Virtual teacher grants and scholarships during the Covid-19 restrictions

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Tips and tricks to immediately virtualize teacher grants and scholarships during Covid-19 restrictions

To say times are tough is an understatement. But it’s also a time to double down our efforts to engage and provide value to your students, schools, and communities when they need it most through virtual teacher grants and scholarships during the Covid-19 restrictions. Sure, local events may need to be postponed, but that DOES NOT mean that you need to cancel or postpone your teacher grants and scholarships. Instead, it’s a time to innovate and create virtual teacher grant and scholarship activities and provide students and teachers the value they deserve. Here are a few tips to get you started and examples of what the Union County Education Foundation is doing.

Virtual teacher grant and scholarships: Multi-phase workflows
Managing teacher grants and scholarships has many moving pieces. Specially, managing the necessary multi-phase workflows. These workflows are in place to help narrow down and make a qualified selection of grant and scholarship recipients. 
Elements of a multi-phase workflow
  • Pre-qualification before submitting
    • For many scholarships, the students may not know which they qualify for. By utilizing an eligibility survey, tools like Reviewr can display relevant scholarships and apply for more than one at a time.
    • Additionally, using a eligibility survey can also prequalify teacher for grants. That way grant managers are only reviewing submissions actually eligible.
  • Feedback phase
    • Many grants and scholarships allow the applicant to submit for feedback. This allows them to gain powerful insights from grant and scholarship managers and update their submissions before a formal review is done.
  • Internal review
    • By conducting an internal review, you are narrowing the field so the review committees can focus their time.
  • Letters of recommendation and transcripts
    • Leverage the Reviewr letter of reccemendation recipe to automatically notify writers, providing them with a link to upload the file to the applicants profile.
Virtual teacher grants and scholarships: Less text, more media

It’s 2020, embrace the digital experience by collecting multimedia during the grant and scholarship application process. Multimedia is more personal, engaging, and powerful for future marketing collateral.

Ideas for multimedia based submissions

  • Video letter of recommendation or testimonials.
  • Personal video essays or interviews by the applicant.
  • Explainer videos instead of short answer and essays.

Things to think about

  • Tools like Reviewr are necessary for capturing multimedia. 
  • Not only is Reviewr necessary for multimedia uploads, but it’s embedded document viewer recipe is crucial during the review and evaluation process.
  • Utilize the power of multimedia in public showcase/celebration of entries. Even incorporate an element of “public” voting.
  • Lastly, multimedia is perfect for marketing and showcasing entries for future call for entries.
Virtual teacher grants and scholarships: Remote committee and team collaboration

If we could outline the most important aspect of virtualzing grants and scholarships – it would be the review committees experience. Often, review committees are volunteers balancing both their work/life alongside their volunteer obligations. It’s critical to provide them a streamlined experience while also engaging them.

Online submission review and selection

  • Using a tool like Reviewr to centralize the entire award, grant, and scholarship selection process is a must.
  • This centralized hub will be home to accessing submissions, viewing the uploading material, and completing the online scoring/review.
  • Automate the tabulation of scorecards to ensure data accuracy and integrity.
  • Provide a split screen process so the committee can both view the submission while evaluating it.
  • Offer a note taking section for both themselves as well as the potential to share with other reviewers or even the applicant for feedback.

Collaborate online

  • The day of in-person all day meetings is long gone. 
  • How do we combine the scoring process with the necessary subjective deliberation meetings.
  • Leverage tools like Zoom to power virtual deliberation meetings
  • Share the review process and notes in advance to prepare the review committee.
Virtual teacher grants and scholarships: Community engagement through celebration

At the end of the day, your teacher grants and scholarships are the essential programs offered to your audience. While it’s important to discuss ways to streamline operations, its equally important to focus on the overall experience and ways to engage your audience from start to finish.

Public showcase/recognition

  • Publicly display the profiles of your entries. Pick and choose what data you want to make publicly available.
  • Showcase the videos and multimedia captured during the entry process.
  • Leverage the power of social sharing to showcase the submitted work to friends, family, and the community.
  • Involve your community during the review/selection process by incorporating public voting.
  • Lastly, utilize a public showcase workflow as a way to archive data and showcase historical recipients.

At Reviewr, we are passionate about our clients and the programs our technology powers. While we understand many elements of in person events are in a stage of limbo – we want to make sure we help you control what can be controlled. Now more than ever it’s essential to run teacher grants and scholarships for your students and teachers and by leveraging our dedicated recipes, not only can we completely virtualize them but also enhance the experience for years to come. Are you doing innovative and unique things to virtualize your programs? Drop us a comment and reach out – we’d love to hear!

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