Grant Policy Overview

  • Thank you for visiting the Grants Office Staff Resources Page! We hope the information you find here will be helpful.  If you have any questions, please contact Grant Development Manager Laura Denton at or 865-594-8080. 

    Have a project idea? Identified funding and ready to apply? Go here to get started. Complete the pre-approval request and a letter will be issued upon approval. I look forward to working with you!

    Please be aware of the following policies when applying for grants. 
    • Once funding is awarded, all grants require acceptance by the Board of Education; the Grants Office will shepherd your grants through this process - click here to begin! (Please be aware that Donor's Choose are considered donations, not grants)
    • State or Federal Funds of any amount require KCS Finance approval.
    • Any grant that requires matching funds (cash or in-kind) requires KCS Finance approval.
    • Any grant amount above $25,000 requires KCS Finance approval.
    • Any grant that includes research data to be published requires KCS Research & Evaluation approval.
    The policies and procedures posted to the right should be followed when applying for grants. 

Staff/Department Grant Opportunities

  • Below is a list of grant, donation and competition opportunities available for schools and teachers.  Please contact us for assistance in locating funding opportunities for specific needs as well as technical assistance in planning for, writing, editing or reviewing grant applications before they are submitted.  If the deadline below has passed, watch for updated deadlines to be posted as available for next year.  If you know of other opportunities, please contact Laura Denton at

    Action for Healthy Kids

    • School Breakfast Grants (pilot or expand school breakfast including alternate or universal alternate); $500 - $5,000; July annually
    • Game on Grants (physical activity and nutrition initiatives); $500 - $2,500; end of July annually

    ACS - Hach High School Chemistry Classroom Grant -

    • Support ideas that enhance classroom learning, foster student development and reveal the wonders of chemistry
    • up to $1,500
    • February 1 - April 14 annually

    Air Force Association -

    • Promotes aerospace education activities in classrooms from kindergarten to 12th grade
    • $250
    • July - November annually

    Amateur Radio

    • Grants for radio station equipment and related software equipment for classrooms in the US
    • November 1 yearly 

    Amber Brown Grant

    • November 1 - April 15 yearly
    • Provides an all-expense-paid visit to the school by a well-known children's book author or illustrator, a $250 stipend to make the visit memorable, and $250 in books from the author or illustrator 

    American Association of School Librarians - must be a personal member of AASL


    American Honda Foundation - 

    • Youth education, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the environment, job training and literacy
    • Only one grant per organization per year; $20,000 - $75,000 request
    • Applications due February 1 and August 1 for new organizations and May 1 for past recipients  


    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation Classroom Grant Programs

    • Promotes aerospace education activities in classrooms from kindergarten through twelfth grades.
    • Up to $250 Grants
    • Open Grant Cycle October 1 - mid November 16
    • Open Grant Cycle January 1 - mid February 12


    Ameriprise Financial

    • Supporting Community Vitality through Arts Education
    • January 15 and May 15 yearly 


    Bank of America Charitable Foundation

    • Workforce Development and Education - January - February 
    • Connecting youth to employment: high school and college matriculation and graduation; skill development and job training; first-time work experience; better money habits; mentoring; and service as a pathway to employment. 


    Best Buy Community Grants -

    • Focus providing teens with places and opportunities to develop 21st-century technology skills that will inspire future education and career choices.
    • Average grant amount is $5,000.
    • Grant cycle June 2 - 29 annually


    Blackberry Farm Foundation

    • Applications due September 30


    BMW Group North America http://

    • The BMW Group in North America provides funding for charitable programs that benefit society. Highest consideration is given to programs that focus on education, road safety, and the environment.
    • Within the education focus area, the BMW Group is concerned with advancing education at all levels. Grantmaking focuses on intercultural learning for students and their teachers in kindergarten through grade 12; automotive technology, mechanics, career, and repair programs in high schools, technical schools, and community colleges; and research in the areas of safety design, ergonomics, and new materials.
    • Within the road traffic safety focus area, the group supports public education on safe driving practices. Grantmaking focuses on drivers’ education programs geared toward teenagers and new drivers; basic maintenance programs for women; consumer education on general road safety issues; and programs to promote the safety of children and young people on the road.
    • Within the environment focus area, grant-making focuses on programs that seek to: conserve/preserve natural resources, particularly parklands and waterways; research/promote the use of alternative fuels; and provide environmental education for students in kindergarten through grade 12.
    • Applications accepted year-round
    • Award amounts vary


    Bridgestone Americas

    • Youth development, performing arts programs, cultural programs
    • Rolling deadline
    • No recommended limits in funding  


    Brinker International Charitable Giving -

    • Chili's Restaurant Gift Certificates and monetary donations
    • Applications accepted on a on-going basis; allow 4-6 weeks for review of the request 


    Build a Bear Foundation -

    • January 1 - March 31 annually
    • Funding to: help communities through volunteering; experience the power of teamwork; accept people's unique differences; respect people and animals, or take the lead to drive positive change 


    Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation -

    • Elevating the nation's understanding of the need for economics education through new strategics for teaching economics (including on-line or web-based), projects, policy studies or programs encouraging measurement of economic understanding more often and/or more effectively, and programs that help disenfranchised youth and/or young adults with children to participate in the economic system. 
    • Average grants of $22,000; Range of $3,500 - $150,000


    Captain Planet Foundation

    • Eco-Tech Grants - Sixteen (16) $2500 grants will be awarded to schools or non-profits organizations for the purpose of engaging children in inquiry-based projects in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) that use innovation, biomimicry / nature-based design, or new uses for technology to address environmental problems in their communities.  Application opens January 1, 2016 with rolling deadline through March 15, 2016 (as funds allow).
    • Small Grants - $500-$2,500 - Must be project based, performed by youth and have real environmental outcomes - Deadlines September 30 and January 31.


    Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award -

    • Grants are intended to make innovative social studies a reality by 1) developing and implementing imaginative, innovative, and illustrative social studies teaching strategies; and 2) supporting student implementation of innovative social studies, citizenship projects, field experiments, and community connections.
    • NCSS membership required.
    • $2,500
    • Application deadline May 31 annually



    • Cooperative education funding
    • Information available in early December annually


    Clif Bar Family Foundation -

    • Increase opportunities for outdoor activity
    • February 1, June 1, October 1 
    • up to $7,000  


    Computers for Learning

    • Provides schools with excess computer equipment that becomes available as federal agencies upgrade their equipment
    • Once registered, schools can search for and identify available equipment in which they are interested
    • Equipment is free; shipping/handling and refurbishing costs do apply 


    Cracker Barrel Foundation -

    • Typical Grants $5,000 - $15,000 


    Crayola Champion Creatively Alive Children -

    • Innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary schools
    • $2,500 and up to $1,000 in products
    • June 20 annually (bonus if completed by June 5) 


    C-SPAN's Student Cam -

    • Annual National Video Documentary Competition - theme varies each year
    • Awards for students and teachers - $250-$5,000
    • Annual Deadline in January 


    Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants -

    • Applications available January; focuses on Adult Literacy, Family Literacy and Summer Reading Programs
    • Applications due end of May; focus on Youth Literacy
    • Maximum Grant Amount: $4,000 
    • Additional Beyond Words Dollar General School Library Relief Funding (within 36 months from a disaster and within 20 miles of a DG store to replace lost materials within 180 days of funding) -


    DonorsChoose - Teacher projects are posted, and donors nationwide choose which projects to support.


    Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation - 

    • Investigative Reporting, Professional Development, and Special Opportunities with a preference for programs focusing on ethics and new media
    • Letter of Intent due May 15 and November 15 yearly 


    EzrA Jack Keats Foundation Mini-Grants -

    • Projects that provide creative, innovative programs that support or extend the Common Core Standards in education
    • Grants up to $500
    • Deadline March 31st 


    Fab School Labs (Northrop Grumman Foundation)

    • Middle school STEM lab classroom makeovers
    • Grants up to $100,000
    • May 1 - June 17 annually 


    Farmer's Insurance Thank America's Teachers

    • $2,500
    • $100,000
    • Applications available January 10 - Feb 27; May 1 - 30; and Aug 1- Sept 27. 


    Fender Music Foundation

    • Instruments and equipment to eligible music instruction programs (they are lightly used, blemished or otherwise imperfect) currently including acoustic, electric, acoustic-electric, and bass guitars and necessary equipment to play the instruments. Other instruments are sometimes available.
    • Eligible programs must not deny participation based on ability, charge fees less than fair market value, be functioning smoothly for at least one year, provide music instruction at least once/week for eight months/year, and be confident that with or without funding, the program will exist for the foreseeable future. 
    • No deadline; applications are reviewed as received. 


    Good Sports -

    • Sports equipment to operate an organized sport, recreational activity or fitness program that offers consistent and structured opportunity for play to large groups of children (ages 3-18).
    • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but should be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the start of the sport season or program.
    • Required to pay shipping at 10% of requested value (must have finance approval prior to applying as this is considered matching funds)


    Grant for Geographic Literacy

    • Programs that promote geography education in schools; enhance geographic literacy of students; and to encourage the integration of geography into the social studies curriculum/classroom
    • $2,500, an award, opportunity to present on their work, and up to $800 in travel stipends to present
    • Application deadline May 31


    Hearst Foundation

    • Innovative models of early childhood and k-12 education
    • Meaningful programs in the arts and science, particularly those which enable engagement by young people 
    • No deadlines; applications accepted year round through the online portal. 


    Humana Foundation -

    • Healthy behaviors, health education, access to health services
    • Letter of Intent (2 pages or less) due December 15


    Junior League of Knoxville Mini Grants

    • $50 - $500 mini-grants to support classroom projects 
    • Application deadline October 24


    KaBOOM! Grants -

    • Build It Yourself - Up to $15,000 in matching funds for playground equipment or soccer play space; must use community-build model
    • Creative Play - Grants to support Imagination Playground or Rigamajig Materials


    Kids In Need Foundation -

    • Kids In Need Teacher Grants - $100-$500 - Deadline September 30
      • Elmer's Teacher Toolkit Grants - $100-$500 - Deadline September 30
      • JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores Grant - $100-$500 - Deadline September 30
      • Dollar General Reading Scholars Teacher Grant - $100-$500 - Deadline September 30
      • Georgia-Pacific Innovation Grant - $100-$500 - Deadline September 30
      • ArtSkills Teacher Grant - $100-$500 - Deadline September 30
      • WIMA Creative Writing Teacher Grant - $100-$500 - Deadline September 30


    Kinder Morgan Foundation

    • Program support (libraries may apply for capital projects) for academic programs including tutoring and arts education programs
    • $1,000 - $5,000
    • Deadline is 10th of January, March, May, July, September, and November 


    Knoxville TVA Employee'sCredit Union Foundation

    • Public high school programs for activities conducted on campus (no field trips/travel)
    • $1,500
    • Applications due end of October yearly  


    Kroger Community Donations - 


    Laura Bush Foundation -

    • Funds needed in libraries (school must be 1+ years old and have 85% free/reduced lunch with an existing library and paid librarian and have not ever received LBF funds) (2016: Green Magnet and Austin East HS are ineligible due to receiving funds previously)
    • Up to $7,000 
    • Deadline of December annually


    Les Paul Foundation

    • Music, music engineering and sound programs that serve youth
    • Deadline January 15 and September 15 yearly  


    Lovett Foundation

    • Elementary Drama Fund supports production based theatre arts program at the elementary school level
    • $300 average grant
    • Accepted on a rolling basis beginning in August


    Lowes Home Improvement -

    • Toolbox for Education Grants - $2,000 - $100,000 (most awards $2,000 - $5,000); August 1 - mid-September; mid-December - February
    • Community Partner Grants - $5,000 - $100,000 (most awards $10,000 - $25,000); March  - May  and July - August 
    • Small Grants - less than $2,000 (generally non-education focuses and distributed as Lowe's gift cards)


    McCarthy-Dressman Education Foundation - 

    • Academic Enrichment and Teacher Development Grants (awarded to individuals, not the organization)
    • Requires letters of reference
    • Maximum of $10,000/year for 3 years 


    Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

    • Projects that directly serve or impact children living in urban poverty, particularly in the areas of education, family economic stability, and childhood health
    • No limit to request, typically do not fund 100% of a project
    • Rolling deadline 


    The Mockingbird Foundation -

    • Music education for children
    • January 1 - August 1 annually for initial letter of inquiry (available on their website); invited full proposals in October/November
    • $100 - $10,000  


    The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation -

    • Funds the acquisition of new musical instruments
    • Applications available Summer; Deadline in November


    National Art Education Association Grant Program -

    • Deadline October 1
    • 5 different grant programs ranging from $500 to $10,000


    National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 

    National Education Association Learning and Leadership Grants

    • Professional development that must improve practice, curriculum, and student achievement
    • $2,000 for individuals or $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study
    • February 1, June 1, and October 15 


    National Endowment for the Arts - Art Works -

    • Projects for PreK-12 students, the educators and artists who support them, and the schools and communities that serve them. Includes three categories of funding: Direct Learning, Professional Development, and Collective Impact.
    • February 18 and July 14, yearly 


    National Weather Association Sol Hirsch Education Fund Grants -

    • Awarded annually to teachers/educators of grades K-12 to help improve the education of their students, school and/or community in the science of meteorology.
    • Up to $750 - Grant cycle openin February; Applications due early June


    NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants - 

    • $2,000 & $5,000 Awards
    • Deadlines:  February 1, June 1, October 15


    Nora Roberts Foundation -

    • Literacy, children, arts and humanitarian
    • Must register as an organization first


    NSTA Shell Science Lab Challenge click here

    • $20,000 lab makeover 
    • due in January annually 


    Buckley Moss Foundation

    • Support a new or evolving program that integrates arts into educational programming
    • up to $1,000
    • Applications accepted May - September  

    Pets in the Classroom -

    • Funds to purchase or maintain classroom pet
    • August 1 - June 15 yearly

    Pilot Flying J - 

    Prestige Cleaner & Prestige Tuxedo Project Classroom Grants 

    • 2014 grants total $8,583
    • Applications released in fall

    Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! Grant - 

    • Environmental Service-Learning Projects
    • Application Deadline September 30
    • Up to $2,000

    Project Produce -

    • Funds designated to assist in expanding student palates and encouraging increased consumption of and exposure to fresh produce through engagement in lunchroom education activities encouraging students to taste new vegetables and fruits offered in a dish, cooked, or raw
    • District Food Service Director must submit
    • up to 10 schools at $2,500/school 
    • No deadline - applications are accepted on an ongoing basis 

    RGK Foundation

    • Formal K-12 education (primarily science, math, and reading), teacher development, literacy, and higher education
    • Average award of $25,000
    • No deadline; Letters of Intent are accepted year round and applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    • $7,500
    • RWJF Sports Award recognizes those in sport with innovation and collaborative approaches to making their communities a healthier place
    • April annually 

    Saucony Run for Good Foundation

    • Programs to teach healthy habits
    • June and December, annually
    • Up to $10,000 

    Saxena Family Foundation

    • Focus on initiatives that promote US science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and the empowerment of girls, female children, and young women so that they have equal rights later in life
    • Applications accepted year round and reviewed as received
    • $5,000 - $50,000

    Scholastic Reading Club/James Patterson -

    • School libraries only
    • Applications due July 3

    School Garden Grant Program -

    • Nonprofit kindergarten through grade 12 school or 501(c)(3) organization that is developing or currently maintaining a garden project on school grounds that will engage children with fresh fruits and vegetables
    • September 1 - October 31, annually
    • $2,000

    Sea World Busch Gardens Conservation Funds

    • Within the area of conservation education, funding priorities include the following:  
    • Nature deficit disorder: encouraging youth to spend time outdoors connecting with nature, and understanding the value of nature and mechanisms for sustainability. 
    • Leadership development: identifying potential conservation leaders and developing their leadership skills and knowledge.
    • Alternative income: retraining and developing viable employment opportunities for people and communities reliant upon jobs that directly impact wildlife and habitat, such as poaching, livestock farming, or logging.
    • April 30 and November 30 annually 
    • $5,000 - $25,000

    Siemens STEM Day Sweepstakes -

    • daily entries allowed
    • $10,000 for STEM at your school 
    • open end of December - April annually

    Snapdragon Book Foundation

    • School libraries only
    • Grants range from $2,500 - $10,000
    • Competition opens January 1 annually

    Sony Corporation of America

    • Sony focuses the majority of its charitable giving on arts, culture, technology and the environment, with a particular emphasis on education in each of those areas.
    • Requests accepted year round
    • Award amounts vary

    State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Corporate Grants -

    • Priorities are Safety and Education
    • Citizenship application cycle open September 1 - October 30
    • Grant minimum $5,000 

    State Farm Youth Advisory Board Service-Learning Grants -

    • Application Deadline April 29
    • Grant Award Amounts $25,000 - $100,000

    Steelcase Active Learning Center Grants -

    • $62,000 for one of four active learning center classroom options
    • Opens December 1; Applications due mid-February


    • Grants up to $2,500
    • Competition opens January 1, annually 

    Target Grants -

    • Field Trips; August 1 – September 30; $700
    • Public Safety; speak with store Asset Protection staff for details
    • programs to prevent crime, train and educate law enforcement and support youth programs

    Tennessee Arts Commission -

    • Substantial number of grants available ranging from student ticket subsidies to teacher incentive or training grants with varying timelines throughout the year 
    • Student Ticket Subsidies - $3,000 per school; Applications open August 2016 and first-come-first-serve until funds are expended
    • Artist-in-Residence Grants - $500-$6,000; Deadline January
    • Mini-Grants - $500-$1,000
    • Teacher Training Grants - $500-$10,000; Deadline January
    • Teacher Incentive Grants - $100-$1,000
    • Funds for At-Risk Youth Grants - $500-$5,000; Deadline January

    The Brown Foundation, Inc

    • Previous grants were used to fund educational software for education foundations, antibullying projects for schools, middle school dropout prevention programs, career readiness, and after-school programs, adult learning and degree completion projects, community college facility improvements, literacy programs, and robotics camps for youth
    • Applications accepted year round
    • Total amounts vary

    The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation!application-guidelines

    • Projects that support performing arts programs and schools
    • Letter of Requests accepted year round. Deadlines are November 10 and May 10.
    • Typically $1,000 to $20,000

    The Ray Charles Foundation

    • Grants for scientific, educational, and charitable purposes; to encourage and educate people about the causes and cures for diseases and hearing impaired disabilities; and to assist organizations and institutions in the advancement of their social, educational, and academic programs for youth
    • Specific programs categories include education, hearing disorders, and culture and the arts
    • May 1 - September 30, annually
    • Award amounts vary

    Toshiba America Foundation

    Unicef Kid Power Active Classrooms

    • Must be part of a Let's Move! Active School
    • Third, fourth, or fifth grade classrooms
    • Classroom kits including Kid Power Band for each student, LTE enabled tablet, online curricular media and materials and implementation materials
    • August 15 - September 15

    US Bank Community Possible Grant Program -

    • Arts and Culture, Places to Play
    • Submit online beginning in 2017. 

    US Soccer Foundation -

    • Support soccer programs and field building initiatives that keep children in underserved communities active, healthy and safe.
    • Safe Places to Play Grants - Amount vary
      • 3 cycles per year:  February, June & October
      • 4 grant categories:  Synthetic Turf, Lighting, Irrigation and Sports Court
    • Program Grants - Deadline October 7 - Up to $50,000

    USA Today Electronic Edition Grants

    • Daily USA Today Electronic Edition access for up to 31 students at one time 

    Walmart Community Grant Program

    • Awards $250 - $2,500
    • Typical Grant Deadline December 31

    Waste Management Foundation

    • Waste Management, Inc. supports environmental and science education programs, such as science fairs and Earth Day projects targeting middle and high school students.
    • Application accepted year round
    • Award amounts vary

    Wish you Well Foundation

    • Awards $200 - $10,000
    • Supporting family literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs
    • Board meets quarterly to review requests 

Grant Documents and Resources

Grant FAQs

  • If your questions are not answered below, please feel free to contact the Grant Development Specialist at (865) 594-8080 or

    • What are these numbers (EIN, DUNS, District/School IDs)?

    Please use the KCS EIN and DUNS numbers for applications – not ones that your school may have. Dr. Laura Denton ( or 865 594-8080) can share those numbers with you.

    Additionally, many applications ask for the NCES numbers for the district (4702220) and your school (available at 

    • Should I have anyone look over my budget?

    A second set of eyes is always valuable! It is recommended to have someone double-check all budgets before a grant is submitted.

    KCS Finance Department must review all grants that are direct Federal or State applications and all grants that include matching funds (cash or in-kind). Please allow two weeks for review.

    • Does my grant need approval before I submit? 

    While it is important to keep your administrator and/or Department head informed about all grants being pursued, there is no Grants Department approval necessary before submission. As always, we are here to assist in any step of the process from locating opportunities to writing/submitting to post-award procedures. 

    • Where do I get the tax-exempt certification?

    Knox County Schools is a tax-exempt organization. Please contact Dr. Laura Denton for this certification. Your school bookkeeper and Finance contact should also have this information.

    • I am applying for a Donor’s Choose; does that need Board approval?

    No, per KCS guidelines, Donor’s Choose are donations. Our Board has determined that school administrators may accept donations up to $10,000 at the school level. If your Donor’s Choose project is valued under $10,000, no Board approval is necessary 

    • I was awarded my grant; can I accept it?

    We recommend notifying the Grant Development Manager before accepting any award. Each grant comes with different circumstances and requirements; let us help you navigate those.

    • The grant notification came with a contract, who can sign it?

    Contracts must be routed through your chain of command, reviewed by the Law Department, signed by the Superintendent, and approved by the Board of Education.

    • How do I add my approved grant to the Board of Education agenda?

    Grants of any amount, whether or not a contract is required, must be approved by the Board of Education. To add a grant to the Board agenda, a routing sheet and fiscal note must be completed and signed by the appropriate parties. We recommend forwarding any email notification to; we will shepherd your grant through the approval process.

    • How long does it take to get Board approval?

    The KCS Board of Education meets monthly. Items go from the KCS Board of Education to the County Commission and then the Mayor’s desk for signature. The exact length of time for approval depends on when during the month an item is received. Please be aware that it may take up to 10 weeks for a signed copy to return. We are happy to contact your grantor if necessary to work with their requirements and our timeline.

    • My application was denied; now what?

    Grant applications are often not successful the first time. If your application is not funded, we are happy to work with you to determine why it may not have been successful and how it can be edited and submitted again to the same or to another, more appropriate, funder.

    • Should I hang on to my application materials?

    Yes, please do! KCS policy is to maintain all materials related to funded grants for at least 7 years after the grant program ends (or longer if the funder requires it). KCS also asks that you keep all non-funded grant applications with budgets and attachments as well.