5 ways to pay for a school greenhouse

9 Dec

The greenhouse under construction, October 2010.

We haven’t thought about paying for the structure of the greenhouse for a good three weeks, and it’s been a relief. The biggest stress in getting the greenhouse into the ground was finding out how to pay for it. So today, we’ll be sharing 5 ways to pay for your own cool project.

  1. Look for clean energy grants in your area. If your project will educate students about climate, organic food production, or energy production/conservation, local agencies would probably love to fund it.
  2. Look for local youth- or community-based grants. If students are interested in producing food or plants for sale, you could add small business grants for youth into your search.
  3. Consider selling advance shares of produce to parents. Calculate how much food/flowers/etc you can produce in your new greenhouse, and sell shares in advance to raise money. Google “Community Supported Agriculture” for more information.
  4. Ask your supplier for an educational discount. Some greenhouse kit companies will offer a 10% or greater discount for educational structures. The local Poly-Tex, Inc. gave us a generous discount.
  5. Hold a benefit event, or better yet, get someone else to. If students and families are excited about your project, see if they’d like to help. A benefit concert for the greenhouse raised $500 in donations; a bike-a-thon for the school’s solar panels made close to $2000 in $10 entrance fees.
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