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Teachers, we know you are extremely busy and appreciate all the help you can get to provide the best for your students. The Get-a-Grant Toolbox is a collection of tools and tips created by our fundraising team to help you raise money to pay for your Marine Science Institute education programs.


We’ve already done a lot of the legwork to take the guess-work out of fundraising. Now seeking support can be as simple as fill-in-the-blank and copy-and-paste. We even found grant opportunities for you and created template request letters located at the links below.

Spinner Dolphins

Get-a-Grant Toolbox
for Teachers 

Grant Opportunities

Here are some grants from corporations and foundations that support environmental education. Click on the links below for deadlines and application instructions. Don’t forget to check restrictions before you apply, to make sure your classroom is eligible to receive a grant. If your class is eligible, grab content from our School Programs web pages and follow the Request Letter Instructions to complete your application.

Donation Requests to Local Businesses

Your local small businesses and service organizations are very generous. They will often donate $50 to $500 when they are asked. Combining smaller donations from several sources goes a long way to help pay for your MSI field trip! The best way to request this type of support is by writing a letter. You can use the following letter template and this three-step action plan to successfully earn contributions toward your next field trip.

Three-Step Action Plan 

Identify prospects.

If your school permits, talk with parents to see if they have recommendations
for businesses to approach. If you don’t know the business community of your
school very well, you can use the “What’s Nearby” feature of a map
application online.

Write your request letters.

Write your request letters. Use the instructions and template linked below to
prepare request letters to your prospects. Not every request will result in a
donation, so always put out more requests than you think you need. If you
have artwork or photos from your MSI program last year, include those.
Visuals are powerful.

Request Letter Instructions

Request Letter Template

Sample Request Letter

Submit your request.

If possible, submit your requests in person and try to talk to a manager or the
owner. People give to people. Leave them with a hard copy of your request
materials. If you send them in by email or mail, a follow up phone call is critical
to help call attention to your request. A week or so after you submit your
request, follow up again. If you are emailing, attach an electronic copy of your
request materials as a convenient reference.

Thanking Your Donors

Whether you received a formal grant from a corporate or foundation source, or donations from your community, lavish your donors with thanks.

  • Call donors to thank them personally. They will appreciate the enthusiasm and gratitude in your voice.

  • The entity that accepts the donation – whether that is your PTA or school foundation or even MSI – needs to provide a formal acknowledgement with a tax identification number. We have created this Thank You Template to facilitate this step.

  • After your MSI program, cards made by students or photo of them holding a “Thank You!” sign is a great touch. Tell them about the impact of the experience on your students.

  • Acknowledge donors in your school’s newsletter or on the school web site. When you talk about the MSI program in your grant proposal, also include a comment about the donor(s) who made it possible.


We wish you the best of luck!  If you have any suggestions for improvement for the Get-a-Grant Toolbox, let us know by contacting the development team

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