Dream team T

here’s no denying that income generation has become a hot topic in our schools. Last year, a PricewaterhouseCoopers report suggested schools could face

real-term reductions in budgets of around seven to eight per cent by 2020. Savvy school business leaders are becoming more and more tuned in to sustainable ways to raise additional income, and adopting innovative ways to engage with potential supporters. However, a survey conducted last year by Pebble found that while 95% of school business leaders agreed that a strategic and structured approach to income generation was important, only six per cent had a plan in place. The reality is that schools need to adopt a joined-up approach to income generation to maximise the chances of successfully funding those aspirational projects. It is estimated that over £1.5bn is available for state schools to apply for each year, from regional and national grants and trusts. However, funders are far more likely to look favourably on a grant application if the applicant has demonstrated a holistic approach to financing their project. One way that schools can do this is to consider how collaborations with business can benefit both parties.

A clear strategy Ultimately, schools should be crystal clear on what they are looking for from the relationship

Successful relationships, at

any level, function best if they offer a ‘win-win’ benefit to all parties

Be clear on what you want from your business partnerships, and increase your supporter base overnight

with a partner business. This originates from your income generation/fundraising strategy – if schools have a co-ordinated approach to income generation at a strategic level then they will already have mapped out their approach to commercial partnerships. This includes having a really clear idea of what type of support they’re seeking (financial, expert advice, mentoring for students, etc) and, of course, what benefits may be offered to the business. It is also very important to link potential donations or financial support to a specific project – sponsors are far more likely to willingly engage with the school if they can see that their

input directly impacts the children. While any partnership should be driven by

what’s best for the school and its students, all successful relationships, at any level, function

best if they offer a ‘win-win’ benefit to all parties. Schools can gain access to business mentors, sponsorship and funding support, as well as volunteers and help in preparing students for the workplace. Businesses, meanwhile, are able to forge stronger connections with students, accessing a talent pool of the future. Some businesses may like a low-level

association with the school, while many may be motivated altruistically or by their desires to meet their CSR expectations. Whatever the business motivations, your school needs to have a clear understanding of what you can offer to meet

48 SPRING 2019 FundEd

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