Raising funds for your school: A comprehensive guide

Raising Funds for Your School, as its subtitle suggests, is a fully comprehensive manual designed to help all schools, no matter what level of fundraising they are engaged in or how much past experience they may have, to raise their game and maximise their fundraising returns from the resources available to them.

Directed mainly at head teachers, school business managers and other staff, as well as volunteers wishing to raise significant support, the guide begins with the preliminary, essential, requirements for establishing a successful fundraising programme – assessment of the available resources, establishment of a fundraising ‘culture’ and an agreement on priority needs – before turning to an overview of the different options for raising support. Different sources of funding are analysed in detail, with guidance given on how to access them, and how, when and by whom approaches should be made to funders.

Central to the book is a ‘how to’ compendium of 15 different fundraising opportunities and methods – from major donor, trust and statutory and company fundraising, through sponsorship, recycling and text giving to legacies and cause related marketing, each of which is described clearly and practically. Some users will treat this central section as a stand-alone treasure chest of ideas.

While readily accessible, Raising Funds for Your School is informed by advanced fundraising theory and such topics as donor motivations, the art of persuasion, and the management of fundraising when things don’t go quite to plan are all clearly described. Establishing and communicating a clear Case for Support and nurturing and cultivating donors and supporters over the long term are seen as absolute essentials, no matter how small or large the financial need. The book is completed by a Resources section signposting useful websites and literature.

Raising Funds for Your School shows that well-planned fundraising can offer many benefits to the school other than the purely financial. The chance for staff and pupils alike to develop a plethora of new skills and an increased level of engagement, and the opportunity to integrate the school more closely with its community, are all added bonuses.

Above all, at a time when the vast majority of schools are having to make cuts because their funding situation is ‘critical’ or ‘very serious’, this book will provide teachers, governors, parents and other school supporters with a practical toolkit to develop and expand an additional income stream and harness wide-ranging support.

To discuss sponsorship or reserve a number of discounted copies (or to order just a single copy), please contact Jim Myers at  jim.myers@socialpartnershipmarketing.co.uk

About the Author

Nick Ryan is a development professional with a broad range of fundraising experience in both the charity and education sectors, having raised tens of millions of pounds of non-statutory funds and hundreds of millions of pounds of statutory income for good causes.

The founder and director of organisational development consultancy Vantage Fundraising (www.vantagefundraising.co.uk), Nick was also instrumental in founding Schools Funding Network (www.schoolsfundingnetwork.co.uk), which enables educational establishments to fundraise for any project, large or small, and to interact with major donors, charitable trusts, foundations, parents and other potential funders. The service, which Nick still runs on behalf of the charity The Funding Exchange, presently involves hundreds of schools and major donors across England and Wales.

Nick lives in North London with his wife, Meg, and two children, Ben and Lucy. When not helping organisations to grow and raise funds, he can often be found running in his local Park Run or cultivating his allotment, both for food and as a haven for wildlife. His long-term aim is to be able to speak a number of languages very well, rather than several very badly.

 

Foreword by Richard Foley

Clerk & Chief Executive, Sir John Cass’s Foundation, The Education Charity for London

As a funder of schools and educational projects in London since the mid eighteenth century, Sir John Cass’s Foundation is keenly aware of the constant financial demands faced by all who have a responsibility for educational provision. Though many facets of the educational sector will evolve and change over time, some features remain constant, and among these the need to maintain the highest educational standards and to offer the broadest range of opportunities for the enrichment of all our young people are always of paramount importance. At the best of times these requirements place heavy demands on school heads and managers, but in times of financial constraint – such as when public funding is frozen or in decline – the challenge of how to provide sound, broad-based education in the sort of well-equipped school environments that are most conducive to personal development and learning becomes particularly acute. This is a stark challenge facing many schools at present, at all age levels from primary through to further education.

To meet this funding challenge, all schools are likely in future to need to learn how to attract voluntary income, to complement funds received from public and other sources. The higher education sector has demonstrated in recent years that this is an eminently achievable ambition, though the majority of schools currently lag some way behind, as they lack both the information on how to develop a fundraising strategy, and the culture that can help fundraising programmes to take root and thrive.

In Raising Funds for Your School, Nick Ryan addresses both of these requirements. Whilst providing clear non-technical advice to help headteachers, schools administrators and parents’ groups alike to develop fundraising activities, he gives especial consideration to how to embed such activities into the life of the school, increasing their salience, their joint ownership and their chance of success.

We first worked with Nick more than a decade ago when he headed up the fundraising division at the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. From the outset, it was clear that this was someone who knew his subject matter and was determined to advance the sector. This was a key reason why we channelled approximately £1 million into the Specialist Schools Programme. Indeed, it was particularly interesting to read the section in this book on match-funding as our 7-figure donation unlocked an 8-figure one from Government.

More recently we worked with Nick, along with other founding partners such as The Guardian and Baroness Walmsley, to set up Schools Funding Network. This initiative takes away a lot of the complexity found in everyday fundraising, such as Gift Aid. However, there is still no hiding away from the fact that there needs to be a significant uplift in knowledge and skills within primary and secondary education if funding potential is to be realised; it already happens in the United States so we know it can be done here. This book will provide readers with the information needed to raise those transformational amounts of funding. Indeed, it covers all elements necessary for a school to create a complete fundraising strategy. While broad-ranging and detailed in its coverage of fundraising methods, its easy, non-technical approach will make it an accessible and stimulating manual even for those entirely new to this field. I commend it warmly to all schools.