Sponsorship success

Contacted potential sponsors


by Howard Rose T

he rst day of term arrived and I started my new job as Funding and Publicity Manager at Balsall

Common Primary School. I was shown to my new work station where I had a desk, a phone and a very simple brief: ‘Get us some money!’. Looking at the challenge logically

I knew I needed a plan. So the rst thing I did was conduct a simple SWOT analysis, identifying my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (see right). Once complete, it appeared that,

although on paper I didn’t look like the ideal man for the job, my strengths far outweighed my weaknesses, and the opportunities were much greater than the threats! Encouraged by this simple exercise, I was ready to get started. I began by researching what other

schools and charities were doing – identifying what ‘good’ looked like would give me a benchmark to work towards. I decided not to try to reinvent the wheel; if other schools or companies were doing something well, then I should follow their lead. My initial goal was to, at the very

least, cover my own costs. I then divided my work into several areas: immediate cash, future cash and big pots. My theory was that having three different areas of focus would give a more balanced overall result. If I only concentrated on quick wins, I would forever be on a treadmill; if I worked on future income, the danger

42 SPRING 2016 FundEd

was that tomorrow may never come; and if I only worked on big pots of money, I could be putting a lot of time and effort into something that may never materialise. Allocating time to each area meant

that I could show I was having an impact. People will always question whether a dedicated role is effective given the costs involved. I could future-proof myself with long-term ventures, while the big pots could give big gains, showing value and exceeding my targets.

Step two Now I had to make my plan work – utilising the contacts I already had. Rather than approaching them

about money, I talked about projects and areas of need. This encouraged the potential sponsor to buy into the idea and build interest, before even mentioning the C-word: cost! I aimed to align the types of

business to a need. For example, a local car retailer sponsors our F1 in Schools team; a local hotel sponsors the ingredients for our cooking club.

My first project Within the rst week in my new role I asked school staff for projects – somebody half-jokingly said that it would be great to develop the Nursery garden area. It seemed that whenever the

weather was bad, or if it rained, the children were unable to go outside or, if they did, they came back wet and covered in mud. The school

Identified the project – a new playground


STRENGTHS I am used to approaching people I am polite, friendly and positive I know what businesses want I am familiar with the school/staff I am comfortable dealing with business people

The school is rated Outstanding by Ofsted

We're in a relatively affluent area As an Academy we have flexibility I have existing business contacts I have experience of networking When tackling a task, I have a logical, common sense approach

WEAKNESSES I have no experience I am not trained

OPPORTUNITIES Many companies already have a CSR policy

Most businesses spend money on advertising

The PTA has existing contacts We have 741 pupils – that means we reach a lot of parents!

We have an existing school email system to communicate with parents effectively

I know people in business Most companies can identify with a school

THREATS Other schools and charities Time pressures

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