Educare Foundation Ed Waltman Mini Grant Criteria

The Educare Foundation is a non-profit organization, founded in 1995, which provides financial support to the Mankato Area Public Schools which goes beyond the normal operating budget to fund programs and activities that enhance educational opportunities for all students, encourage teachers to explore new ways of learning and provide a vital link between the community and the classroom.

The goal of the Ed Waltman Mini Grant Program is to provide enrichment opportunities to students in Mankato Area Public Schools. Enrichment could be defined as new learning opportunities not available to most students in the classroom.

Selection Criteria
Grants will be evaluated on the following:

Information requested in application:

  • Teacher(s) names and contact information, school, grade level(s).
  • Number of students involved impacted and whether requested material can be used across multiple grade levels.
  • Title and general description of the grant request
  • How requested items or activity direct supports school curriculum.
  • Educational outcome of the experience and follow up in the classroom.
  • Information regarding how the materials or activity will be sustained in the future.
  • Detailed list of items materials being requested and detailed breakdown of the cost, including shipping and handling costs.
  • Other funding sources explored, or matching funds, if available.
  • Time constraints. What is the date on which the requested funds would be used and the date by which the educator would need a response from Educare without endangering the completion of the activity?
  • Sign-off by building principal. Requests will not be considered without it!

Additional guidelines:

  • Requests that support K-12 school day curriculum will be given first priority. Requests for Pre-K programs will only be considered for early childhood education programs through the school district. Educare does not generally support extra-curricular activities.
  • In general, requests for basic furniture or furnishings (desks, chairs, bookshelves, etc.) have not been approved. However, requests for dynamic or active seating, standing desks, and other sensory related or ergonomically related furniture may be approved.
  • Requests for materials and supplies that address social/emotional wellbeing may be considered subject to the approval of the school social worker or school phycologist
  • In general, basic technology requests such as tablets, computers, monitors, headphones etc. and replacement of existing equipment have not been granted. However, requests for technology that will be used in new and innovative ways may be considered subject to the approval of the district’s technology staff.
  • In general, requests the renewal of existing subscriptions have not been approved. However, requests for new subscriptions may be considered provided the subscriptions directly support curriculum and information is provided as to how the subscription will be perpetuated in the future. Requests for new subscriptions requiring software licensing may be subject to the approval of the district technology office.
  • In general, requests for student scholarships or financial aid have not been approved.
  • In general, requests for educator continuing education have not been approved.
  • Requests for outings, field trips, or guest artists/speakers that directly support curriculum may be considered, provided that itemized budget of expenses is provided. Requests involving “open ended” monetary requests for social activities, transportation, etc. typically have not been considered.
  • Requests supporting summer school activities are eligible.
  • The guidelines listed are not all inclusive or absolutely binding. The Educare Board will have final discretion as to the evaluation of grant requests.

Grant requests should be summarized in one page or less, outlining the above criteria. Please also include any pictures, sources, costs, shopping cart printouts, websites, etc. Historically, the Foundation has not funded replacement items, sensory items for the classroom (i.e. wobble chairs), and subscription renewals.

Educare Foundation’s intent of the Ed Waltman Mini Grant Program is to impact as wide of an audience as possible within the Mankato Area Public School District. In addition to the stated application criteria, funding decisions may be impacted by the Foundation’s availability of funds and/or historical diversity of giving across school district facilities.

Mini Grants will be reviewed four (4) times during the school year. The Foundation distributes up to $24,000 annually in mini grants, with a maximum of $1,000 awarded per mini grant. Generally, around $6,000 will be awarded per quarter depending on requests. Grant requests are accepted and reviewed every quarter by the Educare Grants Committee. The grant submission, review and approval dates can be found online at

Application can be submitted by filling out the Mini Grant Application online at

If you have any questions, contact the Educare Grants Committee at or call the District Office at 507-387-1868.