Government grants come from the city, county, state, and federal levels. Sometimes city, county, and state grants are “pass-throughs” for federal funds and cannot remove any restrictions set by the federal government.
Foundations support a variety of causes. Some, like Gates, Ford, and Rockefeller, fund diverse projects around the globe. Others target specific issues or are dedicated to a certain geographic region. There are also over 2,000 corporate foundations, many of which support educational and youth-oriented programs.
Government Funding and Grants
Most schools receive government funding that is designated for specific programs. Check with your administrator or district to see if some of these could fund your WhyTry activities:
- Title I Funds – Schools receive Title I funds if a certain percentage of their students receive free or reduced lunches. Schools have used certain portions of their Title I funds for CC! activities.
- Title II Staff Development Funds – These funds are allocated for professional development. Many schools have used them to attend Character Development Seminars and in-service training.
- Title IV Safe and Drug-Free Funds – Title IV created a special set of funds for programs that address drug and violence prevention and promote student wellness. Many large, federally-administered grants come from these programs, but schools and school districts often receive Safe and Drug-Free funds directly. Each state has different regulations on how these funds are used, but this is often a good starting place to look for funding.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) offers grants that can be used for character education. DOE grants are usually limited to Local and State Education Agencies (LEAs and SEAs), but some grants suggest or require involvement with partners in the community.
- See a list of current DOE grant applications, plus a forecast of funding opportunities.
- More about DOE grants –The following resources cover DOE grants that can be used for character education. These grants are particularly time-sensitive, and we suggest working with a grant writer who has experience in writing U.S. DOE grants or at least state department grants.
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – The OJJDP offers grants to community organizations working with at-risk youth. See updated information on funding opportunities.
- Office of Justice Programs – Grant opportunities through the US Department of Justice.
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers – A program focusing on creating community centers and before and after-school programming to improve academic achievement and overall development. Though only one component of the overall program, character education can be included in your proposal to meet grant priorities.
- Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) – A program to prepare underprivileged secondary students for college. Although it is not the main priority of GEAR UP, organizations have successfully coordinated CC! in their grant plans.
- Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program – A program to help schools start or enhance their counseling program.
- Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse – A program for LEAs to develop innovative and effective programs to reduce alcohol abuse in secondary schools.
- Sprint Foundation – Sprint Ahead for Education is a national grant program for character education. It awards grants to school districts ($25,000) and individual schools ($5,000) to fund the purchase of resource materials, supplies, equipment, and software that facilitates and encourages character education among K-12 students. With a national reach, the program is open to all US public schools (K-12) and US public school districts.
- Starbucks Foundation – This program helps young social entrepreneurs improve communities around the world through new ideas, volunteerism, and civic action. Grants up to $1,000 are available to programs that help youth develop these skills.