20 Grants for Teachers, Classrooms, and Schools

Applying for a grant can take a little extra work, but the payoff is worth it.

stephanie behring

By Stephanie Behring

woman teacher with group of young students in gym
woman teacher with group of young students in gym

From bake sales to fundraising drives, it can seem like schools are always looking for ways to increase their funding. While states and the federal government are expected to fund the basics, oftentimes programs are left lacking and teachers find themselves buying their own classroom supplies, using outdated technology and textbooks, or unable to pay for a field trip.

Luckily, there are hundreds of grants available to teachers that can help plug the holes. While some are for professional development or enrichment, most of them help fund your classroom and school. Securing a grant can benefit your students now and for years to come.

Grants are offered by a huge variety of organizations, from small, local charities to large national players like Target, Nike, and Toshiba. So, how do you go about getting one? Make sure you’re narrowing down your choices to grants you or your school would qualify for. Some grants are targeted at particular grade levels, certain populations served, or specific types of schools.

Once you’ve found a grant that will meet your needs, check the application procedure. Often, you’ll need to write a proposal. Your proposal will need to outline facts about your school, why you need the grant, and how you’ll use the money. Often, competitive grants will have a rating and voting system that will weigh your proposal and application against other proposals. A committee will typically vote to approve or deny your grant. Keep in mind that some grants are first-come, first-served, meaning that when funding for a year runs out, that money is gone and you won’t be approved, even if you meet the requirements.

From funding for a pet in the classroom to endowments that bring new reading or sports programs to schools, below are some non-state-specific grants that can help bring improvements to you, your classroom, and your entire school.

Grants for Teacher Development

young student makes presentation to her class

Some grants are available to teachers for personal use. While you can’t use these grants to pay your bills or buy a house, you can use them for personal advancement and enrichment. From travel to education to classroom pets, here are a few grants meant just for you.

General Educator Grants

You can find funding for things you might not have thought of, from a classroom goldfish to a once-in-a-lifetime professional enhancement trip.

Pets in the Classroom

Amount: $50 to $150 toward a classroom pet

Description: Have you ever wished your students could share in the care of a pet? The Pets in the Classroom program makes that possible, providing a stipend for teachers to purchase fish, rabbits, and other small animals for their classrooms.

Who Qualifies: K-9 teachers

Deadline: Applications open for each school year in August.

Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program

Amount: Travel expenses and stipends

Description: The goal of the Global Classrooms program is to enrich teachers’ lives through travel, allowing them to bring that experience back to their students. Recipients are able to take a three-week trip to an international location, where they can meet with other teachers and gain new experiences.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers with at least five years of experience

Deadline: Applications are accepted December through March of each school year.

Grants to Advance Your Education

If you’re looking to sharpen your skills, learn new techniques, or advance your career, these grants can help.

Fund for Teachers

Amount: $5,000 to $10,000

Description: Fund for Teachers has been in existence since 2001 and gives teachers the chance to apply for money toward their own professional development goals. Unlike grants meant for a specific course or conference, Fund for Teachers lets you plan your own educational and professional development needs and then apply for funds toward those needs.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers

Deadline: Applications are accepted between October and January each year.

NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grant

Amount: $2,000 to $5,000

Description: You can apply for this grant from the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation on your own or as part of a team. Funds can be used to attend conferences, seminars, and other educational opportunities. However, funds can’t be used toward classes that are part of obtaining a degree.

Who Qualifies: Public school K-12 teachers and faculty at public colleges and universities

Deadline: All NEA grant applications are currently paused due to COVID-19.

McCarthey Dressman Teacher Development Grants

Amount: Up to $10,000 per year over a three-year period

Description: These grants from the McCarthey Dressman Educational Foundation allow teachers to pursue innovative professional development and new teaching strategies. Like the NEA grant, you can apply as an individual or as part of a team. If you’re selected, the foundation will work with you to implement your goals and observe their impact on students.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers

Deadline: Applications are accepted from January 15 to April 15 each year.

Grants for Your School or Programs

art teacher critiques young student painting

Most teacher grants fall into this category. You can find grant funding to help you teach certain subjects, spruce up your classroom, get an extracurricular activity started, and more. You can apply for these grants on your own or with the help of other teachers in your school or department. For example, if you’re applying for an English and Language Arts (ELA) grant, you might want to have all the teachers in your department work on the proposal.

Library Grants

Keeping your school library furnished with up-to-date books and materials can be a huge expense for many schools. Librarians, who manage both books and internet resources for schools, will find that grant funding can help overcome that financial barrier and ensure that their school’s library provides value to students.

The Laura Bush Foundation Grant

Amount: Varies

Description: Founded by former United States First Lady Laura Bush, the foundation has been helping high-needs schools keep well-stocked libraries since 2002. Public schools and their libraries are encouraged to apply for the funds they need to update their books and materials.

Who Qualifies: Guidelines are currently under review, but the grant is intended for high-needs schools with a significant percentage of students who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program.

Deadline: Rolling

Schoolwide Grants

Multiple grants are designed with your whole school in mind. Funds may be used for schoolwide improvements or initiatives.

American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation Grant

Amount: Varies, but the average award is $10,000

Description: Funds can be used for needs like meal programs or for learning initiatives like reading programs.

Who Qualifies: Teachers and educators who work for nonprofit schools, libraries, community centers, or other nonprofit organizations

Deadline: Applications are accepted in February of each year.

Great Public Schools (GPS) Fund Grant
(administered by the National Education Association)

Amount: Varies

Description: Funds are given to help teachers fund innovative schoolwide programming. Each year, priority is given to specific areas. For the 2021 funding year, priority will be given to grant proposals focused on early career educators or racial justice in education.

Who Qualifies: K-12 public school teachers. Schools must be affiliated with the National Education Association to qualify.

Deadline: There are two rounds of applications. The first round of applications is due by September 15. If your application is approved, you’ll then need to submit a second-round application by February 21.

Jordan Fundamentals Grant

Amount: Varies, but the average award is $10,000

Description: The Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, supports this grant. The grant aims to provide funding for schools and improve academic outcomes, teacher-student relations, school communities, and teacher development.

Who Qualifies: K-12 public school teachers at high-needs schools. The Jordan brand defines a high-needs school as one where 50% or more of students receive free or reduced lunch.

Deadline: April 15 of each year

Supply Grants

It’s no surprise that teachers often spend their own money to fill their classrooms with supplies. In fact, the National Education Association reports that as many as 94% of teachers have spent their own money on supplies, averaging over $400 a year. Luckily, there are programs out there that can ease this burden. Teachers can crowdfund their classrooms through organizations like Adopt a Classroom or Donors Choose. There are also grants available. While many supply grants have a specific use in mind, such as STEM or art supplies, others can be used for any supply needs your classroom has.

Supply a Teacher

Amount: $100 to $500 in supplies

Description: Supply a Teacher is an ongoing project from the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF). Teachers can apply for this grant and receive two large boxes filled with a semester’s worth of classroom supplies. As a teacher, you can create a list of supplies you need for your classroom. KINF will make your list available to donors and then deliver them directly to your school.

Who Qualifies: K-12 public school teachers at high-needs schools. The Jordan brand defines a high-needs school as one where 50% or more of students receive free or reduced lunch.

Deadline: You can contact KINF at any time, but lists for teachers in need are posted in the summer.

Student Success Grants

Amount: Awards of either $2,000 or $5,000

Description: Student Success Grants from the National Education Association are designed to help teachers purchase materials, supplies, and technology for their classrooms. Funds can also be used for transportation. Currently, STEM-focused proposals are given preference.

Who Qualifies: K-12 public school teachers at NEA-affiliated schools

Deadline: All NEA grant applications are currently paused due to COVID-19.

Arts Grants

Arts education has been proven to improve overall student learning and success, but instructors who teach art in schools often have a hard time securing funding for their programs. Grants can help bridge this gap and allow your school to continue providing arts opportunities for students.

Arts Fund

Amount: Varies

Description: The Arts Fund is one of five “Spotlight Funds” from Adopt a Classroom. Unlike Adopt a Classroom’s typical crowdfunding model, Spotlight Funds let teachers apply for grants and get funding for specific school needs. Money from the Arts Fund can be used toward art supplies, musical instruments, theater costumes, and more.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers

Deadline: Rolling

National Endowment for the Arts Educational Grants

Amount: Between $10,00 and $100,000 

Description: The National Endowment for the Arts is a federal agency dedicated to funding artists of all kinds throughout the United States. Schools can apply for grants to fund arts education, theater departments, music programs, and more.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers

Deadline: Multiple grant programs with deadlines throughout the year.

Sports and Wellness Grants

Schools can set a foundation for healthy habits in students, but not having the right equipment can make that tough. Physical education teachers can benefit from a sports and wellness grant designed to get students active and moving with.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Grants

Amount: Up to $4,000

Description: A project of America’s Dairy Farmers, this grant has been giving schools the funding they need to increase physical activity programs and bring healthy foods to their students for the past 10 years. Funds can be used for school wellness initiatives, sports equipment, and more.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers at schools that are part of the National School Lunch Program. You’ll need to be signed up for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program to apply.

Deadline: Applications are accepted every spring.

STEM Grants

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) grants can make a huge difference in the programs and lessons you can provide your students. From science lab supplies to math integration projects, STEM grants can be an invaluable resource for technology teachers looking to help students connect with these subjects in a new way.


Amount: $1,000

Description: The Stem Fund is another Spotlight Fund opportunity from Adopt a Classroom and is offered in partnership with Staples, the office supply store. Teachers can apply for funding toward materials like lab supplies and calculators to teach STEM in their classrooms in an engaging way.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers

Deadline: January through March each year.

Toshiba America Foundation Grant

Amount: Varies

Description: Sponsored by technology company Toshiba, these grants are designed to help teachers bring their STEM learning ideas from concept to classroom. Funds are designed to be used for a specific goal or project and not for classroom supplies.

Who Qualifies: Middle and high school teachers

Deadline: Rolling

Verizon Foundation Education Grants

Amount: Varies

Description: Verizon’s education grants are meant to be used to enhance STEM programming at schools throughout the country. This can include funds for extracurricular activities, integrated programming, and teaching education. Funds can’t be used to purchase classroom computers.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers

Deadline: Rolling

Early Literacy Assistance (ELA) Grants

You might not think of early literacy assistance supplies as a huge expense, but with everything from interactive phonics tools to novels falling under this umbrella, costs can add up. Teachers specializing in early childhood education can benefit from grants such as these. ELA grants can make sure your students have the supplies they need to inspire a lifelong love of words.

The Literary Empowerment Foundation (LEF) Book
Matching Grant

Amount: Up to $20,000 worth of books for your classroom

Description: The Book Matching Grant from LEF is designed to help schools double their ability to purchase books. Books are available at multiple grades and reading levels to suit English curriculums. If your school is selected, LEF will match the money you spent on books for your classroom up to $20,000.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers

Deadline: July 31 each year

Other Grants

music teacher helps young student play guitar

Additional grants are available outside of major subject areas. You can find help to fund that museum field trip, funds to restock your supplies after a disaster, funds toward making your classroom more diverse and welcoming, and more.

Target Field Trip Grants

Amount: $700

Description: Field trip grants have been sponsored by retail giant Target since 2007 with the goal of sending classrooms on field trips to enhance learning opportunities. Funds can be used for tickets, transportation, meals, and more.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers

Deadline: Rolling

Disaster Relief Funds

Amount: Varies

Description: If your school or classroom has been impacted by disaster, there’s an Adopt a Classroom Spotlight Fund to help. Funds can go to replenish damaged supplies, provide meals to qualifying students while schools are closed, and more.

Who Qualifies: K-12 teachers

Deadline: Rolling