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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the MCPS Department of Strategic Planning and Resource Management (DSPRM) help teachers, parents, or students find scholarships?

Due to the large size of the MCPS community, it is not possible for DSPRM to help individual teachers or family members of students find scholarships. The MCPS 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.

MCPS College and Career Center


How far in advance of the time that I plan an activity should I apply for a grant to be certain of having the funds when my project begins?

The length of time from application submission to receipt of funds varies widely. It is vital, therefore, that you begin the process of identifying possible funding sources and preparing grant applications as far possible in advance of your need for the funds. Funders’ websites typically state how long the application-review process will last and when successful applicants can expect to receive the grant funds.


Where can I find a grant to pay for snacks?

The vast majority of grants will not pay for snacks and refreshments. Grantmakers want to see their dollars used to meet urgent needs and support activities that have lasting value; to a proposal reviewer, a “snacks and refreshments” line-item in a budget is a ‘red flag’.


Where can I find a grant to pay for bus transportation?

The vast majority of grants will not pay for bus transportation. Grantmakers want to see their dollars used to meet urgent needs and support activities that have lasting value; any requests for funds to pay for student transportation should be kept to a minimum.


Is there anything for which grants will not pay?

Each grantmaking organization has its own, specific funding interests and rules about what they will and will not pay for, and these interests and funding limitations are usually spelled out on their websites. Generally speaking, grantmakers want to see their dollars used to meet urgent needs and support activities that have lasting value, and so frequently state that they will not pay for such things as food, transportation, and one-time ‘special events’.


If I apply for a grant while working at one MCPS school but begin working at another school when the grant is awarded, may I use the grant in my new school?

Grantmakers typically expect grant-funded projects to ‘stay’ at the school named in the grant application, not ‘follow’ the applicant teacher. If the terms of the grant award are not clear on this point, consult the grant manager (your contact at the funding agency) for guidance.


Why must my principal sign my grant application?

Virtually all applications for grants to support K–12 educational activities must be signed by the principal of the school on whose behalf the request is being made. This is because a grant is a type of contractual agreement, and your principal has the level of signing authority required by most funders to enter into this contractual agreement, by virtue of being a representative of Montgomery County Public Schools.


Is MCPS a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization?

No. However, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) grant applicants have two ways of establishing their nonprofit status. The first is by virtue of being a school, in which case most funders will accept correspondence on a school’s official letterhead as proof of official nonprofit status. MCPS schools also can establish nonprofit status by submitting applications under the auspices of the MCPS Foundation, which is a registered federal nonprofit organization under IRS Code 501(C)(3). Documentation of the MCPS Foundation’s federal nonprofit status can be obtained by (301) 517-5099. Some MCPS PTSAs have established their own nonprofit entities for fundraising purposes. Check with your school’s principal to find out whether your school is among these.


Is there anything I can do (or anyone I can talk to) if my proposal is not funded?

You may certainly try to contact a representative of the grantmaking organization for feedback on why your proposal was not funded, however, due to the high volume of requests that many of these organizations receive, he or she may not be able to give you much guidance.

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