization that will match costs.


  • Think about student population
    • Racial %
    • Gender %
    • ELL %
    • Free/reduced lunch %
    • What is unique about your population?
  • Get photos of the reality that needs to change.
  • You might need to do the math to convert raw numbers to percentages.
  • If demographic numbers are atypical for a particular year, it should be explained within the grant.
  • Is state data up to date? Maybe someone will double-check your work, but they are using out of date data.


  • Why you can do it.
  • Resume: 1-2 pages
  • Biography: 100-250 words, written as a narrative. Have 3 versions, {72, 130 340} word versions
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): detailed, multiple pages. Might need a table of contents. There might be rules that the CV has to be customized for every grant.
  • Prove that you handled money and didn’t go to jail.
  • Write your 100-word biography.

Finding Funding

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do: read closely what you can pay for an how much, especially funds for meals.
  • Don’t: spend grant money on alcohol.
  • Do: find out if training requirements meet contract. Do you need union approval?

After a Grant

  • How many students benefitted?
  • What were the barriers to success?
  • Keep detailed records of spending.
  • Set up an evaluation timeline.
  • Write thank you letters, and get students to write them to!
  • Share what you learned with others.
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