Spotlight Funds shine a light
on specific areas of need.

What are Spotlight Funds?

Spotlight Funds are a grant program for K-12 educators. Each fund supports a specific subject area, or addresses a need facing K-12 educators and students. 

We currently have five Spotlight Funds: Arts, COVID-19 Relief, Inclusive Classroom, Natural Disaster Relief, Racial Equity in Schools, and STEM.

Educators who receive a Spotlight Fund Grant can use the funds to order the tools and materials they need to support their curriculum and meet their students’ needs. See below for more information on each fund, and how to apply.

Arts Fund
The Arts Fund supports all art forms, including visual and performing arts. Exposure to the arts is part of an enriching educational experience for children. Participation in the arts decreases school dropout rates among at-risk youth, and improves students’ success in other subject areas. When we provide children with the tools they need to engage in the arts, we encourage their creativity and open up a whole world of possibilities for their future. Learn more or give.

COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Coronavirus pandemic is challenging all of us to rethink how we live and work. Students are home. Schools are closed. Teachers are working remotely. Many students’ families do not have access to the technology tools or basic materials needed for distance learning. Schools need support to keep learning safe. With your support, we can equip teachers and students with the tools they need to continue learning in a safe environment. Learn more or give.

Inclusive Classroom Fund
The Inclusive Classroom Fund addresses inequity in the classroom on the basis of race, ethnicity, family background, sexual and gender identity, ability, or any personal or social circumstances. Educators are often in need of materials that serve and represent their diverse classroom populations. This Fund helps educators meet their students’ individual learning needs, and acknowledge their unique circumstances with the exact materials students need to thrive in the classroom. Learn more or give.

Natural Disaster Relief Fund
The Natural Disaster Relief Fund helps educators replace lost or damaged supplies, and meet students’ needs in the wake of a disaster. Schools and educators provide support, safety, and a sense of community for our nation’s students. A disaster, such as a hurricane or pandemic, can take that away in an instant, putting many students who may already be vulnerable at even greater risk of food insecurity, homelessness, and/or psychological trauma. Educators are often left scrambling to meet students’ educational needs, adapt to new education settings, and/or replace items that were damaged or destroyed. Learn more or give.

Racial Equity In Schools Fund
Students of color deserve a school environment where they can thrive. To create systemic change, educators need training and resources. As schools face massive budget cuts due to the impact of COVID-19, funding for these items is tighter than ever. This fund will focus initially on providing multicultural books selected by teachers for their students, and providing the Innocent Classroom training program for teachers in public schools in St. Paul, MN. The scope of this fund will be expanded over time based on additional feedback from educators nationwide. Learn more or give.

The STEM Fund (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) helps educators access the tools and materials needed to incorporate a rich, experiential STEM-based curriculum in their classrooms. STEM-based curriculum is critical to prepare our young people for 21st century jobs. Many schools are not equipped to meet this need, particularly those in under-served communities. Learn more or give.

For Donors and Sponsors

If you’re interested in making a donation to support one or more of our Spotlight Funds, click “Learn more about each fund” to see how you can help. Your tax-deductible donation will be applied to the fund(s) you choose to support.

If you would like to get updates in your inbox about our Spotlight Funds, and other ways your support makes a difference in education, click here to sign up for our supporter newsletter.

We also offer sponsorship opportunities for each Spotlight Fund. If you’re interested in learning more about Spotlight Fund sponsorship opportunities, please contact us at [email protected].

For Teachers and Schools

We offer Spotlight Fund Grants for educators several times each year. When a Spotlight Fund Grant opportunity is available, we often issue a Request for Proposal, inviting K-12 educators from public, private, and charter schools to apply. Educators are asked to tell us how they will use the funds to support their curriculum, and what the benefit will be to their students.

Our staff reviews and scores grant applications based on predetermined evaluation criteria. While we give priority to educators from high-needs schools, educators with the highest scores are awarded grants. Grantees are required to submit a final impact report after they receive their supplies.

The average Spotlight Fund Grant award generally ranges from $500-$1,000 per educator, and about $5,000 per school.

Grant opportunities and application deadlines are announced via email. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay informed about Spotlight Fund Grant opportunities here for teachers and here for school administrators.

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