Somers Education Foundation Grant Program Guidelines and Procedures

November 18, 2017

The Somers Education Foundation, Inc. (“SEF”) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that endeavors to enrich education within the Somers Central School District (“SCSD”) through private support. To this end, SEF raises money for the implementation of educational programs and the acquisition of teaching tools not funded by the school budget or other private organizations.

The SEF Grant Program

SEF does not create and implement programs on its own. Instead, it awards Grants to SCSD educators, staff, students and parents for use in ways that they alone develop and present for SEF’s consideration. For this reason, SEF relies upon the creativity, imagination and initiative of administrators, teachers, staff and students. The purpose of the SEF Grant Program is to bring their ideas and initiatives to fruition.

Grants are evaluated through two Grant processes: (1) Insta-Grants which are awarded continually and (2) Open Grants awarded annually on a project-specific basis.

Grant Criteria

SEF encourages Grant Requests regardless of academic subject or discipline. The award of Grants involves the allocation of the financial resources available to SEF. For this reason, the following factors – while not determinative – are considered in evaluating a Grant Request:

  • The manner in which a program will enhance, improve and/or complement school based activities;
  • The number of students who will benefit, including whether a program or teaching materials can be shared between classrooms and/or among grade levels; and
  •  The life span of a program, and whether it may have a sustainable impact and/or be integrated into the present curriculum.

SEF does not fund (1) the costs of hotel accommodations, meals or travel expenses and (2) salaries, stipends or other similar service-based payments to SCSD administrators, teachers or staff.

SEF will consider requests for programs or items previously funded through prior approved Grants. However, in order to maximize the reach of its available financial resources, SEF may decide not to fund a Grant Request for programs or projects previously funded through a SEF Grant.

Grant Processes

(1) Insta-Grants

Insta-Grants are intended to quickly provide funding for short-term projects where limited funds are required. Insta-Grant applications will be reviewed at the Foundation’s monthly meeting which occurs directly after the application is received, and the applicant will be notified immediately thereafter. Funding for Insta-Grants is limited to $2,000 per request.

These Grants require the submission of an application prepared on a SEF Grant Request form. The application from must be signed by a SCSD Principal/Supervisor and The Assistant Superintendent for Learning and/or The Director of Innovations in Learning.

In rare instances, the applicant may be invited to present a Grant Request at a Grant Committee meeting. Presentations by Grant applicants to the Grant Committee are beneficial to the applicant and SEF, as it allows for a more thorough understanding of a proposal, the manner in which it will be implemented and the ways in which it will serve SCSD students.

Insta-Grant funds must be spent within 6 months, or by the end of the school year, whichever is sooner, or the Grant may be forfeited. If conditions exist which will prevent this goal from being met, please indicate so on the Grant Request Form.

(2) Open Grants

Applications for projects that are not requested through the Insta-Grant program will be entertained through the Open Grant Program. Grant applications seeking funding for the Open Program must be submitted to SEF on or before January 31. These Grants also require the submission of an application prepared on a SEF Grant Request form. The application from must be signed by a SCSD Principal/Supervisor and The Assistant Superintendent for Learning and/or The Director of Innovations in Learning.

There is no monetary restriction on the amount sought in applications submitted under this Program. Applications may be submitted from any building or may be district wide. Funds for this program will be available from SEF’s general resources. Grants will be awarded under the Open Program by April 1.

As with Insta-Grant applications, the SEF Grant Committee will then consider a request at a meeting, at which Grant applicants may be invited to attend. The Committee will then issue a recommendation to the SEF Board of Trustees, which decides the Grant Request.

In unusual circumstances, the SEF may consider Grant applications, and award Grants, periodically during the school year. Grant applicants should submit Grant Requests so that SEF, an all-volunteer organization, has sixty (60) days to complete its review of the Grant Request. SEF will consider time-sensitive Grant Requests more promptly to the extent it deems appropriate. In making this determination, it will consider whether application could have been in accordance with the Foundation’s grant guidelines.

Unless otherwise approved by the SEF Board of Trustees, approved Open Grants funds must be spent by the end of the calendar year in which the Grant was funded, or the Grant may be forfeited. If conditions exist which will prevent this goal from being met, please indicate so on the Grant Request Form.

After Grants are Awarded

SEF welcomes the opportunity for publicity generated by approved Grant programs and activities. The success of Grant programs supports SEF’s fundraising efforts. SEF encourages all Grant recipients to invite SEF Trustees to any grant related activity or presentation. SEF encourages the submission of photographs, digital images, student feedback and other forms of acceptable media. It may, in turn, reproduce, publish or replicate any of the same by print, television, electronic and/or other media.

Submit a Grant Request

You are invited to complete a Grant Request form, which can be downloaded from the SEF website (www.sefny.org). Hard copies are also available at the SCSD offices. Once the form is complete and required signatures have been obtained, it will be delivered to the SEF by the SCSD Central office. Thereafter, you will be contacted by the Grants Liaison within 14 days who will answer questions concerning the Grant Request process, obtain further information concerning the Request and, when appropriate, make arrangements for you to participate in a SEF Grants Committee meeting.

If you have questions regarding the SEF Grant Program please contact Rosalind Gallino, Grants Committee Chair at (917) 816-2341 or rlfgallino@haoo.com