Wacom tablet in classroom with teacher

Education grant tips #3: Storytelling

February 22, 2023

How to write winning education grant proposals — with expert Matthew Waynee

Matthew Waynee Headshot

Matthew Waynee is a Cinematic Arts Instructor & EdTech Consultant in Los Angeles Unifed School District. A produced screenwriter and teacher with 20 years of experience, he’s helped build the cinematic arts department at USC Media Arts & Engineering Magnet school from the ground up.

He has written more than $2 million in grants and set up partnerships with Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, NBCUniversal, and Warner Bros. In 2016, he was honored to be named the national Magnet Teacher of the Year. He’s also actively involved in establishing a new creative arts apprenticeship program with the California Department of Education.

This is the third in a series of five short videos where he gives quick and easy tips to get grant funding for your school, classroom, or program. Check out the video below, or read on for a summary!

Tip #3: Tell a compelling story

Donors will be reading a lot of proposals. The best way to set your proposal apart is by telling a compelling story about your program’s mission, vision, and what you can accomplish.

Make it personal, not just a proposal

Waynee gives an example in the above video where he tells his own story about starting out teaching with Teach for America. He then tells a story about an individual student who he taught, and how Waynee’s class made an impact on the student.

When they met, Waynee’s student was, as a child of immigrants and an English language learner, shy and reserved. But over the years, he developed much more confidence, for example applying for roles in school drama productions. Eventually, he became the first person in his family to attend college.

After his college graduation, Waynee received a gift from the student — his college graduation gown and stole — with a letter thanking Waynee for his support. “I couldn’t have done it without you,” the letter said.

This kind of story gives a powerful personal narrative to attach to a grant application and makes an emotional appeal that no statistics or data could make on their own.

Collecting stories

We all have students with compelling stories, Waynee says, and it’s important that we collect them and include them in our proposals. This shows the real-world differences that your program makes in students’ lives, and can also help you argue that with a grant, you could do even more.

You want to tell your own story — how you came to be a teacher and what you’re passionate about. You also want to tell the story of what you’ve already accomplished. And finally, you want to tell the story about what you’ll be able to accomplish if you do receive the grant.

Teacher with Wacom Intuos pen tablet

Wacom for Education

Stay tuned for more quick tips from Matthew Waynee on how to get grants for your classroom, coming soon. If you’re interested in more in-depth discussion from Waynee about education grants, check out the webinar he did with Wacom in 2022 here.

For more information about how Wacom supports education, and how Wacom products can elevate collaboration and engagement in classrooms across all grade levels and subject areas, check out the Wacom for Education site or the education section of this blog!

abeni jones headshot

About the author

Abeni Jones is a former graphic designer, illustrator, and educator, and current writer, who bought her first Wacom tablet in 1999. She’s passionate about video games, design, and the great outdoors.

Related posts:

Expired: Celebrate Gaming Week and save

Expired: Celebrate Gaming Week and save

Shop the Wacom eStore*

When you shop on the Wacom eStore you get access to discounts, financing, extended warranties, and our industry-leading customer support team.

Connect with Wacom on Social

Who's your favorite PokΓ©mon? πŸ’¦πŸƒπŸ”₯⚑⁣
⁣
Some nostalgic friends for #FridayFanart with amazing art by @philipsue_art. If beautiful landscapes, process videos, and art tips are your thing, Philip's page is the place to visit!⁣
⁣
#MadewithWacom #digitalart #animation #art #artprocess #fanart #pokemon #pikachu
5679 24
Digital kitchen time! 
Here's the last of @patrick_4d's digital burger tip series. We hope you tried making your own burger or at least went out and got one for sustenance πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”
Thank you Patrick for making us the most delicious digital burger we could have wished for. 
#wacomwantsaburger
576 16
This is a reminder for you to embrace your geek side! πŸš€

For those who spend hours designing a new skin for their character, creating 3D models of their favourite video game or programming special effects for movies.
Your art makes us proud!

How are you going to celebrate? πŸ‘‡

#GeekPrideDay #Geek #ArtistsLife
842 5
Tag your other half. βœ¨πŸ’•β£
⁣
We had to share the love with @yuyo.psd's heartwarming illustration. 🫢⁣
If you like the flow and colors of Yuyo's design, make sure you check out their page for more colorful artwork! πŸ’œβ£
#MadewithWacom #digitalart #illustration #art #graphicdesign
691 8
From concept to reality, @pixebo’s home office is brought to life to create a cozy place to sit down with their Wacom Cintiq and get to work! ✨✍️

#WacomWorkspace #digitalart #homeoffice #deskgoals #wfh
1716 13
Discover the technology behind #CintiqPro24 πŸš€β£
⁣
The #WacomProPen2 provides state-of-the-art creative pen technology, meaning every stroke, every move of your hand is followed with unerring accuracy. πŸ’«β£
⁣
Want to discover how it feels to draw with it? Check the link in bio!⁣
⁣
#Cintiqpro24 #CreativeProfessionals #CintiqPro
707 14
Colorful creative portrait by artist @valerie.loves.colors to start off your week. πŸŒˆβ˜€οΈπŸƒβ£
Valerie finds that people and colors give her the most inspiration. She points out that everyone is unique and vibrant in their own way, much like the color spectrum! 🎨⁣
⁣
#MadewithWacom #abstractart #digitalart #art #portrait #illustration
473 6
The importance of taking breaks ❀️

We’ve seen absolutely identified with the words of @ms.shortyj πŸ’« Taking care of yourself will help you grow as an artist.

Stopping is not quitting, is just taking a pause of the path to get another perspective πŸ˜‰

What other things help you when you feel this way? Share it in the comments!

#Artistslife #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth
1280 18
If you could design your dream workspace, how would it look like? πŸš€β£
⁣
Tell us in the comments what are your must-haves! πŸ‘‡β£
⁣
#WacomWorkspace #ArtistWorkspace
633 14
Don't mind us, we're out here dreaming of @patrick_4d's Wacom burger this weekend. Check out these juicy tips he shares to help you create the best looking digital burger ever! #wacomwantsaburger 
Are you participating in our burger challenge? Visit the link in our bio for more details and a chance to win some cool Wacom prizes.
735 11
Serene moment in time. 😌🌊 Slice of life shot and retouched by photographer @ashrafularefin. ⁣
#MadewithWacom #photography #streetphotography #OldDhaka
535 5