School-Based Bullying Prevention: Procuring Funding

How Will You Pay For It?

  • Overview

    SupportWithout the needed financial support, a bullying prevention program will be over before it even begins. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information (and hardly any evidence available) on the best ways to secure funding and determine a project budget. Still, it is important to try to determine how much money it will take—and the resources you will need—to implement and maintain your program.

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  • Steps to Take: Lessons Learned from the Research

    Steps to Take:  Lessons Learned from the Research

    Determine the start-up costs to begin the implementation process, as well as the ongoing costs to continue to run the program.

    • Take into account all of the costs and resources associated with implementing a program.
    • Consider methods to save on costs, when possible.

    Think about the funding necessary to continue the program, once the initial funding stops.

    • Make sure you have a plan in place to continue funding the program.
    • Determining a Budget

      Regardless of where you are in your funding search, you will need to think about how much money it will take to start the program and to keep it running (for more information about sustaining a program, see Ensuring Long-Term Sustainability). This can be a complicated process because many factors will affect the budget. Costs will depend on the specific program you choose, as well as the resources and materials already available at your school.

      • Take into account all of the costs and resources associated with implementing a program.There are a number of costs associated with implementing a program. These costs include (but are not limited to):
        1) Costs related to training staff, such as:
        • Sending staff to outside training (including travel, lodging, fees to attend training, and other related costs)
        • Paying for staff overtime (if training is conducted outside of work hours)
        • Hiring a specialized trainer/technical assistance to conduct training at school (including travel, lodging, per diem, and other fees of the trainer)
        2) Costs related to program materials, such as:
        • Teacher manuals
        • Lesson plans
        • Handouts for students and parents
        • Promotional materials, such as posters and brochures
        • Licensing agreements (for name-brand programs)
        The example budgets illustrate how the costs vary between two different types of bullying prevention programs: an out-of-the-box program and a hands-on program. An out-of-the-box program is one in which all program materials can be purchased through the program developer’s Web site, and training is available online. There is no required in-person training or consultation, though this means schools will only have the purchased training manuals to guide them through implementation. The hands-on program also has program materials that can be purchased through the program developer. In addition, there is a 2-day in-person training (that can only be conducted by certified trainers from the program), which is required for teachers and staff, as well as additional consultation as needed throughout the school year. Although schools have more help implementing the program, the process is more time intensive and can be more expensive.
      • Consider methods to save on costs, when possible.Think about areas where you might be able to save some money. For example, if school staff can collect and analyze bullying data to conduct a needs assessment and program evaluation, an outside evaluator will not be necessary. Similarly, training costs may be minimized if teachers participate in online training courses, instead of in-person sessions. For example, the WITS Primary Program provides free online training courses and curriculum materials, which can help schools that do not have a lot of available funding (for more information about training options, see Providing Program Training).

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    • Procuring Short-Term Funding

      Several federal, state, or local sources may offer money to help you start your program. This funding may be specifically earmarked for implementing a bullying prevention program, or it may fall within the category of school safety or other school-based prevention programs.

      • Explore the variety of funding opportunities available.
      • Federal Sources. At the federal level, many agencies focus attention on school safety, school violence, and bullying, and offer a number of funding opportunities.

        Federal Source

        How to Use It
        • Search for funding opportunities across all federal agencies
        • Custom search engine that allows you to search by specific agencies or specific youth topics, such as bullying
        U.S. Department of Education (USDOE)
        U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
        • Provides funding to schools for implemented school-based programs, including bullying prevention
        • Offices under OJP include the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and National Institute of Justice, which supports research and implementation of school-safety-related issues
        • The Grants 101 Web site provides an overview of the OJP application process
        National Institute of Justice
        • Recent funding of bullying prevention programs was provided through the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative
        • Funding was previously awarded to researchers and school districts implementing programs such as the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
        Remember: The amount of funding offered by government agencies depends on many factors, especially how much is set aside by Congress. Funding may be available one year and then cut or eliminated the next. Because of this, you’ll need to research funding opportunities every year.

        Also keep in mind that there may be a substantial amount of time in between submitting a proposal for consideration and receiving an award. For example, some government agencies may release funding opportunity announcements as early as February or March but not make official award announcements until August or September.

      • State Sources. Explore your state’s department of education for local grants and other resources that may be available. The USDOE provides contact information for each state’s department of education.

      • Community Sources. Community-based organizations, such as non-profits or other education-related groups, may offer funding for bullying prevention programs and initiatives. For example, the National Endowment for the Arts Foundation periodically offers Special Grants to Educators that target five areas of concerns: 1) health and wellness; 2) education; 3) service; 4) environmental awareness; and 5) bullying. Also check other community organizations, such as private foundations, faith-based institutions, and parent-teacher associations.

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    • Procuring Long-Term Funding

      It takes about 2–4 years (possibly longer) to get a bullying prevention program up and running. Although you may get funding at the beginning of the process, you should also think about other resources to continue to fund it.

      • Make sure you have a plan in place to continue funding the program. For example, a school may win a competitive grant through the USDOE or a local state agency, but the grant may only last for a short period of time. To ensure that the program continues, you will need to secure additional grants down the road, and eventually the program costs may need to be incorporated into the school’s annual budget. Therefore, it’s best to start planning early for funding opportunities to ensure that there is not a pause in program delivery.

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