Grants for K-12 Schools
Grants for K-12 elementary, middle and high schools
Looking for grants to fund educational programs at a K-12 elementary, middle or high school in the United States? The Instrumentl team has compiled a few sample grants to get you headed in the right direction.
Read more about each grant below or start a 14-day free trial to see all K-12 education grants recommended for your specific school and programs.
Global Impact Cash Grants
Cisco welcomes applications for Global Impact Cash Grants from community partners around the world who share our vision and offer an innovative approach to a critical social challenge.
We identify, incubate, and develop innovative solutions with the most impact. Global Impact Cash Grants go to nonprofits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that address a significant social problem. We’re looking for programs that fit within our investment areas, serve the underserved, and leverage technology to improve the reach and efficiency of services. We accept applications year-round from eligible organizations. An initial information form is used to determine whether your organization will be invited to complete a full application.
Social Investment Areas
At Cisco, we make social investments in three areas where we believe our technology and our people can make the biggest impact—education, economic empowerment, and crisis response, the last of which incorporates shelter, water, food, and disaster relief. Together, these investment areas help people overcome barriers of poverty and inequality, and make a lasting difference by fostering strong global communities.
Our strategy is to inclusively invest in technology-based solutions that increase equitable access to education while improving student performance, engagement, and career exploration. We support K-12 solutions that emphasize science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as well as literacy. We also consider programs that teach environmental sustainability, eliminate barriers to accessing climate change education, and invite student engagement globally to positively affect the environment.
What we look for:
- Innovative early grade solutions using the internet and technology to bridge the barriers preventing access to education for underserved students globally.
- Solutions that positively affect student attendance, attitudes, and behavior while inspiring action by students to improve learning outcomes, whether they participate in person, online, or in blended learning environments.
- Solutions with high potential to replicate and scale globally, thereby increasing the availability of evidence-based solutions that support student-centricity, teacher capacity in the classroom, and increased parental participation to help students learn and develop.
Note: Cisco does not provide direct funding to schools.
Our strategy is to invest in early stage, tech-enabled solutions that provide equitable access to the knowledge, skills, and resources that people need to support themselves and their families toward resilience, independence, and economic security.
Our goal is to support solutions that benefit individuals and families, and that contribute to local community growth and economic development in a sustainable economy.
We target our support in three interconnected areas:
- Skills development to help job seekers secure dignified employment and long-term career pathways in technology or other sectors, including environmental sustainability/green jobs.
- Inclusive entrepreneurship with small businesses as engines of local growth as well as high growth potential start-ups as large-scale job creators nationally and internationally, in technology or other sectors, including environment sustainability/green businesses.
- Banking the unbanked through relevant and affordable financial products and capacity building services.
Cisco Crisis Response
We seek to help overcome the cycle of poverty and dependence and achieve a more sustainable future through strategic investments. We back organizations that successfully address critical needs of underserved communities, because those who have their basic needs met are better equipped to learn and thrive.
What we look for:
- Innovative solutions that increase the capacity of grantees to deliver their products and services more effectively and efficiently
- Design and implementation of web-based tools that increase the availability of, or improve access to, products and services that are necessary for people to survive and thrive
- Programs that increase access to clean water, food, shelter, or disaster relief and promote a more sustainable future for all
- By policy, relief campaigns respond to significant natural disaster and humanitarian crises as opposed to those caused by human conflict. Also by policy, our investments in this area do not include healthcare solutions.
Laird Norton Family Foundation
Note: If you have thoroughly reviewed the Foundation’s priorities and grantmaking activity on the website and you believe your organization is a good match for our mission, you can fill out an information form here. Please be aware that the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or formal letters of inquiry and rarely makes grants to organizations that we first learn about through the information form—so we urge you to carefully review your fit with our organization’s priorities before investing time in filling out our information form. Full applications may be submitted by invitation only.
Laird Norton Family Foundation
The Laird Norton Family Foundation (LNFF) is a private family foundation in Seattle, Washington, with a mission to 1) honor and reflect the family’s shared values through giving and 2) engage the family in philanthropy as a platform for strengthening family connections.
The Laird Norton Family
The Laird and Norton families, related to each other from their pioneer origins in Pennsylvania, settled in Winona, Minnesota, in the mid-1850s. There, William Harris Laird and his cousins, Matthew G. Norton and James Laird Norton, formed the Laird Norton Company.
The pioneer logging and lumberyard operation was the first of several family-owned companies, first in the Midwest, later in the Pacific Northwest, and finally all over the West, including Alaska. Today, Laird Norton Company, LLC is still a privately owned and operated family business, committed to contributing value to its family and community.
A seventh-generation family, the Laird Norton family now includes approximately 500 living family members. Family members live throughout the world and occupy a wide array of professions. We come together every year to share skills and interests, and strengthen our connection to each other and our shared history.
Arts in Education
Goals and Strategies
The goal of the Arts in Education program is to increase arts education and to improve pre-K through grade 12 student learning through the arts. Funding will be directed toward programs that seek to enhance students’ educational outcomes rather than to simply increase participation in, or appreciation for, the arts.
The Arts in Education program will consider funding programs that:
Why Take This Approach?
There is clear evidence to suggest that arts-integrated curricula and/or arts-rich environments are beneficial to student learning. Although we value the arts as a stand-alone experience, programs are most successful when:
- They have the support of an entire district and in-school leadership
- Teacher professional development is included in the program
- Partnerships with high-quality arts organizations are created and nourished
- Arts lessons are aligned with other student learning goals, and
- Student progress is effectively monitored
With the above lessons in mind, we have established the following guiding principles.
- K-12 public schools (or pre-K programs that receive public funding) must already have traction in arts programs (i.e. some arts education has already been established in the school, policies are in place to support arts in education, principals want a more robust arts program, and schools have support from parent groups (PTAs) to strengthen their arts programs).
- Programs must focus on positively impacting students’ learning.
- Programs must focus on students “doing” art, as opposed to observing art. Programs should enhance comprehensive, sequential delivery of arts instruction and can include all arts: performing, music, visual, theater, literary (poetry & writing), folk, media, and emerging art fields.
- Applicants should be able to demonstrate their program has been designed and is managed with an understanding of cultural competencies appropriate to their student demographic.
Goals and Strategies
Climate change poses a significant global threat, one which we are addressing by striving to ensure an equitable, resilient, habitable, and enjoyable world for current and future generations. While our work is focused on climate change, we believe in the value of ecosystems services and in the stability and resiliency of healthy natural systems. We also believe it is essential that the cost of externalities be incorporated into lifestyle, policy, and business considerations.
As a small funder addressing an enormous issue, we aim to make grants that offer potential for leverage and scalability — as well as “opportunistic” grants where our ability to move quickly may positively impact a project’s outcome. We are particularly interested in policy and research work, demonstration projects, and finding ways to address critical gaps. We are also interested in expanding our own learning (we are not experts, nor do we aspire to be).
Why Take This Approach?
We believe in persistence and prefer to invest in ongoing work with a long-term focus. Although our grants operate on a one-year cycle, we take a partnership approach to our grantmaking and prefer to support organizations and projects that take a long-term view and can demonstrate progress toward goals each year. We are also interested in projects that have the potential to be self-sustaining in the long run.
Currently, our grantmaking is focused on efforts to hasten the demise of coal, and on work that increases the abilities of the forests, agricultural lands, and estuaries of the Pacific Northwest to sequester carbon. We are looking to support leverageable, measurable work focused on:
- Regenerative biological systems that influence the carbon cycle (“biocarbon”)
- Reducing dependency on fossil fuels, and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Goals and Strategies
The goal of the Human Services program is to support, empower, uplift, and create opportunities for long-term success and a brighter future for unaccompanied youth and young adults (age 12-24) who are in crisis, have experienced trauma, or are aging out of the foster care system. We want to support these youth and young adults in their journey from surviving to thriving.
We will consider funding organizations or programs that provide support for youth/young adults suffering from trauma, mental illness, or addiction, with priority given to homeless youth and those impacted by the foster care system. While the full spectrum of services for youth in crisis is essential, we expect to do the bulk of our grantmaking in two areas:
Why Take This Approach?
We believe treatment and support for mental health issues and trauma can help prevent homelessness and addiction later in life. We also believe supporting youth/young adults as they transition out of foster care and into independent living increases their odds for a positive future.
Organizations must meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be considered:
- Have leaders and/or staff that are representative of the community they serve. We believe that the best programs will have mentors and leaders that truly understand and can identify with those they serve (e.g., staff that have been homeless or in foster care or are open about their own mental health, trauma, or addiction struggles). We value organizations or programs that emphasize connection to and even emanate from the communities they seek to serve; those that embrace the mantra "nothing about us without us” in all aspects of their work.
- Organizations or programs that include or connect to wrap-around services for youth/young adults. For example: organizations that identify and connect youth to community resources, offer job/skills training and/or provide case management. We value organizations that partner with others in the community to ensure all of a young person’s needs are met.
Goals and Strategies
The Laird Norton family continually promotes the advancement of intellectual growth, business experience, and philanthropic focus in order to ensure the excellence of its youngest generations. Through the Sapling Fund, young Laird Norton family members (ages 14–21) come together to learn about grantmaking, the nonprofit sector, and family philanthropy. The Sapling Fund provides young family members a chance to identify and support causes that resonate with them, and endows future family leaders with a sense of fiscal and social responsibility.
Sapling Fund grants are guided by a “for kids, from kids” philosophy. Grants support programs and organizations that cater specifically to youth and specific priorities change each year as new cohorts of Sapling members collectively identify shared priorities for the year’s grantmaking.
Why Take This Approach?
Sapling Fund committee members gain valuable experience by organizing an annual campaign to raise money for their grantmaking activities through contributions from Laird Norton family members. The annual budget supports three to five grant awards each year and an all-family service project organized by members of the committee.
Goals and Strategies
Watersheds have social, ecological, and economic significance. The goal of the Watershed Stewardship program is to create enabling conditions for long-term social and ecological health and resilience in places of importance to the Laird Norton Family.
We take a long-term view on healthy watersheds and invest in organizational capacity with an eye to future resilience. We encourage our partners to focus not on single-species recovery or restoration to historical conditions as a primary end-goal, but to also consider the potential value of significantly altered — but functioning — ecosystems as we continue to face the impacts of climate change and other natural and human-caused changes into the future.
We seek to add value not just by making financial investments in organizations advancing place-based ecological and social outcomes, but also by building relationships in watershed communities, spending time listening and gaining experience in the watersheds in which we invest, and fostering partnerships, convenings, and additional investment from other funders.
Why Take This Approach?
We believe the wellbeing of the people who live in a place must be considered alongside ecological goals; understanding the diverse interests and values of a watershed’s human inhabitants is an important component of long-term success.
Organizations or programs we partner with should:
- Possess the organizational capacity and skills to be well-positioned to secure much more significant funding for projects than we would ever be able to provide.
- Be open to the Foundation removing barriers to entry for public funding and get projects to a shovel ready position.
- Provide us with opportunities to invest in their abilities to develop strong governance structures, collaborate, mediate, facilitate, tackle sticky challenges, get paperwork in order, maintain momentum on big projects, and otherwise lay the groundwork for success.
While we don’t specifically commit to a set term of investment in any watershed, we believe that investing in a place long enough to really understand the work is important, and we believe that sustained and flexible funding enables greater long-term success for our partners. Although we make grants on a one-year cycle, we take a partnership approach to our grantmaking and hold a long-term view on the work being done in the watersheds we prioritize, but we do move on when we no longer have a necessary role to play.
SC Johnson Giving, Inc.
SC Johnson Grants and Product Donations Help Make Our Communities Better
Wherever we operate, we want to help make that place better, because we are there. This aspiration began more than a century ago, with our founder, Samuel Curtis Johnson. It’s reinforced by our corporate values statement, and acted on by SC Johnson people around the globe.
Since 1937, SC Johnson has given five percent of all pretax profits to charities. The year 2017 marked 80 years of company giving, and nearly six decades of our charitable foundation, SC Johnson Giving, Inc.
Understanding SC Johnson Charitable Contributions
Our primary corporate giving focus is on institutions or organizations that serve or directly affect communities where we have operations. Our areas of interest include:
Areas of Focused Giving
Community & Economic Development - Programs that improve the quality of life in the areas of economic and community infrastructure, capacity building, economic development, safe neighborhoods, cultural experiences and job training.
Social Services - Programs that provide supportive services for low-income/at-risk individuals or families to help them on the road to self-sufficiency, such as services for families, disabled or elderly citizens, domestic disaster prevention, temporary shelter, and support for those who are disadvantaged or living in poverty.
Health & Well-Being - Programs that help educate about and combat mosquito-borne diseases, or encourage public health and wellness education and equitable access to health care.
Education - Programs that emphasize student academic achievement, with a focus on academic enrichment and advancement, such as early childhood education, K-12, post-secondary, technical and vocational schools.
Sustainability & Environmental Programs - Programs that encourage sustainability through stewardship of community ecosystems, pollution abatement, natural resource conservation, environmental beautification, renewable energy and wildlife preservation.
Windgate Charitable Trust
NOTE: Complete and submit the Inquiry Form at any time during the year but no later than the letter of inquiry deadlines to allow time for processing for the full application deadlines.
What We Fund
Supporting contemporary craft & visual arts since 1993, Windgate Foundation provides grants in the following areas:
Significant Educational Programs In Contemporary Craft And Visual Arts
- Craft school programming and scholarships
- Craft museum or craft/visual arts organization educational outreach and programming
- Craft or visual arts-related internships, fellowships or residencies
- Programs providing support for visual arts/craft artists
- Craft or visual arts organization materials, tools or equipment
Programs Providing Visual Arts, Art Education, or Effective Instructional Support To K-12 Schools
- Art-integrated instructional programs to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning and demonstrating knowledge
- Art-related training or professional development programs for teachers
- In-school, art education programs for underserved populations
Higher Education Institution Support For Visual Arts And Scholarships
- Support of visual arts programming
- Materials, tools or equipment for visual arts
- Art-integrated instructional programming
- Art-related scholarships
Programs For Disadvantaged Children In The State Of Arkansas
- Support for basic needs such as housing, clothing, food
- Support for children and youth impacted by homelessness
- Programs addressing poverty and its impact on children and youth
Other Programs As The Board May Direct, In Their Discretion, Which Serve The Charitable Purposes Of The Foundation
- New Grantseekers- Submit Inquiry if you have never received a grant, or have not applied for a grant in the last 5 years.
- Returning Grantees- Apply here if you have received a grant in the last 5 years.
NOTE: Applications may be submitted at any time during this funding cycle, open from Feb 1 to the deadline above. Please note that applications will only remain active in our system for 90 days, and at the end of this period they will be automatically rejected.
GuidelinesLocal Community grants range from a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $5,000. Eligible nonprofit organizations must operate on the local level (or be an affiliate/chapter of a larger organization that operates locally) and directly benefit the service area of the facility from which they are requesting funding.Organizations may only submit a total number of 25 applications and/or receive up to 25 grants within the 2019 grant cycle.
NOTE: Submissions are due to ACR no later than 11:59 PM local time of the organization’s legal/main location on the deadlines above.
JAMS Foundation/ACR Initiative for Students and Youth
The JAMS Foundation/ACR Initiative for Students and Youth provides grant funding for conflict prevention and dispute resolution programs for K-12 students and for adults working with youth populations in ways that directly transfer CRE skills from adults to youth.
Each year, the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and the JAMS Foundation identify specific subject areas seeking to address otherwise unresolved issues and unmet needs of both general and target youth populations, based on current research and feedback from leaders and stakeholders in the dispute resolution and education fields.
Funding contexts for selected subject areas will vary, and may include community-based organizations, alternative education settings (online education, charter schools), after-school programs, court- or juvenile justice-connected programs, as well as programs operating in traditional K-12 school districts.
Once a target subject area has been determined, a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) soliciting Initial Project Ideas will be posted on the ACR and JAMS Foundation websites and distributed through other appropriate venues. Following ACR’s review of the Initial Project Ideas received, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full grant proposal for review by ACR’s Grant Review Committee.
All grant inquires and proposals should be directed to ACR. Grant proposals submitted in response to the Notice of Funding Availability will first be reviewed by ACR, with subsequent review and final approval by the JAMS Foundation Board, based on recommendations from ACR and the Board’s own review of top-ranked proposals.
It is anticipated that for each designated subject area, 1-2 applicants will be selected each year to receive Year 1 grant funding of up to $40,000 to support their efforts to develop, refine, or expand programming in that subject area. Grant recipients may also be eligible for Year 2 funding of up to $20,000, contingent upon the satisfactory achievement of Year 1 benchmarks and goals.
Current Areas of Concentration
The 2022 Funding Track will continue and expand the 2021 Funding Focus on conflict resolution education and training for youth to create opportunities to prevent and manage conflict in the following settings:
- Domestic violence shelters
- Homeless shelters
- Foster care
- Youth correctional facilities
- School or after-school programs