Building at Broadmeadow School

Application Deadlines

Small Grants:  Oct. 17, 2017

Large Grants:  Jan. 23, 2018

Small Grants:  Mar. 20, 2018

NEF Grant Programs


The Needham Education Foundation Supports Innovation and Enrichment

Possibilities can become reality through funding from the NEF. We encourage Needham public school educators, administrators, and community members—including students and parents—to apply.

The NEF seeks applications for creative programs that connect with current curriculum or the district goals in meaningful ways. We encourage proposals that are innovative, enriching, collaborative, impactful, and/or sustainable. (See our Guidelines for Success for more about what we fund.)

Large Grants ~ up to $15,000

NEF’s Large Grants support innovative and collaborative programs that have the potential to make a broad and lasting impact on Needham public school students. They can support one- or two-year programs and can benefit the entire school system, multiple schools, an entire school, or a distinct population within the system.

For two-year programs, applicants must re-apply to explain the need for a second year of funding.  Approval is not guaranteed.

NEW!  The Large Grant process is now almost identical to the Small Grant process:  the concept paper stage has been eliminated, allowing anyone to fill out a large grant application.  For ease and consistency, the large and small grant applications are essentially the same.

One Large Grant cycle per school year ~

  • Applications due in January
  • Award notification in late February
  • Funds available in April
  • NEF typically funds between one and four Large Grants each year
  • Sample copy of the Large Grant Application – Coming Soon!

Small Grants ~ up to $5,000 (or $3,000 per school)

NEF’s Small Grants support programs that are smaller in scope and are not required to provide broad and lasting impact. They are typically one-time programs that can benefit multiple schools, an entire school, or a specific population within the system.

In addition to standard Small Grants, NEF also offers two specialized types of Small Grants:

Multi-school Grants ~ up to $3,000 per school

Multi-school Grants promote cooperation among Needham public schools, particularly the elementary schools, and ensure that the $5,000 Small Grant award limit does not create an impediment to that cooperation. For example, a terrific cultural arts program that is planned for one school may be of interest to other schools as well. Coordinating the same program at multiple schools often improves efficiency and results in cost savings.

Multi-school Grant applicants submit a single Small Grant Application, authorized  by each principal. Each school is eligible for up to $3,000 (for example, four schools could receive a total grant of $12,000).

Express Grants ~ up to $5,000

Express Grants facilitate the replication of successfully implemented small grant programs from one school to another. For example, if NEF funds a successful author-in-residence program at Hillside Elementary School, the grant application process will be streamlined for those interested in bringing the same experience to Mitchell Elementary School.

Contact us at to confirm that the grant you would like to replicate is eligible for an Express Grant. Applicants will need to provide feedback from the initial Small Grant program and explain why the requested program is a good fit for their school.

Two Small Grant cycles per school year ~

  • Fall Grant applications due in October; award notification in November; funds available in January
  • Spring Grant applications due in March; award notification in April; funds available in June
  • NEF typically funds between 20 and 40 Small Grants each year

Which do I choose?

If your grant will have broad and lasting impact and you might want a second year of funding, consider applying for a large grant, even if the amount requested is below $5,000. However, please understand that our large grant review process is more rigorous than the small grant process.

Not sure about your grant idea?

We encourage applicants to contact any board member or our Administrative Director, Maureen Callahan at, to discuss potential grant ideas and whether they are appropriate for a NEF grant.

Ready to Apply?

Read through the NEF Guidelines for Success before starting your application.