• It takes a village: Parent engagement in non-school settings

    Most conversations about parent engagement focus on schools, but there’s recognition that schools can only do so much. Family involvement in non-school settings, such as early childhood programs, after school activities and within communities, increase a child’s chance at success. Researchers at the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) have labeled this approach, complementary learning, and define… READ MORE →

  • Where do most education and family-focused not-for-profits procure their funding?

    While a large focus of our recent posts have been about securing grant dollars (which we will continue!), it is important to note that almost 70% of giving does not require any grant process. In fact, 70% of donations come from individual contributors in 2015. This aligns with what we see in the funding sources… READ MORE →

  • Advice on how to approach a funder

    One of the best ways to improve your chance at securing grant dollars is by getting to know staff at the foundation or any other type of grantmaker from which you are seeking funding. However, we know there are many barriers that exist for getting in the door and speaking with those who believe to be… READ MORE →

  • Locating quality research about parent engagement

    Type “parent engagement” in an internet search engine and you’ll receive more than 3.6 million results. The amount of information on the topic is overwhelming and you might find some recommendations that are not based on best practices. How do you know which practices are based on quality research and which might be outmoded? One… READ MORE →

  • Expanding parent engagement to include culturally diverse families

    Reflecting the changing demographics of the United States, students in our schools are more diverse than ever. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, from 1993-2003, minorities increased as a percentage of total public school enrollment, from 34 percent to 41 percent. That means your school’s parent engagement initiatives should include strategies to… READ MORE →

  • Building relationships with families through home visits

    Communicating with families can be challenging, because both educators and parents are juggling multiple priorities and demands on their time. As a result, home-school communication is often limited to messages about what’s being taught in the classroom or maybe a phone call home if a student is struggling. To establish more personal relationships, some educators… READ MORE →

  • Searching, identifying, and beginning the grant writing process

    Before thinking about writing grants, it is important to ensure you have a streamlined process for searching, identifying, selecting and then prioritizing grant opportunities. Here are a few ideas for beginning the process of grant writing. How does my organization find the right grants? As we talked about in a recent blog post it is important to… READ MORE →

  • Rethinking the parent-teacher conference

    It’s the fall semester and parent-teacher conferences are being held in schools across the country. These meetings—in which parents and guardians meet with a teacher for 15 to 20 minutes once or twice a year—are often a staple of a school’s parent engagement efforts. According to the nonprofit data bank Child Trends, nearly 9 in 10… READ MORE →

  • The mindset of lasting parent engagement

    Ask educators to define parent engagement and you’ll often hear about events or activities designed to bring families into the school building: parent-teacher conferences, movie showings, book fairs and evenings focused on a subject area such as reading and math. These events are usually attended by families who are already tuned in to their child’s… READ MORE →

  • Locating funding to support family-based/family engagement initiatives

    Here is a short list of sources, examples, and databases that can help you identify both private and public funding options for your family engagement initiatives: Federal Funds There are many sources of monies from departments, offices, bureaus and centers at the federal level. For instance, the U.S. Department of Education confers Title 1 funds… READ MORE →