Funding RULER at Your School

Obtaining funding for new initiatives, even one as important as RULER, can be daunting. The good news is that education funders (from federal programs and state agencies to private and community foundations, public charities, and individuals) report being increasingly committed to investing in school staff and student well-being and to evidence-based SEL approaches that further it. The challenge is knowing where to look and how to apply for these funds. To help, we’ve put together some recommendations.  

To learn more about available funding options, please click on the tabs below.

Federal Funding

The RULER Training and Implementation Support Package, as well as the RULER Subscription, align with several funding opportunities available through federal and state governments, subject to budget allocations and policy changes. Some funding streams are long-standing, such as block grants in support of Title 1 schools. Others, like ESSER, established as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and set to expire in 2024, are newer and more short-lived.

 – Learn more about using ESSER to invest in RULER
 – Explore additional federal grants

Other Resources
Greenlights Grant Initiative offers guidance to districts for how to access federal grants focused on school safety and student well-being. It includes webinars and tutorials, lists of grant opportunities and due dates, and grant-writing support.

Navigate the federal grant process with help from the Greenlights Grant Initiative.

Local Funding

Most opportunities for funding come from state and local agencies and organizations. For them, an initiative that supports positive school climate, promotes child well-being, and boosts academic performance, like RULER, might be an attractive proposition. When exploring local opportunities, we recommend the following:

• Search online for pre-K to 12 education funders in your state or region
• Look for local or regional funder councils
• Explore community foundations. These sometimes house separate funds, which may have guidelines expansive enough to include SEL.
• Consider local businesses. They may have general giving programs or be willing to give specifically to school and youth programs.

Private Foundations & Public Charities

The best place to start looking into private external sources and public charities is with subscription databases like Candid. Nearby universities or other affiliated organizations may be able to help you gain access.

When searching databases:
• Use different subject and geographic search filters to narrow down the list of possible funders
• Review their history of grants (pulled from their tax filings)
• Check out their websites for more recent information
• Find out who their board members and program officers are
• Identify similar or nearby education organizations and run a search for grants supporting them
• Look for school or district-affiliated education foundations that can channel support

Alternatively, FundsNet is a free resource listing potential local and state funders.

Once you have your list, reach out and start a conversation about RULER and your school.

National Funding

The NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation has awarded more than $11.5 million to individual and groups of educators to support innovative classroom projects, professional development opportunities, and community engagement initiatives. Learn more about the NEA Foundation’s educator grants and scholarships.

Fund for Teachers

Fund for Teachers has awarded $35 million in grants to nearly 9,200 of America’s top educators. Learn more about the process for applying to their Fellowship Grant. 

The Awesome Foundation

The Awesome Foundation has awarded more than $6 million in grants to support “awesome” projects and ideas that promote creativity, innovation, and positive impact within local communities. Learn more about the Awesome Foundation’s monthly micro-grants. 

Local PTA

Your school’s PTA can play an important role in supporting RULER funding and implementation through fundraising events, grant applications, collaboration with local businesses and organization, school budget allocation advocacy, and volunteer support.

Do you have more questions for us? Reach out to us below and we would love to get in contact with you.

Looking to learn more about RULER? Sign up for an upcoming information session.

Ready to get started with implementing RULER at your school? Learn more about RULER Training.

RULER is a CASEL SELect program.

Are you looking to train new RULER implementation team members at your school during the 2024-25 school year? Applications for our upcoming RULER Training Institutes are now open.

 Join us online (October 7-November 15) or in person (October 14-15) this fall!