All youth deserve access to an outstanding STEM education, regardless of their family’s income or their teacher’s budget. That’s why Science Action Club partners with schools, libraries, and community organizations around grants and opportunities to fund the SAC learning experience.
View available awards, access program data, and see sample letters of inquiry to support your fundraising plans. Need something special? Contact our team of experienced staff for customized support and materials designed just for your program.
Search for new and existing funding opportunities with this curated list of partner databases.
- New! The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 focuses on the usage of federal funding for summer and afterschool learning. This guide provides an overview of funding opportunities that programs can use to cover program costs, future costs and to develop infrastructure.
- The Afterschool Alliance keeps an active afterschool funding database with current funding opportunities specified by program areas such as STEM or COVID-relief funding.
- BOOST provides a comprehensive compilation of a variety of funding opportunities including grants and contests to support your program.
- The National Afterschool Alliance (NAA) has many helpful articles, including how to solicit businesses for fundraising. We suggest you also start with your NAA state affiliate who may have a local resource bank, such as the Indiana Afterschool Network’s Grants & Funding page.
Remember to join the SAC Facebook Group and search the #FundingOpportunity hashtag to see upcoming opportunities.
Start building your plans with these materials that outline the ins-and-outs of SAC.
- Kit materials & activities: View sample activities and materials lists for Bird Scouts, Bug Safari, and Cloud Quest.
- Testimonials, awards, & impact: Reference testimonials from our global partners, highlight awards and achievements, or access the latest evaluation data.
- Digital Marketing Toolkit: Browse SAC-approved publicity materials from photos to logos, and more.
- Program costs: With options for discounts, bulk orders, and fee waivers, SAC can fit budgets of all shapes and sizes. Our recommended fees are based on an organization’s annual operating budget.
Funding resources for you to download
Use these ready-to-go templates to build SAC into your communication plans and fundraising goals.
Add these pre-prepared SAC program descriptions into your grants.
California Academy of Sciences
The mission of the California Academy of Sciences (the Academy) is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Science Action Club (SAC) was designed to bring the impact of this work well beyond the walls of its San Francisco museum. The Academy aims to get pre- and early-adolescent youth permanently excited about science and nature by providing them opportunities to actively contribute to authentic research, connect with the global scientific community, and see their own progress over time. To accomplish this, SAC transforms environmental learning at scale by providing high-quality curricula and training resources for afterschool, summer learning, and educational pod programs. Working in partnership with the Academy’s research division, including the Department of Biodiversity and Community, SAC’s design is inspired and vetted by world-renowned scientists.
The program’s significant growth from 2011 to today demonstrates that the core activity of SAC— engaging youth in hands-on activities in nature while achieving essential STEM learning goals—is well aligned with the current needs of out-of-school-time learning programs. SAC has served over 73,000 youth and adults in more than 470 communities across 38 states and globally.
Science Action Club (SAC) inspires students in grades 5-8 to develop intellectual curiosity, a sense of wonder, and enthusiasm for environmental science learning. This is achieved through dynamic afterschool curricula that integrate hands-on activities with community science projects, also called citizen science.
Featuring three youth-friendly topics—Bird Scouts, Bug Safari, and Cloud Quest—the program is designed to hook middle school youth at a pivotal time in their academic careers, when their experience with science learning is most apt to either solidify or shrink students’ natural curiosity.
SAC was developed as part of a broader initiative to strengthen the environmental education field and professionalize the role of out-of-school time educators. We are committed to addressing the lack of high-quality environmental science education during out-of-school time, which disproportionately impacts students in under-resourced communities and students of color.
SAC provides high quality curriculum and training resources and reduces barriers to participation in STEM. To date, SAC has reached over 73,000 youth and educators in more than 470 communities across 38 states. It is a powerful means of engaging directly with out-of-school time practitioners to identify and meet the science and environmental learning needs of under-resourced programs in urban, rural, and suburban communities across the country.
SAC provides award-winning, online educator trainings to support scaling efforts and engage key partners to enhance regional capacity-building. This increases national presence among STEM learning networks, and fosters a more active, robust community of practice to connect and support SAC educators and youth groups.
Customize this sample email when initiating an ask to individual donors.
Individual Donor Email Template
To: Potential donors who you’ve been stewarding a relationship with and have at least a few touch points with your program and SAC
Subject: Bringing Science Action Club to __________
Attachment: Impact Report
Thank you for joining us at ____ last week! I wanted to expand on the planned project with Science Action Club (SAC) that I mentioned in our meeting. SAC is a global, award-winning STEM program for middle school youth in out-of-school time. Our staff have seen the incredible value that SAC provides to both students and educators, and we’re looking for supporters to ensure that we have the funds necessary to bring SAC to the ___ students our program plans to serve this year.
We chose SAC because it features three science and nature units that spark curiosity and wonder, build scientific skills, and help youth develop STEM identities. Through games, projects, and exciting investigations, youth in SAC explore nature, contribute to authentic science research, and design creative strategies to protect the planet. In the latest program assessment, 83% of youth participants reported that they feel more confident in their science skills since joining SAC.
We plan to bring Science Action Club to our newly instated _____ club for 7th graders because our new staff are in need of after-school and STEM facilitation professional development. SAC’s program not only features hands-on kits for the 7th graders but also provides high-quality staff training, and their current partners in the field agree it works—95% of SAC educators in their program felt their online training increased their interest in teaching science and prepared them to lead environmental science activities with confidence and skill.
As we discussed, we are looking for donors to purchase a year-round set of SAC kits that would cover each semester with a new unit topic and community science project. We would all be so grateful for your support.
Thanks for your consideration. I welcome the opportunity to answer any questions that may arise and look forward to continuing the conversation.
Use this letter of inquiry template to develop a relationship with a new foundation.
Template Letter of Inquiry
To: Prospective foundations
Subject: Letter of Inquiry to the ______ Foundation for Science Action Club
Attachment: Impact Report
It is my pleasure to submit this letter of inquiry to the ____ to help determine interest in bringing Science Action Club (SAC) training and curriculum to ____. Bringing SAC to our afterschool program addresses the ____ ’s goal to provide STEM kits and training to staff in our region. Because of this alignment, we respectfully request your consideration of a grant of $___ to support this program for ____[time-period].
Science is for everyone. Yet the opportunity gap in education, particularly in STEM fields, is a significant problem nationally and globally. SAC aims to remove existing barriers and create a fun learning environment for the next generation of thinkers and doers. SAC is an out-of-school time program for middle-school youth that gives students an opportunity to explore and connect with nature while achieving essential STEM learning goals. Afterschool program leaders and summer camp instructors are provided with dynamic curricula, integrated hands-on activities, and citizen science projects with no prior experience necessary.
SAC was developed by the California Academy of Sciences, a world-class science museum based in San Francisco California, in collaboration with national partners that include citizen science projects from iNaturalist, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, NASA, and GLOBE Observer. It features three environmental science units: Bird Scouts, Bug Safari, and Cloud Quest. Each interactive curriculum takes youth outside to investigate nature, document their discoveries, contribute to authentic science research, and design strategies to protect the natural world.
Access to high-quality STEM education tools is more important than ever as the pandemic has strained parents and educators’ creativity and capacity and students’ interest and engagement. The program provides relief to both and inspires participants to develop an enduring passion for science even in virtual spaces. Since 2011, SAC has served over 73,000 youth and adults, inspiring academic and personal confidence, and a lifelong interest in the natural world.
The ultimate goal of the program is to provide high-quality STEM and environmental science learning resources to our youth and educators. In doing so, we will be able to support our __ students and __ staff with resources and training to bolster their STEM identities. A grant of $____ from the ____ would purchase ___ SAC kits, which would provide curriculum and materials for all ___ youth in our STEM program.
I greatly appreciate the time and consideration afforded by the ____ in reading this letter. I welcome the opportunity to answer any questions that may arise and look forward to continuing the conversation.