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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:08 PM
Original message
Anyone here know anything about writing grants?
I am trying to come up with about $3000 for tumbling mats for our middle school cheering team. The school and town budgets just don't have it, so I am looking for another way to get this done. Right now my girls are learning to tumble and stunt on a hardwood floor, and I refuse to let them go above shoulder height without mats.

Soooooo, any suggestions???


Coach Jen aescougarcheer at
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Your school system should have a grants writer at some level.
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 08:13 PM by jody
Their job should be to help you or tell you your goal can not be achieved via grants. Note the "should" which might not apply to your schools.

Good luck, you're going to need it.

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks!
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. You need to research
I'd start with contacting any National or Statewide Gymnastic and Cheerleading Organizations. They could point you in the way of resources. Also contact local gyms. I would imagine they replace mats and may be able to recycle there old ones to you.

Every Request for Proposals has different requirements and stipulations. If you do find one that you want to respond to you need to answer each question completely and fully as possible.

Have you thought about other fund raising? $3000 is really not that much. Car Washes, Bake Sales, Wrapping Paper Sales can net that for you in a few months if you are dedicated and have a good core of folks to help you. Contact every student's parent to let them know who you are and what it is that you want. Let them know you need their help.

Grant Writing is a time consuming process that requires research. Don't get discouraged. You may need to respond to a number of requests before you get any money.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well, we tapped the town out already fundraising-wise
when we went after the $800 we needed for uniforms last month. We are a school of 60 students in a 700 person community. That means there aren't a lot of folks available to buy stuff at every bake sale, esp since there are other clubs and teams from the school vying for money.

I did think of trying to get cast-off mats from other schools or gyms. Will definitely look into that this week.

So far the grant I am looking most closely at is this one:

I have found a few others that might also work, since it is possible that the community fitness classes might also like to use the mats.

I was brainstorming today on what to write for the grant application. So far all I have in my notes is this:
What does the cheerleading program offer the girls?

Exercise, not just at practice and at games but we encourage the girls to exercise in a safe and healthy way on their own time. We also have them bring in healthy snacks because as middle schoolers, they are still growing and need good nutritious food to give them the energy they need to participate in the activity.

It also offers a self-esteem boost. We as coaches are sensitive to the fact that these youngsters are at a____ age, where body image issues can set in. We owe it to these young girls and ladies to encourage them to revel in the strength of their bodies and acknowledge that beauty comes in more sizes and shapes than Madison Avenue would have them believe.

While we are currently open to the grade 5 through 8 girls during the basketball season, it is our hope to expand our program so that we have recreational cheerleading classes during the off-season for children of all ages. We want to promote the idea that exercise is not a seasonal activity but a regular and lifelong one. The girls we help start on a path to lifelong exercise and healthy eating will have a better chance of fighting against heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and other conditions which are exacerbated by sedentary lifestyles. Get a source quote on how exercise helps women

One of the terrific things about cheerleading is that as an activity it promotes flexibility, strength, and aerobic conditioning. It also has a series of goals built into it that keep the participant interest level high. Grade school cheerleaders can strive to meet a certain level of competence in performing stunts, but can look forward to more difficult degrees of stunting at the high school and college level. This provides and incentive for the girls and young women to continue with the program through their school experience. After school ends for them the opportunity to go on to be an instructor, coach, or advisor can help them keep working at their physical fitness.

In our own program we will be able to monitor improvement according to how well the team and its members perform. If a girl is able to jump higher than when she first began the season, or can climb into or lift a stunt with greater ease than when she first tried it, we will know that her strength and flexibility have improved.

Our school is an historical landmark and we are very proud of it, but one of its drawbacks is that it has no gymnasium of its own. The Maine Maritime Academy very graciously allows the school to use its sports facilities, but due to practice conflicts, the cheerleaders are unable to avail the Academy of its offer. Instead, they practice in the Town Hall in a very lovely old half-size gym, but it is not equipped for such an activity.

What our program needs help with:

Mats: for safety during gymnastic tumbling and stunt building. We currently are working on a bare hardwood floor.

If applying for a large grant:
Any money not used to pay for the mats would go into a fund to cover:

Additional uniforms. Our squad did an excellent job in raising the funds necessary for the 7 uniforms they needed for this year. But should we add more girls to the squad we will need to purchase additional sets of uniforms. Unfortunately, our town is so small that there is a limited amount of fundraising we can do per activity, since there are many other school groups that also wish to raise funds for projects of their own.

Camperships: We would like to be able to attend professionally hosted cheerleading and gymnastic camps. Any money left from the mat purchase would be put toward defraying the costs of attending camp.
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Just did a quick look...
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 08:33 PM by The empressof all
I would try to flesh out goals and documentation of achievement of these goals. Givers want to know that you are doing what you say and that you have a way to measure it.

For example: The Cheer leading team will maintain a membership of 8 girls each year.

These goals should be simple and will be things you will probably be doing anyway. The Grantor's don't know what you know however and they like things simple.

I'd also include something about rules and expectations for the girls in your program.

You also want to research some statistics about the benefits of team sports. Do cheerleaders get better grades? What are the measurable benefits.

You may have already included some of this stuff---I just read through your post very quickly

Also you want to include a spreadsheet of how you will be actually spending the money. Most Grantors don't want you to put money in the bank for future needs. If you are asking for money show them specifically how you will spend every penny
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks. I was wondering how I would be able to quantify this stuff
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 08:35 PM by GreenPartyVoter
I'll see what stats I can come up with.

Thanks again!

Editing to add that the grant I am looking at would not quite cover our needs, but I am hoping we can get the town/school to chip in the cost of shipping.


4x8x2 Velcro on 4 sides $158.50/per mat Need 16, total of $2535.98 plus s/h
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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. I've written lots of grants, Jen
From smallish ($1000) all the way up to my big success last year, $100,000 to help refurbish an overnight shelter for homeless families. I've also evaluated grant proposals for a foundation for the past three years.

As others have mentioned, you should check with the school PTA or board beforehand. They probably have some guidelines. For instance, many grantors have a policy about giving multiple grants during a certain period of time (for example, if you ask for $2500 from someone now and receive it, the school system would have to wait a year or so to ask the same group again for money for a photocopier).

When I started, I read a book called I'll Grant You That, which I found to be very helpful. IIRC, it came with a CD-ROM.

Good luck!!!
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