Academy trusts are generating revenue whilst engaging everyone from employees to parents and those in the local community. They are combatting tight school budgets by raising funds steadily increasing into the millions. How, you might ask? Fundraising. The Harris Federation reportedly raised over a whopping £1.2 million from 2018 to 2019 by fundraising alone.
It is becoming more apparent that funds are needed for schools today more than ever and professionals are taking matters into their own hands which surpasses the standard tombola or raffle. A Headteacher from Chesterfield made headlines when it was reported that he ran the Great North Run to raise funding for school visits for pupils. For Multi Academy Trusts looking to go the extra mile in 2020, we’ve rounded up a few ideas of how to raise funding for projects in need of external support.
Large businesses in the local area are often a great place to start. For instance, the high street fast-food giant, Greggs, offers a Local Community Projects Fund, awarding grants to communities in need. Greggs currently fund 535 breakfast clubs which enables 35,000 pupils to receive a free breakfast every day. Many local businesses take pride in supporting their local community and will welcome the partnership. Grants4Schools is also a reputable funding service within the UK, with 197 case studies to date documenting the schools that have successfully applied for funding.
Take advantage of regulated online platforms which are trusted by the public when it comes to fundraising. We recommend Just Giving, arguably the UK’s biggest online fundraising platform, which supports educational fundraising. Just Giving claim that schools have raised money for learning materials, residential trips and playground equipment by Crowdfunding, which offers an alternative to fundraising within school. Crowdfunding enables pupils’ families and communities to donate to their local school’s projects online.
Trusts have been getting active recently in a bid to raise funds. The David Ross Education Trust raised a substantial amount in 2018 thanks to a team of eight teaching staff who set themselves ambitious targets of walking the Yorkshire 3 peaks. The trust has dubbed this fund the ‘inspiration fund’ and it enables children to broaden their horizons, investing funding in the arts, sports and experiences. Consider a sponsored bike ride, which could encourage parents to exercise with their children.
Holding an awards evening can be a fantastic idea for a school fundraising, whilst celebrating teaching staff and students and being inclusive of parents. As a supplement, consider holding a raffle – local businesses may be willing to donate items once they are made aware of the cause – great for raising community spirit. Holding events out of school hours, such as quiz nights and seasonal fairs have proven successful. Increase revenue by serving food and spread the word using flyers, posters and social media.
Take inspiration from Aylsham high school, Bure Valley school and John of Gaunt infant and nursery school, Norfolk, and consider inviting the local community to make the most of facilities outside of school hours. Letting out access of facilities such as swimming pools and tennis courts can be a fantastic way of fundraising whilst the local community benefits socially. Small scale exemption allows an academy trust to ‘trade’ their facilities to benefit the school, provided that the revenue generated does not exceed £50,000 per annum. Whilst it seems reasonable to suggest that academy trusts have a certain degree of flexibility in regards to trading for education purpose, it is important to note that there are various pieces of legislation to adhere to.
However, such fundraising methods do pose the question of where this will leave schools in disadvantaged areas. The aforementioned activities will not be feasible for some families for multiple reasons, creating a deepening social divide. Whilst fundraising locally will help multi academy trusts in advantaged areas to flourish, not all schools can rely on this method as a means of support. Grants4Schools lists funding offered to educational needs in disadvantaged areas, with £33,240 recently awarded to fund a Saturday school in a deprived area based in North London. The deadline for grant applications is the 14th April 2020 – for more information related to a variety of grant funding, please head to the Grants4Schools website.
Get In Touch
Interested in finding out more about how to create an enthusiastic and inclusive team? Get in touch with our Education team today to discover how our specialist interim management services can help drive your multi academy trust to success.