One of the first places I decided to try out was Donors Choose. I wanted something easy and a place to ask for things I needed in my classroom. Basically it's on online charity donation type of grant. Teachers sign up and fill out the grant information requesting things that would enhance their classroom. Donors give funding and when the project is 100% funded, the teacher is notified. After that, the teacher receives the items and a list of required documentation for the project. When I received a grant from Donors Choose, I had to provide 2-3 thank you cards, fill up the disposable camera they sent, and provide some student work samples. After completing the requirements, I simply mail back the documentation in a timely manner.
I love statistics of grants. What are the odds of me getting the grant? How often does this stuff get funded? What kind of items were funded? Those are just some of the questions I asked in the beginning.
National Statistics from the Donors Choose Site
It was very easy to see what was funded and what seemed to be popular. They've changed the interface of the website since I've applied, but I find it more user friendly now. I love that they allow you to see the statistics by state. The stats picture are from my state of Louisiana.
Signing up for this grant site is very easy. You start with signing up for an account. I actually used my school email address for this one since it was school related.
The site is great about giving step by step instructions and explaining everything that you need to know in order to participate. I've been fortunate to win a year subscription of math magazines and a color laser printer for my classroom. This is a great place to start for your grant writing opportunities.