FAQ ‒ About Mini-Grants
1. What is an EJK Mini-Grant?
A Mini-Grant is an award of up to $500 that the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation gives to eligible organizations to provide creative, innovative programs that support the Common Core Standards in education. Programs may serve children from preschool through grade 12.
2. What kind of organizations are eligible to apply for an EJK Mini-Grant?
Public schools, public libraries and public preschool programs such as Head Start are eligible for EJK Mini-Grants. Organizations that charge tuition or fees, such as public colleges and private and parochial schools, should not apply. Charter schools are also not eligible (to find out why, see 4.).
3. Do you fund institutions or programs outside the United States?
No. We fund organizations and programs within the United States and U.S. commonwealths and territories, including Puerto Rico and Guam.
4. Why don’t you fund charter schools?
We make a distinction between public and charter schools for several reasons:
- Charter schools can be supported by public, private and corporate funding.
- While charter schools adhere to the same standards as traditional public schools, they often operate with different rules, curriculums, budgets and pay scales.
- Charter school admissions policies can be selective, putting some public schools at a disadvantage in terms of test results and funding.
- Public education was important to Ezra, and we believe our support of public schools and libraries to be the best use of our limited resources.
5. Where can I find a Mini-Grant application form?
The application form is on our website. It must be filled out completely and submitted online. (Hard copies are not accepted.) You will receive a return email confirming the receipt of your application, plus a copy of the application to download, print, and save.
** If you do not receive an email confirmation, it means that your application did not go through. Please try again, using a different computer and/or a different browser.
6. What is the deadline for applying for an EJK Mini-Grant?
All completed applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 15 of each year. Those received as of 12 a.m. on March 16 will not be considered.
7. When will I receive notification of my application status?
You will be notified of the Foundation’s decision by May 1. Emails will be sent to everyone who applied, and award checks will be sent a few weeks later. Make sure you have access to the email address on your application. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not heard from us by June 1.
8. How important is it to follow the Mini-Grant instructions?
It is of the utmost importance. We receive many more proposals than we can fund, so we consider only applications that are properly filled out and disqualify those that fail to follow instructions.
9. What else would disqualify a proposal?
These are some but not all of the reasons an application would be denied:
- late submission
- the same proposal is submitted for multiple schools
- more than one proposal is submitted by an institution
- answers are vague or incomplete
- the program requires or has funding from other sources
- costs exceed $500
- the budget is primarily for salaries, books or equipment
- the budget covers operating or administrative costs
10. Why don’t you fund the purchase of books and equipment?
Mini-Grants are meant to support innovative programs that make the most of the time teachers and librarians spend with their students. The purchase of books and equipment is considered if they contribute to an exciting program. Without a strong program, those materials become general operating costs and are ineligible for funding.
11. What kind of projects do you support?
A program proposed by a school or library should support or extend the basic curriculum by providing an experience, activity, or project not otherwise offered. It must be offered free of charge and cannot be used to produce merchandise for sale. Here are some examples of projects we have supported. Keep in mind that proposing a similar program will not guarantee an award. (See Mini-Grant Instructions for more examples.)
- a mural
- a story walk
- a quilt
- a theatre production
- a newspaper or other publication
- an intergenerational activity
- a program that brings disparate communities together
12. When is the Mini-Grant Final Report due, and what should it include?
The Final Report is due by June 1, at the end of the academic year in which your Mini-Grant program took place. The report should include a letter describing the program, activities, attendance, and response, and as many of the following as appropriate:
- a brief evaluation of the program written by you, a colleague, or an attending parent
- announcements, fliers, and invitations
- newspaper clippings
- copies or images of what the children created during the program
- audio or visual recordings of the program
- newspaper clippings
- web links regarding the program
13. How should the Final Report be sent?
- By mail, as long as it is not sent it in any way that requires a signature on delivery.
- By email, with the proviso that all attachments be included in a single message. Do not send multiple emails. We accept these digital formats:
- for documents, .DOC, .DOCX, .PDF or .TXT
- for photographs, .JPG, .JPEG, .GIF, .PNG, .TIF or .TIFF
- for video, a YouTube link or .FLV, .AVI, .WMV, .MPG, .MPEG or .MOV files
14. Please explain the timeline for Mini-Grants. Checks are sent in May, but Final Reports are due by the first day of June!
That’s June of the following year! Mini-Grants are awarded in May to fund programs that will take place during the summer or the next school year. The Final Report is due by June 1 of the school year your program was held.
15. What happens to the materials included in the Final Report?
We reserve the right to display materials contained in Final Reports on our website and social media platforms with full credit given. Unusual and exemplary Final Reports may also be sent to the Keats Archive, part of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi, where they will be available to scholars studying Keats and his legacy.
16. What happens to the information I provided in the EJK Mini-Grant application?
Each organization will be signed up to receive the monthly email newsletter of the EJK Foundation. We do not, under any circumstances, share or sell our email lists.
17. What happens if I lose my copy of the proposal or the award check, or if the check is not deposited before it expires?
Upon submission, you will receive a copy of your application to download, print and save. With a hard copy as well as a computer file, you are less likely to misplace the application. To replace a lost or expired check, we will deduct $50 to cover any fees.