FUNDRAISING – Big projects

you can’t rely on families, a grant may be the best route. Think about different ways your supporters could help. Perhaps a parent runs a company that would gladly sponsor part of your project, or they can get match funding from their employer. As you establish what will work

well and what you will run, assign each activity its own target and make sure the total adds up to your overall fundraising goal. Plan for what you will do if you raise more or less than your target, and make these plans clear in your publicity.

Set up sub-committees for each activity to spread the workload.

Grant fundraising There are a number of grant schemes

for which schools and PTAs are eligible. These range from grant- givers with a specific interest, such as the Ernest Cook Trust (focused on outdoor learning), through to general funds like the National Lottery Awards for All. Some grants run nationally, while

others are regionally specific. Most schemes state the maximum amount they will fund and may have set criteria, such as the project needing to make a difference to the whole community. FundEd members can search the school-specific grants database at Compiling grant applications often

takes longer than you think, so check deadlines and work backwards, allowing plenty of time to gather supporting documents, write detailed budgets and seek evidence from supporters.

Crowdfunding Crowdfunding can be hugely

successful but is often misunderstood. Although it’s relatively quick and easy to set up a project online through a platform such as DonateMySchool (, it’s not simply a matter of doing it and waiting for the money to come in. You need to be able to push your project through as many channels as you can to reach lots of potential sponsors, as it’s reliant on getting a large number of small donations. Drive it on social media, through emails and newsletters, and get local media involved. As schools sit at the heart of the community, you are well placed to tap into the generosity of the people around you.

Sponsorship Investigate which local businesses

operate CSR (corporate social responsibility) schemes. When approaching businesses, speak to the decision-maker and offer three different options with varying levels of commitment; they’ll be more likely to pick one than say no

altogether. Once established, develop ongoing partnerships by keeping sponsors updated on how their work has helped the school and thanking them both personally and publicly. If they can see it’s mutually beneficial, they’ll be more likely to continue supporting you. Local community groups, for

example Rotary Clubs and Lions International, often raise funds to give back to local projects. The amounts and criteria vary from club to club, but it’s always worth asking – especially if your new project will benefit the wider community.

Fundraising events Events can take a lot more time,

effort and manpower compared to crowdfunding or grants, but they’re a great way to raise awareness of a project and bring supporters together. If an outdoor area needs renovation, highlight the space in need of development by hosting a car boot sale or a campover. If it’s your school hall, hold a quiz night or a barn dance. Popular sponsored events include a run, a bounce or a read-a-thon, and Gift Aid can be claimed to boost profits. Ask parents whether their employers offer match funding – many companies will pledge a sum related to the amount an employee has raised.

Passive fundraising Passive fundraisers can run in the

background of your project and keep money flowing in. Shopping affiliate and recycling schemes are a great way for parents to raise funds without spending money, while a 100 club means parents pay a set amount each month for the chance to win half the profits. These are easily administered by one person and are a low-effort way to keep funds coming in. If you don’t have them set up already, implement some that suit your school, and if you do, be sure to promote them regularly.

PTA+ online

For more information on all these fundraising routes, visit AUTUMN 2019 47

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