Open Grant Details

The Open Grant program is designed to make a positive lasting impact on student learning and teaching across Ohio. Any public school district, non-religious private school or non-profit organization working in conjunction with public schools, in any county of Ohio, can apply. The typical size of an Open Grant is $15,000. While providing a picture for the larger scope of the work is helpful, the Foundation only approves funds for one year. An organization may re-submit a proposal for continued funding based on the Final Evaluation Report responses.


Open Grant Review Cycles

Application Deadline: Funded activities must start on/after: Funding will be distributed on/after*:
February 15 April 1 April 20
March 15 May 1 May 20
April 15 June 1 June 20
May 15 July 1 July 20
July 15 September 1 September 20
August 15 October 1 October 20
October 15 December 1 December 20
December 15 February 1 February 20

*The exact date of distribution may differ. Payments are made on the 20th of the month or the next business day when the 20th is on a weekend or holiday. The “Proposal Terms and Conditions” must be completed and submitted by the applicant on the online dashboard before funding will be provided.

Application Process

  1. Create an account on our online application system - click the Apply button below to begin.

  2. Complete the application fully and accurately, including uploading detailed budget documents, etc. You can download a PDF version of the questions that you will answer if desired. You can also download these budget templates or use your own.

  3. Upload a Letter of Endorsement with signature from a superintendent on district letterhead - this is required for every grant application. If you are an organization working with a public school, you must also upload a Letter of Endorsement from the Chief Executive of your organization.

  4. Submit the application by one of the application deadlines listed in the calendar above.

Notification of the Foundation’s decision is typically sent the fourth Wednesday of the month after the application deadline. Decisions can be found on your dashboard and are communicated via an email to the main contact organization provided.

If your application is approved for a grant award:

  1. Congratulations! We look forward to seeing your project in action, and are honored to support your great work.

  2. Once you complete and submit the required Proposal Terms and Conditions, funding will be distributed as per the schedule above.

  3. Grant monies awarded by the Foundation must be used within one year. You can re-apply for a consecutive year of funding based on the responses to your Final Education Project Report Form document.

  4. Submit your Final Education Project Report Form and Final Financial Form via the online dashboard within one year of receiving funding.

Great examples from the field:

Evaluation Criteria

Please be sure to read all sections of our grants overview page in order to fully understand the criteria listed below. Distribution Committee members reflect on the following questions as they review Open Grant applications:

  1. If the focus is Excellent Teaching, does the project address criteria on the grants overview page? Does the proposal identify the target population of teachers and explain how the project will enhance “the art” of teaching? If it is focused on professional development, is it job-embedded and include an appropriate evaluation process?

  2. If the focus is Deep Learning for students, does the project address the criteria on the grants overview page? Does the proposal identify the target population and explain how the project will address learning gaps and underserved students? Does it align with the characteristics of excellent teaching?

  3. Does it have a clear element of originality reflecting creative, innovative, and/or effective use of practices, tools, personnel, or other resources to achieve desired outcomes?

  4. Are the goals and objectives clearly defined, aligned with one another and measurable, including a specific evaluation plan to determine the extent to which objectives were achieved and the impact of the outcomes on student achievement or growth? Does it align with state standards and/or course objectives and the district’s strategic plan?

  5. Is it clearly based on existing research related to deep learning and/or excellent teaching, involving teacher and/or staff participation in systematic inquiry/action research?

  6. Is the timeline realistic, including its starting and ending dates, and will it be evaluated within 12 months? Are there clear staff roles and responsibilities for each aspect of implementation, and is there a reasonable action plan to achieve the goals and objectives?

  7. Does it show evidence of broad stakeholder involvement, including support from the organization's leadership? Does it involve parents where appropriate? Is there evidence of partnerships and/or connections within the organization and outside the organization?

  8. Does the budget reflect efficient use of existing organization resources, in addition to the requested resources, and state why the Foundation funds are necessary? Does it specifically identify how the Foundation funds will be used?

  9. If the budget includes technology or equipment purchases, does the proposal clearly follow the Foundation’s guidelines for funding of technology and equipment? Make sure to read this blog post outlining written examples of what is funded and not funded in this area.

  10. Does the proposal include an explicit discussion of post-grant sustainability and future funding sources, if needed?

  11. Are there appropriate methods to identify what new ideas and effective practices were learned, and what the impact achieved on student learning was? Is there a specific plan to disseminate the outcome results, the new ideas, and the effective practices from the project to applicable populations?

  12. Is the application completed accurately, and proofread for spelling and grammatical errors? 

  13. If applying for a consecutive year of funding, incorporate the learning from your Final Education Project Report Form into your proposal.


We are committed to helping applicants understand and navigate the process. If you have questions, click below to reach out to us.