Small Grants

Small Grants Program

The Northampton Education Foundation awards grants twice a year to encourage the development of creative and innovative teaching and learning initiatives for the Northampton Public Schools consistent with the district’s goals. Through the grant program, we support the preparation of new instructional materials, methods, and innovative teaching programs that are introduced into a classroom. We also fund extracurricular initiatives that are intended to enhance student learning. Since the grant program was initiated in 1991, dozens of projects have received funding. These projects have been proposed by teachers and administrators, often in collaboration with parents, community members, and local organizations. For summaries of projects undertaken since June, 2000, see NEF-Funded Projects.

Small Grant Application Form: An online-fillable application form is available on our website. Be sure to read the funding guidelines before filling out the application.

What We Fund: The grant program aims to enhance the quality of education in the Northampton Public Schools through innovation and creativity, and funds awarded may be used in a variety of ways to achieve these objectives. Curriculum, which defines what students should know and be able to do, is determined by the Northampton School Department. The Foundation aims to fund proposals that present promising ideas and approaches for achieving the district’s curricular goals as well as projects that enhance links with the community. As a result, we will fund, as part of the grant award: the development of new programs and approaches that strengthen student learning; activities involving courses and workshops; the enhancement of teaching skills in particular content areas such as writing, computing, and video production; professional development programs; and the preparation of new materials in collaboration with colleagues in other schools, subject areas, or grade levels. Grant monies may be used to pay such costs as stipends for teachers, grant administration time (up to 8 hours), release time, consultants, transportation for students, tuition and travel to professional meetings or research sites, books, technology, software, subscriptions, duplicating, postage, and supplies directly related to the proposal.

What We Don’t Fund: The Northampton Education Foundation, under this grant program, will not fund proposals that are exclusively requests for books or materials, technology upgrades, or teacher or in-service training. These types of expenses, however, may be incurred when they are a critical part of a proposed new or expanding project that enhances teaching and learning. Funding for books and online resources is however available through the NEF Book Fund

Who May Apply: We invite grant applications from teachers and administrators in the Northampton public school system, including Smith Vocational School. If sponsored by a teacher or administrator, projects may be initiated by parents, community members, students and/or local organizations and undertaken in collaboration with a teacher or administrator.

Funding and Grant Cycle: The Foundation awards grants of up to $3,000. You may reapply for grants in following years, up to three years and be eligible each year for full funding. Grants submitted jointly and involving a collaboration by two or more schools (e.g. a project involving teachers or students at JFK Middle School and Leeds Elementary School working together to create or implement a project) will be eligible for up to $5,000/year. Please note: a program being offered at more than one school but not involving a collaboration between or among the schools would not qualify for the larger grant.

There are two grant cycles per year. The deadline for the spring grant cycle is mid-April – for projects to be completed between July 1 and June 30 of the following school year. The deadline for the fall grant cycle is mid-October for projects to be completed between December 1 and June 30 of the following calendar year. Requests for grant disbursement for both of these grant periods must be submitted by August 15. Final reports for all grants must also be submitted by August 15.

2nd and 3rd Year Repeat Grants: In the event that a grant project is successful, a new grant application can be submitted to conduct the same project in a subsequent year. Up to three grants may be awarded for the same project, with full funding available each year. 

Review Process: Grant proposals are evaluated by a review committee, which is appointed on an annual basis. The membership of this committee brings a variety of perspectives to these deliberations. The committee recommends finalists to the Foundation board, and the board announces its recommendations to the School Committee.

Reports & Evaluation: Grant recipients will be asked to submit a final report and an expense record in a timely manner, no later than August 15. Reports will become part of the Foundation’s resource files.

Time-Sensitive Grants

The Northampton Education Foundation board of directors may, at its discretion, award grants outside the regular grant cycle in order to allow educators to take advantage of opportunities that arise unexpectedly. The maximum grant under this program is $1,500. For more information, contact Sam Hopper and Jennifer Sanders-James (see emails below.)

NEF Small Grants to Educators Committee Co-Chairs:

Jennifer Sanders-James:
Sam Hopper: