Grant FAQs

1. Who can apply for a Foundation grant?

Anyone associated with the schools and interested in furthering the academic experience in accordance with our mission and goals can submit a grant in conjuction with a teacher. However, each application must be supported by school staff and signed by the building principal.

2. How can I get an application form?

Applications are only available on-line starting in early August. 

3. What types of projects typically receive Foundation grants?

The Foundation seeks to advance students’ educational experiences in science, math, arts and humanities. Proposed projects must go beyond the scope of those funded through the school system. Projects should seek to advance the partnership with the community and help students develop their talents, foster lifelong learning and citizenship and create an environment in which to pursue excellence. Click here to see a list of current grants.

4. How much money is available for each project?

The Foundation funds Enrichment Grants up to $1000. Collaborative Grants may be funded up to $3000.

5. Are there formal guidelines?

Yes. The application cycle starts in August and grants are awarded in November. Applicants must follow the instructions on the application and must submit the online application by the posted deadline in order to be considered.

6. Do I need to include a detailed budget with my application?

Yes, the application form identifies what to include and how.

7. Can I add the cost of new equipment to my application?

Generally, equipment alone does not qualify for a grant. The Foundation is interested in funding only the purchase of supplies or materials that students need to do such things as create a product, conduct an experiment or learn a new skill. If equipment or materials are to be purchased, their link to the proposed project must be clearly delineated.

8. Can I submit more than one application?

Yes, submit as many as you like, all are considered through a “blind process” so applicants can and often do receive more that one funded grant.

9. When is the deadline for submission?

The last day that grants will be accepted is posted at the top of the application and we announce deadlines each year when grant applications become available in August. We encourage applicants to apply early, giving us extra time to review your application. This year, the deadline is Monday October 14th.

10. Where do I send my completed application?

There is no need to send any hard copy of your application to the Foundation. Your online submission will be sent directly to us and you should received email notification that it has been received immediately after applying.

11. How does the evaluation process work?

Applications received on time are automatically numbered and reviewers will not have access to the cover sheet during their review, making this a truly blind process. Grants Committee members will review grants as they come in and rate them based on the existing rubric. Once all grants have been reviewed and rated independently, the Grants Committee will convene to review the applications as a group and to develop a list of questions for applicants if there are points that need clarifying. If questions come up regarding any application, someone from the Grants Committee will contact the applicant to try to get clarification. After that Q&A period is over, the Grants Committee will reconvene to make final decisions on the applications. Applicants will be notified in mid-November and recipients will be honored at our Annual Awards Ceremony. Recipients are encouraged to attend the Awards Ceremony to accept their awards and sign necessary paperwork.

12. How can I find out the status of my application?

You will be notified when final decisions have been made. If you have any questions before that time, you can contact us.

13. What is the next step if my application is awarded a Foundation grant?

You will be honored at our Awards Ceremony in November. After that time, grant monies will be deposited in a special fund through the SPS District Finance Office or the SACS administrative office and you will be able to draw on those funds as you need to to complete your project. We ask all grant recipients to keep us informed about when your project takes place and to complete and submit a brief Grant Report after you have finished.

14. What if I fail to complete the project?

If you find that the proposed project must be altered in any way, please contact us as it may be possible to modify it. You are not permitted, however, to make major alterations in your project without prior authorization from the Foundation. If you are unable to complete the project, please let us know – in writing – as soon as possible and all monies will be reimbursed to the Foundation.

15. If I have any additional questions, how can I contact the Foundation?

Please use this link to contact us.

16. What is the difference between Enrichment and Collaborative grants?

Enrichment Grants are the traditional grants awarded by SEF for over 15 years. They are designed to provide funds for classroom teachers who have innovative, meritorious ideas. Your project may qualify for funding if it makes creative use common of teaching aids, approaches the curriculum from an imaginative angle, ties non traditional concepts together or promotes learning in innovative ways.

Collaborative Grants are designed to promote cooperative efforts, professional teamwork, and innovation across disciplines or grade levels between or among schools. Collaborative Grants must benefit two or more schools.

Enrichment grants are for:

  • Individuals/teams applying for grants of up to $1000 for projects that directly enhance the educational opportunities for students.

Collaborative grants are for:

  • projects which are collaborative in nature, involving teachers across buildings (not in the same building), with a budget up to $3000

  • sharing expertise among participants within a distinct discipline

  • projects that may lead to innovations or changes in practice for a wide cross-section of students and educators in Salem.

All grants should:

  • Advance students’ educational experiences in science, math, arts and humanities.

  • Go beyond the scope of those funded through the school system.

  • Seek to advance the partnership with the community

  • Help students develop their talents, foster lifelong learning and citizenship and create an environment in which to pursue excellence.

17. Why emphasize collaboration?

SEF aims to influence the learning community in broad-reaching ways. Collaboration allows for cross-pollination of innovation and creativity, increased citizenship for students participating in these grants and potentially increase partnerships with the broader community.

As we add new events to our fundraising schedule, we are making more demands on our community to support Foundation initiatives. Collaborative Grants allow us to give something back to the schools that would have an immediate, positive impact.

Additionally, some grants have proven to be beneficial and deserving of ongoing funds if they can be grown beyond a single location. These funds should not be taken from the “seed money” funds intended for traditional grants.

18. How will awards be made?

Awards will be made based on merit and funds available. All involved parties must “sign off” on the application and as with traditional grants, the application MUST be sponsored by a school employee (vs. a parent or contractor).