Just Awarded a Grant? 5 Ways to Sustain Your Work
This PLTW Blog entry is an excerpt from the PLTW Fundraising Toolkit. You can download the full toolkit here.
Congratulations on your successful fundraising efforts!
While you’ve already secured funding, it’s likely that there’s still work to do. Each partner will likely have a unique set of gift and reporting requirements that will help you grow or create a long-term partnership. Below are some recommended steps to complete that will help you sustain your PLTW program long after receiving an initial gift.
1. Review expectations and complete final steps.
First, it is important to carefully review any documents your partner sent to your program(s) in order to understand any partnership requirements. You may be required to spend the funds a certain way, your school may need to sign an agreement before accessing the donation, or you may have to report back to the partner after you use the donation. Taking the time to learn and understand requirements will prepare you to follow through with what’s expected of you. In addition, make sure the right people at your district sign any necessary paperwork and follow any other steps your partner outlines in order to access your grant.
2. Comply with reporting.
This is extremely important if you want to maintain the possibility of future support. Failing to comply with reporting requirements will have a negative impact on any future support you may hope to receive. Read any reporting requirements carefully, and plan ahead to complete requirements in a timely fashion.
3. Consider inviting the partner to join your PLTW Partnership Team.
A PLTW Partnership Team links a district’s or school's PLTW program to the community, to the local economy, and to local industry needs. A partnership team is a group of collaborative stakeholders who provide leadership to support and enhance exceptional student learning experiences. To learn more about how you can establish and grow a PLTW Partnership Team, check out the PLTW Partnership Team Guide.
4. Recognize your new partner publicly.
Support from new partners is more likely to continue if they feel that their investment is appreciated. Look for ways to mention their support at school board meetings and school events. Consider displaying a banner featuring your partner at your school. You may also want to thank them in your school newsletter and on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
5. Showcase your programs.
If possible, invite your partner to the classroom or an event where your students are front and center. Seeing students in action can help create a personal connection for the individuals visiting, which will help you develop a strong, long-term commitment. Another way to highlight your programs is by sharing your students’ achievements. Stories about student and teacher transformations are powerful. Let your partners know how their support has helped students and teachers. Share videos, pictures, and/or thank-you notes to express your appreciation.