Bright Ideas FAQs

Why are grant amounts different?

Each electric cooperative is an independent, member-owned organization that supports its local community through a variety of education programs, including Bright Ideas grants. The maximum amount awarded per grant is determined by the electric cooperative. Please contact your school’s sponsoring electric cooperative for more information.

Click here to find your school’s sponsoring electric cooperative.

When will I know if I have been awarded a grant?

Grant winners will be notified during the months of November and December.

Who judges the applications?

In most cases, a panel of judges reviews applications and ranks them based on creativity and benefit to students. Because the evaluation process is competitive, partial funding may be awarded to allow more students to benefit from this program. Please contact your school’s sponsoring cooperative for more details on its specific judging process as they do vary.

Click here to find your school’s sponsoring electric cooperative.

Why do I have problems when I cut and paste into the application?

It is important that text is not distorted so judges can read your application clearly. If you are preparing your application in a program such as Microsoft Word, be sure to remove all formatting before pasting the text it into your application. This can be done by selecting “paste as plain text” or by pasting the text into a program such as notepad before pasting it into your application.

Do the co-ops accept applications from private or charter schools?

The decision to fund grants for private or charter schools is up to the sponsoring cooperative’s discretion. Contact your local electric cooperative to find out if private or charter schools in your area are eligible to receive funding through the Bright Ideas program.

Why doesn’t my application print correctly?

You cannot print the application page by page. After you save your budget, a page will appear that will give you options for “printing” and “submitting” your application. This print button will display the application in a report format.

In order for the report to print as displayed, you must use the print button located on the gray toolbar directly above the Bright Ideas logo. Do not use the print function found in your browser.

Can you save an application before you are finished?

Yes. After you begin an application, all data entered on the page will be saved when you click “Continue.” Be sure to finish the page you are working on and click “Continue” before you log off. The next time you log in, you can continue where you left off.

If a teacher leaves a school, are the supplies purchased with a Bright Ideas grant his/hers or do they belong to the school?

Should a winning teacher leave a school, the supplies and/or equipment purchased with a Bright Ideas grant are property of the school. Since Bright Ideas grants are awarded based on need and number of students benefitted, items bought with grant funding must be left at the school from which the grant originated.

What is a “participating school” and how can my school be included?

Electric cooperatives provide electricity in 93 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, and cover approximately 45 percent of the state’s land mass. Cooperatives award Bright Ideas grants to schools within their service territory; however, several also award grants to schools outside of their coverage area. We recognize that all situations are different, and even though some schools are not served by an electric cooperative, they may have students who receive their home electricity from a cooperative. Therefore, local sponsoring electric cooperatives can choose whether or not they will accept grant applications from schools outside of their service territory.

If you don’t see your school listed and would like to be considered, send us a message using the “Contact Us” page and we will forward your request to the nearest sponsoring electric cooperative.