How to Apply for a Mini Grant

Private or nonprofit foundations, as well as government programs, can provide mini grants. Mini grants are usually around $500, but can be between $100 and $5000. Mini grants are free money that never has to be repaid if obligations were met. Mini grants are not usually renewable and are meant to fund one-time expenses, but you can apply each year.


  • Write a short description of the reason you are seeking a mini grant. Always tell the sponsors of the grant the why, when and where of your project. If buying equipment, indicate how the equipment will be kept up without any further grant funding.
  • Determine how much grant money you will need. This is very important when seeking mini grants, because smaller grants are usually granted before larger grants. But if you ask for to little of a grant you may not have enough funding to pay for the project.
  • Know that you know what you need funding for when it is time to go searching for mini grants. The easiest way to find grants from various foundations is to use a good search engine search for "mini grants." Beside the word mini grant you will need to put what type of grant you are looking for, such as education, gardening, community-based, or unemployment grant. and are also great websites to find various forms of mini grants.
  • Read and follow directions very carefully. Many foundations will immediately throw out applicants for any form of not following directions. Most mini grants will require a short intro to the project you seek funding for, plus a list of supporters for the project.
  • Be patient. Most foundations are not in the grant funding business and have various other duties besides going through applications, so being patient till they send word of a grant is essential.


A mini grant proposal is typically only two pages. This is quite a bit different from the usual twenty pages. For this reason, the funders do not expect the same information or impact of a typical grant proposal. However, with competition being high for almost any grant amount, it is important to use the space available to its most potential.


First you must read the mini grant guidelines as closely as possible. Each guideline should tell you what the page allowance is, what questions must be answered, and what information you must present.

  • Needs Assessment: Define the need for the project. State who will benefit and how and why the project is important. Provide evidence to document the problem or need. Give a timeline of the project.
  • Program Objectives: Focus on the projected outcome of the project grant money is being sought for. Point out who is going to do what, when, and how much. Give a date the project is to be completed.
  • Methods: Give the steps of the project, the reason behind them, and who would be responsible for the completion of steps.
  • Evaluation: Give details on how the project will be evaluated and who will be doing the evaluation. Give names of tests and methods used for measuring the results. Show at what points the evaluation will start and how improvements to the program will be put into progress.
  • Budget: Give a total cost of the project. Then show where the money will go. Be specific for each category. Also give information on other funding sources.


Also write a short title page and include any formal data from other sources to support your project. This usually does not count towards page count for a mini grant proposal. However some grant guidelines will give a max on how many pages can be attached. Remember just because you attach information does not mean it will be read. So all imperative information should be on the grant proposal. 

In many cases you will be asked to write a proposal instead of completing a form that includes the information above, but you will be limited to a short proposal. Follow these guidelines in constructing your proposal.


No matter what the topic, the intention of any proposal is to persuade the recipient into action. A traditional, full-length proposal can run several pages, but you can create a simple, two-page proposal. If you decide to create a full proposal later on, the two-page proposal can serve as your executive summary. The best way to set up your simple proposal is with an introduction, a body that explains the details of the proposal and a conclusion.

  • Collect all the information you need regarding the proposal. This should include how you plan to implement the proposal, when the action should take place, and any relevant costs and projected sales or losses
  • Write an outline for your proposal to organize the data you collected. Begin with a single sentence that explains what you are proposing; this will be part of the introduction. Divide the body into sections that provide details of the proposal such as the method you will use, necessary equipment and/or personnel, important dates or a timeline, financial information and benefits to the company. End with a conclusion statement that calls the recipient to action.
  • Write the introduction by developing the sentence you wrote in the outline. Summarize the problem you intend to solve and how you are going to solve it.
  • Write each paragraph in the body, limiting yourself to no more than six paragraphs so that you stay on two pages. Develop each idea you noted in the outline; for example, one paragraph might focus on the method, while the next describes the timeline.
  • Write the conclusion paragraph with a focus on how this proposal will benefit the company, both financially and otherwise. Explain what needs to happen next in order to put this plan into action.


While your general tone should be assertive, you also should write with the intent of encouraging and motivating the recipients to support your proposal.


The reason that teachers apply for mini grants is that they are readily available, easy to write and these funds are specifically designated to support classroom instruction. You are probably wondering how do I find sources of mini grants. The easiest way to begin is to use your search engine on your computer. Type in the browser the words “mini grant for teachers” and see what happens. You will probably see thousands of listings and it could take a lot of time to go through all of the listings. You need to refine your search. Type into your search after the words “mini grant for teachers” the name of your state. This will limit your search to mini grants offered to teachers in your state. You could delete the name of your state and replace it with the name of your county or even your school district. Many school districts have their own foundations and many of these foundations are supported by local PTAs, service clubs like the Kiwanis and Rotary. You could also define your search by adding in your industry sector.

 Here are examples of browser searches:


If you have tried these various searches you have seen a number of different resources. You have seen different sources of grant funding. You have seen success stories of other schools who have applied for grant funding and you have seen other resources for securing funding including “how to” websites and other grant sources.

The easiest mini grants to secure are those that are designated for your area or district. These monies have been set aside to support you, the classroom teacher. You would be surprised about how much money designed for mini grants is never is used.

After you have decided to apply for a mini grant to pay for your CareerSafe® vouchers, the next step is to secure the form or format the foundation wants you to use. Much of the information for completing the form will come from the CareerSafe website and/or your school district.

Here is a typical mini grant form. The information that you generate for this form can be easily written into a proposal. This is the White-Reinhardt Funds for Education Mini Grant. These funds were generated to support the agriculture education.

Application Information: All of this information can be generated from you or your school.

Project Information: Section 2 is asking for a description of your project, or in other words, why you want the money. What they are asking is for you to identify the need and how by investing in this project you are addressing the need. This is right from the website:

“Every five days, one teen is killed on the job. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health there are about 70 work-related fatalities each year among this young work population. Additionally, more than 200,000 young workers are injured on the job; 70,000 of them require emergency room treatment. Further, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that younger workers continue to have the highest rates of work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses.” (If you have specific statistics for your area, you should insert them here.)

Go on to describe the program.“I (the teacher) am proposing to purchase vouchers for each of my students to participate in an online safety training program. The OSHA Outreach Training Program for General Industry provides training for entry-level workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces in general industry. The program also provides information regarding workers' rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint. Through this training, OSHA helps to ensure that workers are more knowledgeable about workplace hazards and their rights. Students who successfully complete the CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour General Industry course receive an OSHA 10-Hour General Industry wallet card from the OSHA Training Institute (OTI). The modules include:

  • Introduction to OSHA
  • Walking Working Surfaces
  • Emergency Action Plans & Fire Protection
  • Avoiding Electrocution Hazards
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Hazard Communication
  • Materials Handling, Storage, Use, & Disposal
  • Machine Guarding
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Ergonomics
  • Preventing Workplace Violence
  • Safety and Health Programs

Goals and anticipated outcomes: The program is divided into modules. Each module contains information, practice materials, and a quiz at the end of each one. The student must answer at least 70 percent of the questions correctly to move on to the next module and the student has only three chances for each quiz. Each module has its own goals, but the goals and anticipated outcomes are the following:

By completing the CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour General Industry training, students:

  • Develop a safety mindset and learn valuable skills for their future.
  • Know their worker rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.
  • Receive a wallet card from the OSHA training institute (OTI) that demonstrates to employers that they have received safety training needed in the workplace.
  • Become more employable, gaining a competitive advantage in the job market.

While the students are completing the modules online, the teacher is monitoring their progress through a Teacher Gradebook, which tells the teacher who is progressing and who is experiencing difficulties. At the end of each module, after the student had passed the quiz, the student can print out the module’s summary for their portfolio, which can be used in a job interview.

Timeline: The Timeline section is up to you. This would be an excellent project for an extended vacation, such as winter break. Students could also earn this certification over the summer. An agriculture teacher shared that he assigned this project to his students who are matriculating to the local community college as part of their 2 + 2 program. Students can be required to complete this certification before they begin their on-the-job-training (OJT).

Budget: Since we indicated we want to certify 20 students and the vouchers are $25 each, the budget would be 20 students x $25/voucher = $500. (The maximum gift from this grant is $500)

Target Audience: The application then asks you to describe your “target audience,” your students. For this application, you should include the students' grade levels and the agriculture courses in which they are enrolled. For example: 20 senior agriculture students divided between the following courses: Ag Mechanics, Nursery Practices, Ag Welding and Animal Science.

Explain how this project will creatively engage students in a manner that encourages them to learn more about agriculture: This program is intended for students who are about to or intend to start their first job or internship. Many of the examples in the modules come from the field of agriculture. Statistically, young people are almost as likely to be injured in an agricultural job as they would in construction, which has the highest rate of injuries or death for young workers. The training received in this program goes hand in hand with the instruction students are receiving in their agriculture courses and should be their final step before entering the field.

How does this project provide a link between agriculture and education? This section is asking the grant writer to describe how this project links agriculture and education. Throughout the 10-hour program, students are directed to read, make judgments, draw conclusions, look for clues, and solve problems that they might encounter on the job. These are the same skills demanded in the SCANS Skills and the skills demanded in the new Common Core Standards.

Indicate your process for aligning the project with your state learning standards:This section is asking for you to state how this certification is aligned with the state learning standards. To address this alignment you should look at that section of your state Career and Technical Education (CTE) standards that deal with health and safety. This topic is probably addressed in each industry sector. In the California Career and Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards in the Agriculture industry sector under the Foundation Standards for Health and Safety it states the following:

6.0 Health and Safety: Students understand health and safety policies, procedures, regulations, and practices, including the use of equipment and handling of hazardous materials:

6.1 Know policies, procedures, and regulations regarding health and safety in the workplace, including employers’ and employees’ responsibilities.

6.2 Understand critical elements of health and safety practices related to storing, cleaning, and maintaining tools, equipment, and supplies.

6.3 Understand how to locate important information on a material safety data sheet.

6.4 Maintain safe and healthful working conditions.

6.5 Use tools and machines safely and appropriately.

6.6 Know how to both prevent and respond to accidents in the agricultural industry.

Students address each of the above standards as they progress through the various modules in the 10-hour OSHA certification.

Explain how this project would expand upon the current agricultural literacy efforts (additional grades, audiences, new subjects etc): This section is asking for the direct benefits for the students. This is right from the website.

By completing the CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour General Industry training, students:

  • Develop a safety mindset and learn valuable skills for their future.
  • Know their worker rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.
  • Receive a wallet card from the OSHA training institute (OTI) that demonstrates to employers that they have received safety training needed in the workplace.
  • Become more employable, gaining a competitive advantage in the job market.

Finally, after you have received and spend the funds, you should do an evaluation of the project or program. In this case, how many students enrolled in the program and how many completed. You should include a picture of the students holding up their OSHA cards. Send your program evaluation and picture of your satisfied students, along with a thank you card to the granting foundation, even if they don’t ask for it. After all, this will not be the last time you request funds from this organization. Remember, you are not just requesting funding to support your program you are building a relationship with community partners.

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