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Champions Grant

Grants to North Carolina, California, and Oklahoma K-12 Schools
in Eligible Districts to Enhance Education and Infrastructure

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Jimmie Johnson Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

05/31/19 8:00 PM ET


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Grants ranging from $20,000 to $75,000 to North Carolina, California, and Oklahoma K-12 public schools in eligible districts to enhance education. Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent prior to applying. Past projects funded include science and technology, health and wellness, arts, language and literacy, and school improvements and infrastructure. The Foundation is dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need. Proposals must be for one cohesive project.

Champions Grants are distributed to K-12 public schools in designated districts in El Cajon and San Diego, California; Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties in North Carolina; and Muskogee and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

At a time when schools are struggling to make ends meet, the Foundation recognize that they must focus on the most critical needs. They seek ways to provide the tools that help educators through these difficult times efficiently and with the greatest impact. They are looking to the teachers, schools and districts to say what their greatest needs are. When considering what constitutes a critical need, think in terms of needs vs. wants or have to haves vs. nice to haves. What are the things that are necessary for your school to be able to
ensure the success of your students?

Past grants have paid for the following items in each grant category:

Science and Technology
-Computers, printers, interactive white boards, document cameras, etc.
-Science lab equipment and materials
-Could include some outdoor education projects
-Could include CTE/trade based projects

Language and Literacy
-Imaging Learning and other software to assist EST students
-Library improvements and enhancements
-Literacy projects/initiatives

Arts: Materials for visual and performing arts programs

Health and Wellness
-Gym equipment
-Could include some outdoor education projects

School Improvement/Infrastructure
- Improvements such as window blinds, classroom furniture, etc.
- Wireless access points
- Could include some outdoor education projects, such as school gardens.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179043

Estimated Size of Grant:

Champions Grant program awards range in size from a minimum of $20,000 to a maximum of $75,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be completed within one calendar year (12 months).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any K-12 public school in the districts listed below are eligible to apply. Schools must be in operation and serving students for at least 2 years

- Cajon Valley Union School District
- Grossmont Union High School District
- San Diego Unified School District

North Carolina
- Cabarrus County Schools
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

- Hilldale Public Schools
- Muskogee Independent School District 20/Muskogee Public Schools

Charter schools geographically located within the eligible school districts may apply. Charter schools in Tulsa, OK are also eligible to apply.

Parent organizations, Pre Schools, Private Schools, Parochial Schools and Nonprofit organizations are not eligible to apply. PTOs may assist the school to apply for funding, but the project must be managed by the school and must follow all district guidelines and requirements. Applications must be completed and submitted by school staff. No exceptions.

Schools that have received a Champions Grant in the past ARE eligible to apply; however, schools with active grants (received in 2018 or have not yet submitted a Final Report) are not eligible.

Please note: The grant money cannot be used to pay for salaries, stipends, artists in residence, memorials, consultant fees, field trips, travel expenses, vehicles, scholarships, modular/mobile classrooms, capital/construction projects (new construction, expansion, renovation, or replacement of an existing facility) or third party funding (ex: paying an outside group to facilitate a program or activity).

Pre-proposal Conference:

It is strongly recommended that all eligible schools that are considering submitting an application participate in an Information Call. The purpose of the calls is to provide applicants with additional details about the application process, to share Jimmie Johnson Foundation expectations of applicants and to answer questions applicants may have. It is important to note that the Foundation is not able to review individual applications and/or provide specific feedback on the calls/at the meetings. Schools must be in an eligible district to sign up for a call or meeting. Parent volunteers assisting schools with writing a grant can register for an Information Call, but a school staff member must also participate in the call.

Click here for more information, including dates, and to register:

Calls after April 17 are only for schools that submitted an LOI by the deadline (4/18/19).

Pre-Application Information:

In order to be considered for a Champions Grant, schools must first complete and submit an LOI, via the Foundation’s online grants management system. The deadline to submit an LOI for consideration is Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm ET. Please note that schools that do not submit an LOI will not be able to apply for a grant.

Please note that schools in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District must submit their LOIs by 8:00 pm ET on Thursday, March 21st. Please contact the district grants office with questions.

Schools invited to complete a full application must submit by Friday, May 31, 2019 at 8:00 pm ET. The Champions Grant Recipients will be announced no later than December 31, 2019.

If your project requires teacher/staff training, no more than 10% of any award granted can be used toward fees associated with training. If your project requires any type of infrastructure changes (such as adding/updating a playground, creating a school garden, etc.), the school is responsible for matching a minimum of 5% of the total project budget. In addition, no more than 10% of any award granted can be used toward outside resources such as consultation, labor, installation, project management, and delivery (cumulative). For example, if your project budget is $75,000, the school’s commitment would be $3,750 and your request to the Jimmie Johnson Foundation would be $71,250. In this scenario, the total cost of the vendor fees listed above could not exceed $7,125.

If your project involves purchasing any technology items (computers, software, tablets, printers, interactive white boards, etc.), you must get approval in writing from all necessary district departments confirming that the district will support your technology purchases. Written approval(s) must be submitted with your application in order for your project to be considered.

Site visits are conducted at the discretion of the Champions Grant Review Committee.


View a brief tutorial on how to register/create an account:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Questions? Please contact Jenny at or (704) 586-2996.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: El Cajon and San Diego;   North Carolina: Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties;   Oklahoma: Muskogee and Tulsa