By Heather Park


eing in a rural area often means fewer potential volunteers and donors for a school. There may be a lack

of local businesses willing and able to make donations, and an isolated location may make it difficult to attract visitors or work with third- party fundraising organisations. But with the right considerations in place, a successful fundraising plan can ensure your income generation has the potential to be as strong as that of any other school.

Expand your supporter base By making the most of all manpower, you can ensure no group is overworked, and avoid burnout. You have staff, governors and parents at your disposal, but there are many more groups that can be utilised.

Businesses Getting support from businesses is a great way to gain extra resources while boosting awareness of your school. Local businesses will be keen to back the school, whereas national businesses have CSR schemes in place, so make sure you approach a range of company types and sizes. Business involvement isn’t just

about money – companies can also donate skills, manpower and knowledge when it comes to work-related learning. Many businesses are keen to

support schools but don’t know how, so approach them with a range of options rather than a single or vague request. People are a lot more likely to say yes if they have a choice and know what they’re agreeing to.

For more information on

any of the ideas mentioned, visit

Fundraising groups Talk to local fundraising groups to see if you can work together. Lions or Rotary Clubs are a great place to start. Can

you borrow equipment from them?

Do they have any fundraising ideas or advice, or could you work together on an event and split the profits?

PTA Parents are the obvious place to turn when it comes to fundraising, as they have the incentive of their children. Do you have a PTA? If not, why not? PTAs raise, on average, £8,000 per year and can make a huge difference to your school.

Other schools A smaller school means smaller fundraising teams and potentially fewer ideas, so team up with other schools to keep things fresh and bring new ideas to the table. ‘One of our school’s TAs is also on

the PTFA of the school her children attend. Our PTFAs have built up a relationship through this TA over the past five years. We loan each other equipment, donate leftover supplies to each other after events, and swap ideas. This is done for free and is a very helpful resource.’ Dawn Grocott, PTFA treasurer, St Mary’s CofE Primary School, West Derby (214 pupils)

Rural schools face their own unique set of challenges when it comes to income generation – here’s how to overcome them


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