Guidelines for Submitting Grant Proposals

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Purpose of OEF grants:

To enrich educational opportunities and encourage innovative education in Okemos Public Schools.

Financial Limits

• OEF Grants: $1,000 per project
• Gerard Fellowship Grants: Typically $1,000 - $1,500 per project
• OEF Micro Grants: $250

Application Approval Time Requirements

Every grant application is approved by an OEF sub-committee and many (all but Micro Grants) require the additional approval of the full OEF board. Therefore, the approval process is lengthy; please plan ahead. From the time we receive your application, it will take the following amount of time to hear a decision:
• OEF Micro Grants: 2 weeks from receipt of the application.
• OEF Grants: Up to 3 weeks after the grant application deadline has passed (Feb 1, May 1, Oct 1)
• Gerard Fellowship applications: Up to one month after the application has been received (depending on the date of the next OEF board meeting)

Application Guidelines

The OEF receives many grant applications for exciting learning materials and projects but budget limitations often restrict our ability to fund every application. Please understand that not all applications will be approved. Be sure your application is clear, concise, and complete. Incomplete applications may be returned without review. Fully explain what you hope to purchase and why you want the item(s). During the approval process, the OEF Grants Committee evaluates each application based on the following criteria:

• Clarity of the project description. Do we understand what is being requested? OEF trustees comes from a variety of backgrounds and are not all from education fields. Be sure you explain your project in a way that all can understand.
• Is the project innovative?
• Does the project enrich the curriculum? Note: Projects should be closely aligned to the district strategic plan and/or grade level content expectations.
• Does the project provide hands-on/direct learning experiences?
• # of students impacted. Priority is given to projects which impact the largest number of students.
• Longevity/lifespan of the materials/resources. Can they be used for multiple years?
• # instructional areas involved (ex. LA and Social Studies, or Math and Science)
• Project timeline: Will the project be implemented soon?
• Is there a plan for project feedback/evaluation?
• Is there a plan for OEF recognition?
• Does the project need ongoing funding to be sustained?
• Are the cost details for project complete? Please include shipping costs, if applicable.
• Could this project be funded elsewhere? Is there funding available through the PTO/parent group or with building or district funds?
• Are additional funds needed from other sources? If so, have those funds already been secured?
• Please note that items such as t-shirts, transportation, stipends, and normal school supplies are only considered under the OEF Micro-Grant program.

OEF Publicity

Sharing information about your project or purchase helps the OEF thank our donors and encourage new contributions from the community. Please provide comments and feedback about the project to the OEF (grants@oefsite.org), including photographs, if possible. In addition, we ask that you publicize your OEF grant in your school community by including a note in building newsletters or parent letters and/or making an announcement at a parent/PTO meeting. Failure to complete these steps may impact future OEF grant eligibility.

Project Approval Process

1. Application submission. The completed application must first be approved by your building principal, or if applicable, the Director of Special Education or the Director of Media and Technology. That person should then email the approved application to grants@oefsite.org to submit the application to the OEF. Please do not submit paper copies of the application to the OEF mailbox.
2. Application review. Shortly after submission, applications will be considered by the OEF Grants Committee and recommendations will be made to the OEF Board of Trustees either by email or at its next regularly scheduled meeting. All applicants will be notified as soon as possible by email from the OEF Grants Chair (see timelines above).
3. Spending your grant monies. If your application is approved, you will receive an approval letter attached to your notification email. This letter will include instructions for spending your money, including the grant number which must be noted on all invoices. Your building secretary (the person who normally processes OPS purchase orders and reimbursement forms) can help you with this process. Please note that the OEF expects that grant funds will be spent within 90 days unless additional arrangements are made.

Questions are very welcome! Chair@oefsite.org