Author: Melissa Symons, School Community Fundraising Officer
4 February 2020
The beginning of a new fundraising project can be an exciting time, filled with a lot of energy and plenty of ideas. While you may want to dive in straight away, it’s important to take a step back and create a quick plan.
No matter the size of your fundraising goal, a plan will allow you to focus your efforts, plan activities and provide guidance in times of uncertainty. You might like to think of fundraising as a journey and your plan a map. Your planning will guide you and your team to your destination – fundraising success!
To create a simple plan, consider the following questions:
What is the problem/challenge?
Briefly outline the problem/challenge facing your students, teachers and/or wider school community. Collect evidence, such as data and statistics, that illustrate the issue as this will help to show the need.
Example: Student literacy levels are well below state average. A recent test showed poor results, with several of our Year 8 students reading at a Year 1 level.
How is the problem impacting the school community?
If you can, gather personal stories, photos, video, quotes from students, teachers, families, etc. Explain the urgency and give your audience a reason to donate right away.
Example: Students that struggle to read are disengaged and often disruptive. A consistent level of disengagement will negatively impact their level of attainment at school which can lead to limited career opportunities in the future.
How will your school solve the problem?
Explain how your project (and fundraising) will solve the problem/challenge and create change within your school. Talk about what you’re going to do. Keep it simple and specific. Avoid education and school specific jargon.
Example: We are raising funds to purchase innovative and age-appropriate resources that can build literacy levels as well as engage our students.
What will the project be called?
From the information gathered above, pull out the key words that represent your project. Try to keep it simple, memorable and begin with a verb.
- Diving into marine science
- Making VR a reality
- Reviving our fire devastated community
- Modernising classrooms for students with disabilities
- Building our community
Fundraising is not a solo journey. My biggest piece of advice to you is to gather as many people as you can for your fundraising team. Look to your parent association, teachers, families and wider school community to identify those who have the skills and contacts to help. Their support can range from actively fundraising, to sharing contacts, to sharing a post on social media – everything helps!
Think about the following:
- Who can connect you with local business, media, council, community organisations, etc.?
- Who manages the social media page of your school?
- Who can actively champion your project for you?
- Who do you need to gain approval from (e.g. principal)?
Create a timeline of when key activities are required. Work backwards from the time you hope the project is complete, via when you require the funds, through to your planning phase. This will give you a clear idea of how long the project will take, what your key milestones are and when you need to be fundraising.
Compile a list of items that are required for your project to operate and add them to a budget. Costs to consider:
- Staffing and professional development
- Equipment and furniture
- Transport and travel
- Workshops and programs
- Consultant/expert fees
Identify the funding sources you will utilise for your fundraising project; this helps with allocating roles to your fundraising team and building your list of who you are going to approach for support. These may take the form of the following:
- Online fundraising
- Offline (traditional school) fundraising
- Business partnerships
- Alumni support
Consider what success will look like for your project, your fundraising team and your school community. It may be beneficial to break down your goals into sizable chunks or set mini targets so that you can celebrate along the way.
Don’t forget that your journey can be just as fun as reaching your destination. Enjoy the ride, you’ve got this!
If you encounter any speed bumps, Schools Plus is here to help. You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 02 8880 0296.