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Grant fundraising


THINGS THAT SCHOOLS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT


GRANT FUNDRAISING


Many schools are turning to grant fundraising to boost their budgets, but applying for grants is a competitive practice. Follow these steps to make your school


stand out from the crowd! by Rachel Gordon


1 Many funders want


to work with schools This often comes as a surprise


to school leaders who think that schools are largely ineligible to receive grants. This could not be further from the truth. At the heart of communities, schools hold an unrivalled position with existing networks that engage children and families in the area, and detailed knowledge of the challenges that communities face. Working with schools can help funders increase their understanding of a problem or geographical area and enable them to start working within a particular community. Both national and local grant-givers share this interest.


2 Grant givers have


their own priorities Grant givers have their own


priorities and your success will be based on how your project meets these objectives. Criteria is often based on location, who will benefit, and the issue you are trying to address. Charitable bodies are ultimately accountable to their governing board, and must be able to justify their funding decisions. So if a grant giver wants to increase sports participation for young people, tell them how your project will help them to do this. It’s all about finding common interests between your organisation and theirs, and communicating these clearly.


3 4 Funding for schools


is out there! There are hundreds of


potential funding opportunities out there for schools. They come from a variety of sources, from national grant givers with multi-million-pound pots of money to small and local charitable trusts. Many national and local companies also have charitable arms through which they focus their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. You just need to find the right grant to match your needs by researching different funders, and using their websites and grant guidance notes to make sense of their interests and priorities.


You don’t need to be a charity to apply for grant funding Many schools are automatically


awarded ‘exempt charity status’ under charity law (there are exceptions). This recognises schools as charitable organisations without the need for them to apply for registered charity status. Academies and free schools are now automatically given exempt charity status. This is good news, as these schools are eligible to apply for most grants specied for registered charities, but always check the grant guidelines. Independent schools are not given exempt charity status, so many choose to set up their own registered charities. Around 70% of PTAs are registered with the Charity Commission, and can be a useful resource throughout the grant application process.


FundEd SPRING 2016 35


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