Please review all FAQs before starting your Champions Grant application.  They explain requirements for being considered for a grant and include answers to the most commonly asked questions about the program.


  1. Who is eligible for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Champions Grant Program?

Any public K-12 school in California’s Cajon Valley Union School District, Grossmont Union High School District, San Diego Unified School District; North Carolina’s Cabarrus County School District, Charlotte Mecklenburg School District; Oklahoma’s Muskogee Independent School District 20, Hilldale Public Schools.  Charter schools that are geographically located within the eligible school districts listed above are eligible.  Charter schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma are also eligible to apply.

Please note: The school must be open, fully operational and serving students for a minimum of 2 years in order to be eligible for a Champions Grant.

Schools that have received a Champions Grant in the past ARE eligible to apply, however, schools with an active grant (received in 2020 or have not yet submitted a Final Report) are not eligible.

Parent/Teacher Organizations in the districts listed above are not eligible to apply for a Champions Grant independent of the school.  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.

Pre-schools, private and parochial schools are not eligible to apply.  Non-profits and/or community organizations cannot apply on behalf of their organization or the school.  No exceptions.


  1. How do I submit an application from my school?

Schools interested in applying for a Champions Grant must create an account in the Foundation’s online grants management system in order to access the application materials.  It is important to note that only school staff members can create an account on behalf of the school.  Parent volunteers (PTO/PTA) and representatives of non-profit or community partner organizations SHOULD NOT create an account on behalf of their organization or the school.  Accounts created by anyone other than school staff will be deleted. 

JJF Online Grants Management system link:

In order to be considered for a Champions Grant, projects must address a critical need within the school, and must help advance equity for all students in the school.

Schools must submit all required documents via the Foundation’s online grants management system by 8:00pm ET on Friday, June 11, 2021.  Our recommendation is that you have your completed application submitted at least 1-hour before the deadline.  It is important to note that, depending on internet speed, it could take a while to upload the required documents to the site.  No exceptions will be made to this deadline.

Please note: Application materials include a written application, budget worksheet and coordinating vendor quotes, as well as written permission from all appropriate district departments and complete plans for any technology/school improvement/infrastructure projects.  Applications that do not include all required information will not be considered.

All required information must be submitted via the Foundation’s online grants management system, including uploading your budget worksheet, vendor quotes and any relevant written permissions.  Instructions are included within the application.  Please keep in mind that there are size limitations and file type requirements for attachments.  Be sure to follow the instructions exactly as stated within the application to ensure that your submission is considered for review.

Information Call: We strongly recommend that all schools interested in applying for a Champions Grant participate in an Information Call prior to submitting an LOI.  Dates and times for Information Calls can be found HERE.


  1. What kinds of projects will qualify for the Champions Grant program?

At a time when schools are struggling to make ends meet, we recognize that we must focus on the most critical needs.  We have challenged ourselves to seek ways to provide the tools that help educators through these difficult times efficiently and with the greatest impact.  We are looking to the teachers, schools and districts to tell us what their greatest needs are.  You are the experts.  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?

IN ADDITION, projects must promote and/or advance equity for all students within the school.  What do we mean by equity?  We believe that every student should have an equal chance for success, and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.  Every student must have the support and access to the things they need to be successful in school and beyond.  This includes, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, resources, and opportunities, as well as equal application of rules and disciplinary practices.

Past projects funded include Science and Technology, Health and Wellness programs, Arts programs, Language and Literacy initiatives, and School Improvement/Infrastructure.  The image below provides examples of projects we’ve funded, but is by no means an exhaustive list.

Projects must directly relate to and impact classroom instruction, during the school year.  Proposals must be for one cohesive project.  Unfortunately we are not able to consider applications that attempt to link multiple projects.

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).

All items/materials/services must be purchased through district-approved vendors.  It is your responsibility to confirm all items/vendor are approved by the district BEFORE submitting your proposal.

If your project requires teacher/staff training, no more than 10% of any award granted can be used toward fees associated with training.  Travel expenses (transportation, lodging, etc.) cannot be included in your request.

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.

Applications that do not follow these guidelines will not be considered.


  1. How much money is available for our school through the JJF Champions Grant program?

Schools can request between $15,000 and $35,000.  Requests for less than $15,000 or more than $35,000 will not be considered.  Note: In some cases, partial funding will be awarded that total less than $15,000, at the sole discretion of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.

Please note: Only one application will be considered per school.


  1. What are Measures of Success?

Measures of Success are your Outputs and Outcomes – the expected results of your proposed project.  They must include specific numeric outputs and outcomes, including the number of students you are measuring, tools you will use to measure, timelines for measurements, etc.  At least one Output and Outcome must measure growth.

Note: Outputs and Outcomes can include data you are already gathering through things like benchmarking, End of Year tests, etc.  These are appropriate to use as long as the information directly relates for your proposed project.

  • Outputs are what and how many activities, services, methods and/or approaches you are using to measure this project. They MUST include the number of students/teachers/people served.
  • Outcomes are the results, impact and/or accomplishments you aim to achieve. They MUST include numeric goals.

A few examples of acceptable Measures of Success/Outputs and Outcomes are below:

Output 1: 858 students will be served by this project

Outcome 1: Each student will log a minimum of 10 hours per quarter in the Innovative Computer Science Lab


Output 2: 858 students will complete a survey on career choices before and after participating in the 12- week computer science course.

Outcome 2: By the end of the 12-week computer science course, we hope to see 20% growth in the number of students who select the computer science as a career goal.


Output 3: 858 student projects will be evaluated using a teacher-created rubric based on the common core technology standards

Outcome 3: 80% of student projects will score above 90%

Please note: Failure to provide specific numeric data points will impact a school’s ability to receive funding.


  1. Is there a timeframe by which we will need to complete our project, in order to qualify?

We only consider grants for projects that will be completed within one calendar year (January-December, 2022).  In order to be considered complete, all funds must be spent (by April 15, 2022), the project must be fully implemented and in use, and it must be able to be measured using the approved Measures of Success/Outputs and Outcomes.  If your project cannot be completed in one calendar year, it will not be considered.


  1. What is an EIN #?

An EIN # is your district or school (typically district if your school is part of a district) Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax Identification Number or Federal Tax Identification Number.  The number should be 9 digits in length.  Please check with your district to ensure you include the correct EIN # when you register for the Foundation’s online grants management system.


  1. What is the application deadline?

The deadline for schools to submit an application is 8:00pm ET on Friday, June 11, 2021.  The application process will close at this time and you will no longer be able to edit the application materials.  Incomplete applications or those not submitted by the deadline will not be considered.


  1. When will we be notified if we are selected to receive a grant?

All applicants will be notified of their status via email no later than December 31, 2021.  Please do not contact the Foundation regarding the status of your application unless you do not hear from us by this date.

When submitting an application, the contact email address you provide should be for a contact what will be available throughout the entire grant process.  If there are any changes that directly impact your project (main point of contact, principal, project no longer needs funding/viable, etc.), you must let us know ASAP.  Neglecting to inform the Foundation of changes can impact your school’s ability to receive a grant.


  1. What does the Foundation take into consideration when selecting which proposals to fund?

The Champions Grant program is a competitive grant process.  The program is generously funded by public donations, which means that there are limited funds available and that the Jimmie Johnson Foundation must be a good steward of the funds.  When evaluating proposals, the selection committee looks at whether the school makes a compelling case, supported by data, that their project addresses a critical need and helps promote equity for all students; whether or not the project is sustainable after the initial grant period; whether the return on investment/cost per student is reasonable for the proposed project.  In addition, the committee considers whether the school has provided realistic and verifiable quantitative Outputs and Outcomes; whether the budget is realistic, the worksheet is completed correctly, and the vendor quotes match the budget; whether the school followed the instructions provided.  This information is not exhaustive but is an overview of how we review and evaluate projects.  The Jimmie Johnson Foundation involves multiple individuals in a multi-step review process to ensure fairness in determining which projects will receive funding.


  1. My school applied for a grant in the past but was not selected. What did I do wrong?

Likely your school did nothing wrong.  As mentioned in #10, the Champions Grant program is a competitive grant process, generously funded by public donations, with limited funds available.  This requires the Jimmie Johnson Foundation to be a good steward of the funds.  Applications must follow all stated instructions and guidelines, must be thorough, well thought-out and provide detailed, empirical evidence that the project has a high likelihood of being successful in order to be considered to receive funding.  Projects are selected based on the information included in #10 and #11, based on the amount of funding available.

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