Where to search for a grant
I want to donate some of my time to a local grade school and get an A/V dept. up and running there.
Where would i search to get a grant for equipment?
Grants is all about location and who you are helping?
I worked on a similar project some 23 years ago - we purchased 2 U-Matic LowBand top loader VTR's with a edit controller that frame accurate up to 3 seconds. That was the days :-) However, the initial system was paid for and installed in the local Youth Club to help the kids get off the street and get into team work.
Within a year, the local cable operator purchased a second editing system with camera to go into a small office to produce news stories and help run an info channel. Their finance came through subscription and advertising. Part of it was than rather than paying $16,000 at the time to someone like Discovery, the money would be used locally and support local people - this a very small cable network.
Depending on your location, I would ask the local TV-Stations if they have any surplus kit. And I would ask local government and NGO's whether they would like to be a stake-holder in return for educating the kids and at the same produce programs that will benefit the community. Once you've got traction with local support, you can then start applying for grants - which I reckon you'll have more luck as a going concern than a upstart.
All the Best
Latest video to watch here:
Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
I spent several years making grant supported documentary films and working at an arts and educational center teaching kids A/V skills, from animation to general camera use to making youth centered art videos and documentaries.
Perhaps you have done what I'm going to suggest, so if you have, you're on a good path.
The first thing you need is a CLEAR plan. Nobody will give you money, equipment (or the time of day for that matter) unless you have a clear vision of what you're trying to accomplish...in writing. Second, you need people with education backgrounds to come on board as advisors. They can be volunteers, or you could offer them an honorarium (a small financial token for their time) that would be paid after you secure funding. It would also help to have other professionals on-board who've agreed to donate their time, equipment or use of their facilities.
It's also helpful to partner with an organization that already has their 501-C3 non-profit status so they can act as your fiscal agent. Granting agencies won't give money to individuals or groups without this designation. It's a pain to get it for yourself or your group, so partner with an agency that's already helping kids and ask them to be handle funds. They basically will get the checks from the funding agencies, they deposit them in their account, then write you checks as you need them. It's a pain but it also adds credibility and gives funding agencies some peach of mind knowing they're not just giving money to an individual.
Without all of this, nobody will take you seriously. Next, you need to approach people in the local community who are already donating money, time or assistance to educational endeavors. That could be local government organizations, it could be foundations (usually with hospitals, banks, utility companies, large manufacturers and the like) or even community foundations. Community foundations are basically private organizations that have exploded in growth recently that solicit funds from local citizens. Those funds are put into one large portfolio and ONLY the profits from investing are used for grants and the like. Many of these organizations support education based projects. They are almost always called "xxx county community foundation" with the town or county's name in the title.
Beyond that, you just need to network and let people know what you're trying to do. Get the local school system involved to provide credibility. They will have MANY contacts in the local community that might result in financial help.
But I cannot stress enough the importance of sitting down and thinking about what you'd like to do, what you'd like to accomplish, and how the program can help kids.
Last, there are grant sourcebooks that can give you ideas on where to solicit grants, but I'll warn you that most granting agencies outside your local area only grant to PROVEN organizations. It's VERY difficult to get money from outside your community when you're just starting up. The exception is if you've already created other grant supported programs and have a track record. Writing grant applications is also incredibly time-consuming and tedious.
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Nice Chris. Thanks for the information. It's much appreciated.
Robert J. Grauert, Jr.