Grant Watch: Fundraising Tips

by Abby @ Quaver on February 16, 2012

in At Quaver HQ,Grant Watch

Today’s Grant Watch is brought to you by Jim Estes, an elementary music teacher who uses Quaver’s School Program in his Florida classroom. When we heard of Jim’s success raising funds for his classroom, we invited him to share!

Take it away, Jim!


So you need money to buy a set of Quaver DVD’s or some other supplies and/or equipment for your class?

No matter what the economic level of your community, there are ways to find the money to finance your program.  Of course the amount and source for money varies greatly from school to school and district to district.

In most schools there is a sizable fund controlled by the Principal and/or the Media specialist or other professional.

In our school, programs like the book fair, school pictures, and the school aftercare program generate a large amount which is spent at the discretion of the Principal, the Director of the Aftercare program and the Media Specialist.  The second year I was in my school, my Principal paid $850 for 10 carts for my Orff instruments.  All it took was a short written proposal with a justification, in this case, my back hurt from lifting and moving all those instruments every day!  This year the Aftercare program is paying to have a projector permanently installed in my room for use with our technology.  The Media Specialist has ordered several iPads with book fair money, and I’ve asked for one to be assigned to me for use in my classroom.

Of course the school PTO/PTA is a good source of money. 

Our sound system in our school cafeteria was financed by the PTO.  A proposal was prepared with the assistance of one of my band parents, who used to be an engineer for Bose.   After discussion about what equipment was appropriate for our situation the PTO provided a very satisfactory system which is used for school wide presentations.  My parent advised us on how to get the best deals (including a discount from Bose) and supervised the installation.  Each year the PTO gives me $500 a year for music class expenses and another $500 for my band.

Other sources of funds are corporations in the community. 

To reach those sources I enlist parents to both find and apply for funds.  This has not been a large source of income, but we’ve gotten some nice donations from local and national companies.  Just a few months ago we received a $500 check from Wal-Mart as a result of an application made on our behalf by a parent.  In previous years, we’ve received similar amounts from PGA National and a local Honda dealership.  We’ve also received smaller donations from local dentists – what can I say, kids need braces!  In exchange for these donations we include prominent mention of these corporations in our newsletters and programs.

This is just a brief overview of some sources of financial support available in many schools.  Your situation may be quite different from mine, but these ideas may point you towards appropriate sources in your school and/or community. 

Remember: You Never Know Unless You Ask!

In a coming blog, I’ll explore other ideas that a music teacher can pursue that will provide a steady source of income for those important expenses we all have, as well as for the extras that lift a program up to a higher level.

James Estes, B.M.Ed., M.S., NBCT 2008
Beacon Cove Intermediate School, Jupiter, FL

Don’t forget – you still have one day to get your Muzak Heart and Soul Grants in the mail!
Download a partially-completed application for Quaver’s Program here!

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