Fundraising opportunities for Independent Schools

school fundraising

I was recently reading an article in the Independent Schools magazine written by Dawn Allen who is Director of Development and External Relations at Tring Park School in Hertfordshire.  She starts her article with the following words.  There is a perception – a wrong and misleading one – that all independent schools are awash with money.  This is simply not the case and most schools seek external fundraising and donations to help continue offering the quality of education that parents expect.

Dawn goes on to talk about the situation at her school in Tring which is a specialist performing arts school.  Being a small school with many parents who are perhaps from the ‘squeezed middle classes’, Tring Park faces not only fundraising challenges but also is finding itself subject to cuts in Arts funding, not just for schools but for the field of music and drama in general.   When you combine these factors, it is not surprising that many schools which focus on performing arts are struggling.

School & College Funding

By comparison, certainly from my relatively uninformed position, there are many sports and technical academies which seem to receive considerable funding.   I of course must be careful not to comment too directly on this as I have no evidence other than whilst travelling around to record, seeing lots of new sports colleges with great looking facilities.    In 2017, £5million of lottery funding was invested in sports colleges to fund traditional activities, such as gym and fitness classes, archery, self-defence, and yoga and Pilates.  As well as this, a simple google search for sports funding in colleges produces many options for consideration.  I admit, in the research for this article I didn’t look into them all, but certainly options seem to be available.

If you run a google search for similar funding available to performing arts schools and colleges, it is quite a different picture.  Yes it’s true to say that Government grants are available. However, in general it seems what funding there is (Dance and Drama Awards being the main one I could see) it is mostly offering funding for students wishing to study in this field rather than directly funding or helping the institutions themselves.

Returning to Dawn’s article, I’ve no wish to paraphrase it nor simply re write what she put so eloquently.  But it did make me think that perhaps as a business we should do more to support Independent Schools.

School Fundraising Ideas

There are many ways in which independent schools can approach fundraising.  The most popular seems to be the direct approach.  I can recall back in my day at school (some 25 or more years ago), my parents were often invited to evening events to discuss new projects the school was embarking on.   Basically this translated as come and join us for a glass of wine, have a look at an architects drawing of a new building and then give us a cheque so we can build it.

Nowadays there are also a larger number of third party organisations who are devoted to helping schools to fundraise.   One of the most popular of these, certainly amongst independent schools is something called FundStar. FundStar is one of a family of not for profit enterprises founded by David Evans MBE.  The idea in brief is that parents and supporters sign up and receive a pre paid debit card.  When this is used a small donation of somewhere between 20p and £1 per transaction is then given to the school. Whilst on its own this may not seem a lot, of course with lots of supporting parents these amounts soon add up.

Record a Fundraising CD or Digital Album

From tiny acorns grow great Oaks, so the saying goes.   And so often with school fundraising it is the little things which over time add up to something significant.   At Recordings 4 Schools, our business has been designed to help schools fundraise either for themselves or for a charity they might support.

Our business model is simple.   We come along to your school, anywhere in the UK and spend a day on location recording your pupils.  They can sing, play instruments, recite poetry, or do anything else which makes a noise you might wish to record!   We also particularly enjoy recording a staff song!   After the recording day we process your audio to make it sound fabulous and then help you to create a stunning design for your CD.

Earn thousands of pounds for your school

At this point your school takes orders for the CD and we supply them at a discounted rate so you can make a profit from every CD sold.  Based on an order of 200 CDs at a cost of £5 per unit and a selling price to parents of £10, most schools will easily make £1000 in profit.   The more CDs you sell the cheaper they are to buy, so the sky is the limit.  Whilst the average  profit for most schools is. somewhere between £500 and £2000, we have had one school which made a profit of £87,000 from CD sales!

To find out just how easy it is to record a fundraising album at your school please get in touch