In just 13 years, she's made millions. Jan Mitchell Johnson '86 has won over $185 million in grants for public school districts and charter schools in the United States since starting her own business, Grantsformation, Inc
., and over $200 million in her entire career as a grant writer. Grantsformation, Inc. has secured funding for after-school and summer school programs, professional development for teachers in math, science and technology, early childhood education, and even incentive pay for teachers who meet benchmarks.
The impressive list of grants she has secured includes as least one from every prestigious Federal Department of Education grant competition there is. Jan has authored four eBooks on various aspects of grant writing and grant team development and trained hundreds of teachers to access grant funding for their classrooms.
She is well aware of the challenges for today’s schools. “In Houston, for example, enrollment over the past two years has dwindled from about 225,000 to 202,000 students as families shift from public schools to charter or private schools,” says Jan. “With school funding based on the per pupil allotment (Houston is between $7,000 and $10,000 per student, per year), this translates into a big shift in resources. Academic standards are on the rise in Texas, so schools must meet even higher benchmarks with less money.” In 2008, Jan raised over $9 million for Houston schools alone. Overall, she estimates that she’s won funding to either cover over 1,500 teacher salaries in a year or a charter school’s budget for 25 years. Jan writes, "I love what I do because I get to make money while I make money for others."
Jan lives and runs Grantsformation, Inc. in Houston, Texas. She volunteers with the Friends of the Houston Public Library, serves on their board, and recently chaired its most successful Children's Book Sale. “We netted over $15,000 in three days, primarily because of a new weed/recycle/donate system. Win-win-win!” Jan’s next goal is to start her own non-profit, Re:Distribute, that will match all kinds of educational supplies and materials with public school teachers who need them. “We're seeking donations from individuals, corporations, retired teachers, small businesses--anyone and everyone who has things that will be useful in classrooms, from school supplies and art materials to maps, furniture, and even people's time. I'm working out the details now, but it's a challenge I'm totally up for!”