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Afterschool Snack, the afterschool blog. The latest research, resources, funding and policy on expanding quality afterschool and summer learning programs for children and youth. An Afterschool Alliance resource.
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AUG
15
2017

FUNDING
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Grant opportunity: Start a garden or wildlife habitat at your local school

By Marco Ornelas

If your program focuses on local beautification efforts or gardening and ecology, the Wild Ones Seeds for Education program has a creative way to fund your projects! Your program could be awarded up to $500 to start a garden or wildlife habitat for native plants and animals in your local school. This project is a great way to teach students of the wonders of gardening and ecology—important material often overlooked during in-class time.

The Seeds for Education grant is designed to be used for projects that tackle three essential criteria:

  1. Youth engagement in planning and doing (age-appropriate)
  2. Creation of an ecosystem community based on native plants
  3. Focus on hands-on educational activities

Grant Name: The Wild Ones Seeds for Education

Description: $500 cash award

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity
AUG
3
2017

FUNDING
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New grant: $1,000 for youth soccer from Target

By Marco Ornelas

If you’ve got soccer players in your afterschool program, we’ve got a perfect opportunity to fund the field. Target Corp. is now accepting applications for youth soccer grants, with preference for programs serving in-need communities. The grants can be used to support player registration fees, player and field equipment, and professional development for volunteer coaches, with preference given to programs serving in-need communities. Grants will be awarded in November 2017.

Grant name: Target Youth Soccer Grant

Description: Annual $1,000 grant

Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations, accredited schools, public agencies*

Deadline: August 30, 2017 by 12 p.m. (noon) CST

How to apply: Click here to take a short eligibility quiz. After the quiz, register for an online grant application account and complete a full grant application on Target’s website. 

JUN
15
2017

FUNDING
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Funding opportunity: Up to $1,000 for environmental service-learning

By Charlotte Steinecke

The future of the planet belongs to our kids, and afterschool programs offer one of the best opportunities for students and youth to engage in environmental stewardship projects that connect classroom experiences of environmental science with the real world. If your afterschool program has a focus on environmental service-learning and neighborhood improvement, you can help build those connections with the Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! grants.

Grant recipients will receive up to $1,000 to use for recycling programs, water and energy conservation initiatives, school gardens and outdoor classrooms, natural habitat restoration, and much more. Find inspiration for your project in the GreenWorks! guide, where you can read about successful action plans and find the best strategies to build a great proposal.

The deadline to apply is September 30 and funding will be distributed in December 2017.

MAY
11
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Apply to be a National Afterschool Matters Fellow

By Leah Silverberg

If you’re a committed mid-career out-of-school time professional who’s looking for your next professional development opportunity, the National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellowship could be right for you.

The NASM Fellowship is a two-year professional and leadership development training program. Through a partnership with the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, The National Writing Project, and funding from the Robert Bowne Foundation, the Fellowship offers a space where you can learn to “reflect on, study, improve, and assess your work” to generate an even greater impact.

Fellows will participate in hands-on inquiry-based research, learning, and writing under the guidance of experienced mentors; receive leadership development training; participate in a study of community of out-of-school-time professionals; and participate in two retreats at Wellesley College, let by NIOST and NWP. Participants receive a participation stipend for the two-year fellowship and travel stipends to attend the retreats.

Fellowship requirements

Applicants are required to:

  • Have access to reliable high-speed internet, technology equipment, and a Google email account
  • Attend a retreat from September 24 to 26, 2017 in Wellesley, Mass., and another in the fall of 2018 (dates TBD)
  • Participate in monthly virtual meetings
  • Produce a final project that may include a manuscript for journal publication, conference presentation, blog, recorded webinar, etc.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher

How to apply

Submit a complete application by May 31, 2017, including the online application, the online reference form, and a resume emailed to asm_nationalfellowship@wellesley.edu with your name in the subject line and in the file name.

APR
20
2017

FUNDING
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Step up your STEM programming with $25,000+ from GM

By Maria Leyva

General Motors (GM) is investing in education programs that improve the presence and persistence of students studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)—and they are offering grants of $25,000 or more to do just that! GM is committed to “high-quality and relevant [STEM] learning, both inside and outside the classroom.”

Proposals should help scale strong evidence-based, innovative solutions to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Increase the number of students who earn a degree in STEM that matches market needs
  • Increase the presence, achievement, and persistence levels for underrepresented minorities in STEM field
  • Increase the supply of qualified teachers for teacher training in STEM-related subjects

Review the STEM Education RFP for more information.

How to apply

Applicants must first submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) by May 12, 2017. Invitations to submit a full proposal are based on the merit of the LOI. Only 501(c)3 nonprofits are eligible, and all applicants must take an Eligibility Quiz. Find more information and application instructions on GM’s website.  

Don’t forget, the Afterschool Alliance has many resources that can help you write your LOI and proposal! See our general research page and the Afterschool STEM Hub for STEM-specific messaging and supporting data.

More about General Motors' philantropic giving

GM is committed to fostering smart, safe, and sustainable communities around the world. Through its community investments, GM provides grantees with the tools and resources to push for meaningful change and find transformative solutions to make progress towards shared outcomes. Overall, philanthropic giving is guided by the following principles:

  • Support for recognized local, regional, national, and global charities who provide unique programming and/or community outreach initiatives
  • Broadening strategic partnership opportunities directed toward GM giving focus areas
  • Supporting work that leverages GM’s commitment to empowering underserved communities around the world
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learn more about: Digital Learning Funding Opportunity
MAR
29
2017

FUNDING
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Grant opportunity from the Best Buy Foundation

By Leah Silverberg

The Best Buy Foundation is looking to support your afterschool and summer program that helps youth develop 21st-century technology skills. Their mission is to “provide teens with places and opportunities to develop technology skills that will inspire future education and career choices.” The Best Buy Foundation’s annual Community Grants are awarded to programs that provide computer programming, digital imaging, music production, robotics, and mobile app development experience to students ages 13-18. The Best Buy Foundation provides one-year grants up to $10,000, with the average grant award of $5,000.

Who is eligible?

To qualify for the Best Buy Community Grants your organization must provide direct services to teens ages 13-18, have 501(c)(3) status or be a public agency with tax-exempt status, and be within 50 miles of a Best Buy store, Best Buy Mobile location, Best Buy Distribution Center, Best Buy Service Center, or Best Buy’s corporate campus. Programs can find the closest Best Buy using the Best Buy Store Locator. Programs that have Best Buy employee volunteers will receive special consideration.

How to apply

Applications are available starting April 1, and grant proposals are due by 5 p.m. EDT on May 19. Programs will be notified of the Foundation’s decision August 31, 2017. Visit the community grants page to read more and apply!

For other funding opportunities for science, technology, and engineering programs check out the Afterschool Alliance’s STEM Funding Page!

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learn more about: Digital Learning Funding Opportunity
FEB
3
2017

FUNDING
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Win $5,000 with the Science Everywhere Innovation Challenge!

By Melissa Ballard

The Overdeck Family Foundation and the Simons Foundation just announced the launch of Science Everywhere, an initiative to catalyze math and science learning beyond school walls, in partnership with DonorsChoose.org. The foundations are providing nearly half a million dollars to match donations from the public to support creative, hands-on project ideas submitted by educators to the DonorsChoose.org platform. At the end of the challenge, a panel of judges led by astronaut Leland Melvin will award five $5,000 prizes to the best ideas.

There are several steps and requirements, so make sure to carefully read the challenge guidelines. Here’s an overview:

1. Find a public school teacher to partner with.

  • Submissions must come from them, so this is a great opportunity to build relationships!
  • Read more about DonorsChoose.org’s eligibility requirements.

2. Propose an innovative science or math project that takes place outside of school hours.

3. Submit it to DonorsChoose.org ASAP.

  • There are specific steps in the submission process, be sure follow them!
  • Only funding requests for project materials are eligible, not staff time.
  • Total costs must be kept under $2,000.

4. Start fundraising!

  • Tell parents, partners, and community supporters all about your proposed project and get them to donate via the DonorsChoose.org platform.
  • If you reach half of your funding goal through donations from the public, then you’ll receive a one-to-one match from the Foundations. That means up to another $1,000!

5. Implement the project in your afterschool program.

6. Capture student impacts for a chance to win an additional $5,000.

  • Submit the required pre- and post-surveys by the end of this academic year.
  • Five winning projects will be announced September 5, 2017.

Apply soon—donations will be matched only until funding runs out! Again, be sure to read the full set of submission guidelines here.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity Science
FEB
2
2017

FUNDING
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Tips & tricks for applying to the New York Life Foundation Aim High Grants

By Dan Gilbert

We here at the Afterschool Alliance are incredibly excited by the opportunity to administer the New York Life Foundation’s new Aim High grant program. This May, 18 awards will be made to out-of-school time programs serving disadvantaged youth. The Aim High program is part of the New York Life Foundation’s ongoing investment in middle school OST programs to help economically disadvantaged eighth-graders reach ninth grade on time.

Over the years, the Afterschool Alliance team has learned a lot about what makes for the strongest applications for funding opportunities like this, and what pitfalls it is important for applicants to avoid. Last week, we hosted a webinar to help you learn more about this incredible new grant opportunity and give insights into the application strategies that are most likely to make your application stand out from the crowd. We also created this handy FAQ document for you to help answer any questions you may have about the grants.

The grant application period doesn’t close until Friday, February 17th, so there’s still time to put together a great application! Below you can find some tips on how to put together the best application possible, and some reminders and resources that you may find helpful when preparing your application:

1. All questions have a purpose.

Keep in mind that every open-ended question is really an opportunity for you to explain and illustrate the value of your program. It’s important to pay close attention to the prompts, and make sure to read the full RFP before beginning the questions to gain a better understanding of what reviewers will be looking for. This will also help you make sure you don’t end up repeating information in different sections.

2. Provide lots of details.

Details matter! We rely on your application to give reviewers a complete and concrete picture of your program and how it impacts the lives of the youth you serve. Providing quantitative and qualitative data is especially important. Furthermore, it is important not to assume that reviewers know anything in particular about your program, your curriculum, or your community; make sure to provide all the details that we may need to understand why your program is such a good fit for this grant opportunity.

3. Read, re-read, have someone else read, then read again.

Download the Request for Proposals in order to review the questions and draft your answers first before filling out the application form online. This is particularly important because you can’t save your answers and go back to them at a later time through the online submission form that we use. The second is that it’s always helpful to see if your answers fit together in a cohesive narrative about the nominated program and fully answer questions about the program. The third reason, which may seem minor but is an important one, is to catch spelling and grammatical errors.

For more tips, suggestions, and resources, watch the webinar recording! If you have any other questions, check out our new FAQ.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity Youth Development