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Funding success


‘OUR TEXT RAFFLE RAISED NEARLY £800 FOR OUTDOOR CLASSROOM CANOPIES’


‘Like many PTAs, we usually run raffles at large school fundraising events. We held our first text raffle in 2019, and it worked so well that we returned to this method of virtual fundraising during – and beyond – lockdown in 2020. Our goal was to raise funds for colourful


shelters to enable our school to extend its outdoor classroom space. We made this a wish list priority when social distancing was introduced, because the sheltered areas create so much extra room and flexibility for teaching, learning and play. It’s very straightforward to set up and


run a text raffle, and you can hold the draw at an agreed time and date at a safe social distance. It’s also far less time-consuming than a physical raffle because you don’t have to spend hours folding up tickets and collecting and counting cash! We use the National Funding Scheme’s


DONATE platform, which is for charitable digital fundraising. It’s free to register and you can create a text raffle in the self-serve portal. You need to come up with a keyword that your entrants can then text to a five-digit number. By making a donation, a supporter’s


and our post-19 students also completed one off-road stretch. The challenge started at 8am on Saturday and the groups used our school logo – a Catherine wheel – as a baton. Each group walked a pre-planned distance that they were confident of completing. One pregnant staff member walked two miles with her young son, while another participant ran a marathon in the opposite direction! The event quickly gained


momentum. I’d posted a collage of staff photos online so that people watching were able to put faces to names. I also posted photos of the participants as they began their legs – and the sponsorship total increased by around £150 each time this happened. People loved following us and many commented that they had felt really involved.


I walked the last 13-mile leg from


Ryde to Ventnor through the night with two others. We started at 1am with head torches and we could see from our social media feeds that lots of people had stayed up to cheer us on. We arrived back at school at 5am on Sunday morning. On Monday, everyone at school was talking about the challenge, so it turned out to be a brilliant team-building exercise too! We raised more than £2,500 to


start the garden and we’ve decided to continue the challenge as an annual event. We’re thinking of getting businesses on board, with teams paying a small entry fee and raising a minimum amount. We’ll also give the children a voice about what the garden means to them.’ Michaela White, community fundraiser, St Catherine’s School, Ventnor, Isle of Wight


FundEd SPRING 2021 7


mobile number is automatically entered into the draw – and because this is a national platform people across the country can enter. Just as with a physical raffle, you need a lottery licence from the local authority.


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