Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Lesson 2: Resources and Funding

Learn how to obtain resources and funding for after-school programs.

January 20, 2009

Download Lesson 2 (68KB)

In Lesson 1 of this tutorial, we outlined how the Providence After School Alliance and its affiliates developed a business plan from the strategies set forth during planning sessions. The business plan, among other things, delineated funding needs to create a system of after-school programs. Many factors went into figuring the amount needed, including

  • the anticipated number of youth who would participate (based on a sample size of 6,000).
  • salaries of program providers and staff.
  • transportation costs.
  • intermediary operations costs.
  • resources on hand, such as equipment and volunteers.

During its first five years, PASA received grants and resources from the following sources:

In addition to the above major sources of private and public funding, PASA has been able to raise about $1 million per year from other national and regional foundations as well as smaller family and corporate foundations.

Using PASA's funding strategy as an example, you can begin raising funds by working with national, state, and local markets. As a coordinated network of partners, try to tap national funders that would not be interested in funding smaller, community-based organizations but might be interested in systems-building efforts. By building on connections with the police, schools, and other community partners, look to education, juvenile-justice, substance-abuse-prevention, and other sources that do not traditionally fund after-school programs. Parents and private organizations can also provide help -- not always through money but through equipment or volunteers. In addition, look at resources you already have on hand, such as a community bus system and school facilities.


We use these terms throughout this and other PASA lessons:

21st Century Community Learning Center grant: Provided by the U.S Department of Education to community learning centers that provide academic-enrichment opportunities during nonschool hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.

AfterZone: A geographic area that defines a "community campus" of schools and community providers in the area. Students from different schools can attend a network of after-school programs within the zone.

Providence After School Alliance (PASA): An intermediary agency responsible for creating a system of high-quality after-school opportunities for middle school youth in Providence, Rhode Island. Initially funded by the Wallace Foundation and Bank of America, PASA is driven by the collective efforts of over 150 public and nonprofit after-school providers and is spearheaded by Mayor David N. Cicilline.

Key Points

PASA staff offer this advice for finding funding to develop an after-school network:

  • Your business plan should outline your funding needs; corral investors with a strong mission.
  • After-school programs operate through funding from grants and community resources.
  • Tap into the local, state, and national markets for funding.
  • Build on connections with civic and parent groups to provide funding and resources, including transportation, volunteers, and community-enrichment grants

Learn more about funding after-school programs at "Grant Information: Resources to Get You Started" and The Finance Project.

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  • Project-Based Learning (PBL)
  • Professional Learning
  • 6-8 Middle School

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