Frequently Asked Questions
How far in advance do I need to apply for a grant in order to have the funds when my project begins?
It is important to plan for your grant funding needs and look for possible grant opportunities well in advance of when you will need the funds. The length of time from the start of the grant application process to receipt of the actual grant funds varies widely but is typically six months or more. Grantors may provide the date of anticipated award notification on their website or in the announcement of the grant opportunity. Remember that most grants are cyclical – if you find the ideal opportunity and the due date just passed, you may have to wait an entire year before you can apply again for that grant.
What can I use grant money for?
The grant application will identify activities that can and cannot be funded by the grant. Most grants are to be used for supplemental activities and will not pay for general operating costs or the delivery of required services. Grantors typically prefer to fund projects that will be sustainable at the end of the grant period without continued grant funds and not projects that will end when their funding stops.
RFP? FAQ? What are all the acronyms?
An RFP is a Request for Proposal. Some funders call this document a Request for Application (RFA), Notice Inviting Application (NIA), Notice of Intent (NOI), or a similar name. This document is the instructional guidebook for any grant application. Many grant opportunities will also post Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that provide additional details on the grant requirements.
Can I include food in my grant budget?
Probably not, but check the RFP for allowability. Federal and New York State guidelines are very restrictive concerning the use of grant funds for meals and snacks.
Who approves and signs my grant application?
All in-District grant applications must be signed by the Superintendent, RCSD’s authorized representative for entering into a grant agreement. To secure the Superintendent’s signature on a grant application, please contact the Director of DFMG.
Is RCSD a 501(c)(3) organization?
RCSD is a non-profit organization and eligible to apply for many grant opportunities, but it is not an IRS Code 501(c)(3) organization. Most RFPs include an eligibility section that provides information on eligible applicants, and some funders have an eligibility quiz on their website. Some school PTSAs have established their own 501(c)(3) status – check with your school principal to find out if your school is among these. Another option if 501(c)(3) status is required is to contact the Rochester Education Foundation. REF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and may be able to help you submit your grant application.
Does the RCSD Department of Financial Management and Grants (DFMG) help teachers, parents, or students find scholarships?
Due to the large size of the RCSD community, it is not possible for DFMG to help individual teachers or family members of students find scholarships. The RCSD staff best equipped to assist students with scholarship applications are the counselors in their high school’s College and Career Center. Each Center maintains extensive resources on colleges, scholarships, and other form of financial aid.