Grant FAQ's

 

HOW DO I REACH MEF? 

I’M THINKING ABOUT APPLYING. 

  • What are grant criteria? The foundation funds grants initiated by Madison Public School teachers, administrators or staff that focus on educational enrichment for students in the district. Review Grant Guidelines for more information. 
  • Where can I get ideas? Past MEF grant-writing workshop participants suggest the following: other districts (where we’ve worked, colleagues, websites); professional development workshops and online forums; catalogs we receive; our tech and curriculum experts; our students; brainstorming with colleagues; curriculum development initiatives.
  • I have a grant idea. Where can I turn for advice or help? MEF is happy to provide sounding board advice prior to submitting a proposal or at any time during the application process.  
  • Will the foundation fund my proposal if I use other sources to pay for part of the funding? Yes. MEF will partner with the district, PTO or other outside sources. When you submit your proposal, outline your expected sources of funding (as best you know) to complete your budget.
  • How many students does a grant need to reach?  There is no minimum number except that MEF does not award grants for the benefit of an individual student. However, a grant should reach as many students as feasible within the context of the grant.
  • Is there a dollar cap? No. The review process will, however, factor in the cost-benefit of the request. Note that a grant may be declined or deferred if MEF does not have sufficient funds available. If your grant is going to exceed $7,500 please contact MEF as early as possible to help us plan and be responsive to your needs.  
  • Is there a limit to the number of grants I can request?  No. If you have multiple ideas, we want to hear them. Depending on the pipeline and our budget, we may ask you to prioritize in case we cannot fund all of your grants at the same time.

 

I’M READY TO APPLY. 

  • How do I submit a proposal? Email a completed application form to grants @ mefnj.org. If you have additional support material that can’t be submitted online, please send it to the MEF mailbox at the high school office.
  • What are the grant deadlines? MEF reviews grants three times a year. Visit www.mefnj.org/teachers for current dates and application form . Requests received after the deadline will be included in the next grant cycle. 
  • Is there an advantage to submitting grants early in a funding cycle? No. However, MEF encourages early submissions to help our planning.   
  • What if I have a time-sensitive grant after a deadline? MEF occasionally considers a “fast track” request if there is a compelling reason for going “out of cycle”. Past examples: 1) A teacher saw a newspaper article about a renowned poet visiting Drew and was able to arrange a visit for a nominal fee and no travel expenses. 2) Planning was underway when outside funding was cut at the last minute; new funding sources were needed quickly.  What doesn’t qualify...“The sooner I have the grant, the sooner I can start using it.”

 

I SUBMITTED MY PROPOSAL. 

  • When will I hear from MEF? Within a week after your submission, you will get an email to confirm we received your proposal.  Within a week after the grant deadline, you will hear from a grant committee member to arrange a convenient time to meet and discuss your grant proposal.
  • What should I expect in my meeting with the grant committee? Typically two committee members will meet with you for an informal conversation about your proposal, particularly implementation plans and considerations.  It is not unusual to be asked for additional information as follow up. The committee reps will present your proposal to the MEF board, and it is their job to fully understand your idea. 
  • When do I hear if my request was approved Within a week after the MEF board vote, you will get an e-mail with the MEF board’s decision and next steps. The time between the submission deadline and decisions is about six weeks.

If you do not hear from MEF within these time frames (including receipt of your proposal) contact grants @ mefnj.org

 

MY GRANT WAS APPROVED. 

  • Is there a deadline for spending the money awarded in a grant application? Yes.  MEF expects that grants will be implemented and funded within six months after approval, unless different timing is identified in advance. After six months, the budget will be made available to other grants, and you will need to reapply for your grant if you still want to move forward. .
  • Why does the grant pipeline go to the Board of Education? MEF grants are considered a donation to the school district. All donations, including those from MEF, need to be formally accepted by the BOE. This typically happens within one to two weeks after approval by the MEF Board of Trustees.
  • How are order’s placed? When you are notified about your grant award, the email will include information about who will coordinate your order. 
  • Is there any other follow up on my part?  Please provide feedback on the impact of the grant by sending us an e-mail. In addition, we may reach out to you to arrange a time to gather some feedback. It helps us learn from experience, and it gives us information we can share with donors about the impact of their contributions. 

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