Finding grants for technology in schools is a mammoth of a task. There’s so much to consider and juggle – documents, compliance, numbers; let alone doing the actual research to find suitable grants for the technology you need at your institution.
Once you’ve managed to find, apply, and go through the selection process and obtain the grant, you then have the organization and management of the funds to consider.
This is just as difficult a task, especially if you don’t create the right institutional ecosystem with tools to help you effectively oversee the management of the funding.
This includes tools for accounting, distribution, document management, and more.
In this article, we will share our best tips for how to find, apply for, and manage education grants for technology in schools.
Four Tips to Help You Find Grants for Technology in Schools
1. Know the kind of technology you need
With a range of educational technologies available, this gives you a lot of options for your department or institution.
The technology that you select should be based on the needs of your school, the gaps you have identified and the improvements you want to make.
Keep in mind that technology isn’t the only solution. It merely provides the means for you to make the changes necessary to fix problems.
To help you understand your department’s needs, you should conduct a gap analysis by engaging with your staff to find out where the inefficiencies or bottlenecks are in their operations.
You can also break down the operations of your department and identify where technology doesn’t meet the standard necessary. For example, you may have trouble with student accounting, thus you should prioritize getting funding for accounting technology or software.
2. Formulate a budget
Understanding the gaps in your department’s technological capabilities helps you identify exactly what you need funding for. This further enlightens you on how much funding you’ll need.
When drafting a budget, you need to include the details of the cost of the technology that you need to replace/upgrade. Budgets are an essential part of the grants process as they clearly define what you’re asking for and what the grant provider can expect to commit.
For greater detail on exactly what you plan to do with the funds, you should include a cost analysis and include things like:
● Implementation, maintenance and technical support fees
● Training costs
● Managing software updates
The more detail provided, the better.
3. Do your research
By understanding your requirements and the budget needed, you can search for grants that ticks both boxes. Evaluate the range of available grants using the following factors:
● Available grant amount
● Eligibility criteria
● Required information or documents
● Grant conditions
Unfortunately, applying for grants isn’t a one-time-only job. You may have to apply regularly and find a way to keep track of the grants you’ve found and sought. Using grant management software can help you oversee research and application process.
Unsure where to find reputable sources for a grant? Look no further.
4. Put together a detailed proposal
Once you’ve identified grants that you want to apply for, you’ll have to put together your proposal. You’ve already done some of the work through the budget you’ve created but you will also have to fulfill other application requirements.
Here is a list of the areas you’ll have to prepare for the proposal:
● Indication of need
● Implementation techniques/strategies
● Reporting/evaluation plan
● Additional funding
● A summary
● Supporting documents
Four Tips to Help You Manage Grants
1. Train your staff
You need to provide your staff with accurate training and understanding so that they can complete the necessary tasks to meet grant requirements. Not only is the training of your departmental staff important, but you also need to set up effective communication with other members of the institution. One way to effectively manage training and update overall communication and changes is by using the right software.
Finding software with staff portals makes collaboration, document, and information exchange much easier.
It can also speed up processes that can get bogged down by bureaucracy through instant notifications about deadlines, outstanding tasks, and updates.
2. Create clear policy or process guidelines
Each grant your department receives should have clear guidelines, requirements, and policies. There are expectations you need to meet in order to fulfill your commitment as a recipient of the grant. Thus, you must make sure to follow these stipulations to the tee so that you can keep your funding.
To ensure that you remain compliant, you should develop a grant-by-grant model of management. For example, have a folder for each grant with a calendar tracking the deadlines for compliance tasks. Additionally, you should make it clear who is responsible for each of your grants for technology in schools.
3. Nail your document management
Documents are the core of organization for grants for technology in schools. Each step of your funding process requires its own set of documents from applications to budgeting, implementation to reporting.
Diamond Student Information System has an outstanding documents management system that can help you keep your files in order. No more hunting for mixed-up files in a chunky filing cabinet. You can just search for files on an easy-to-access digital documents system.
This platform speeds up grants processes as different staff members can access and update files whenever they need to through the cloud-based system.
4. Ensure data and grant security
Finally, you have to find ways to protect your grant data. With various staff members involved in the grant management process, you need to ensure advanced security. The best way to achieve this is to use an information management system with premium security features and data and document protection like Diamond.
Finding and managing grants for technology in schools can be a daunting and complicated task if you do not have the right processes in place. Once achieved, it takes smart management, team collaboration, and constant evaluation of the direction of funds. The tips above are just some of the easy ways you can ensure effective grants control.
About Diamond Student Information System
DiamondSIS is a cloud-based student information system that incorporates all the critical data and functions of an institution into one compliant platform, managing all the administration online.
The system is easily accessible for users across various platforms and devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and PCs, and is simple to navigate for everyone.
For more information, go to diamondsis.com or call us at 213.545.2718.