Supplemental Funding: A Critical Element of School Finance

Des Moines Public Schools maintains a staff of grant writers who identify a wide range of potential funding sources and ensure that the district competes effectively for those funds.


The Grants Team generates revenue for the school district by securing grant awards at the federal, state, and local levels.

Proposal Writing

Grant writers collaborate with staff to write proposals. An internal process guides the assignment of grant opportunities to the eligible programs/projects that are most in need of funding or are the best fit with the funder’s priorities.

Technical Assistance

For staff that are interested in writing proposals, the Grants Team can guide this process and provide technical assistance throughout (i.e., grant seeking, writing, and submitting of proposals).

Funder Relations

Grant writers and staff have the important task of cultivating funder relationships as part of the grant writing and grant management processes. Ensuring we are meeting a funder’s requirements and submitting all progress and annual reports on time are  examples of ways to strengthen those relationships. This will often increase our chances of receiving future grant awards from funders.

Donors Choose

Donors Choose is the only district-approved crowdfunding platform.

We are excited to launch the Donors Choose District Partnership Program, a new and improved partnership strategy to maximize funding for our schools. More than 11,000 public school districts across the nation have been funded through Donors Choose. Yet only 250 of these districts participate in the District Partnership Program, through which approximately 70% of projects are funded.  Most of these funders have no connection to the teachers or schools they fund.

District Partnership Program benefits include:

  • A district landing page that houses all DMPS projects in one place, providing greater visibility for funders
  • Advanced notification of funding opportunities from partners, including matching opportunities
  • A simplified process to upload a project, no longer requiring the internal approval form step
  • Automated controls and reports

More information on this partnership and how to submit a proposal can be found here: Donors Choose District Partnership Program.


Contact Information

For more information about the grants process, or to inquire about an upcoming grant opportunity, contact the grant writer listed below.

Lori Brenno