School Fundraising: Making the most of your networks and contacts

In this blog we explain how your school can boost its fundraising efforts via crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding, that’s what the Rocket Fund platform is all about, so let’s have a think about how to make the most out of the crowd bit to make the most of the funding part too!

We’ve seen schools all over the country raise anything from £500 to £8,000 on Rocket Fund, some schools reach their target in 3 hours, others in a few weeks. One thing that we know for sure is that every successful project interacted with their audience or “crowd” along the way. And now… it is your turn!

Ask yourself 3 questions:

 

1. Who are our crowd?

 

No teacher is an island… Before you launch your project, it’s best to do some work as a whole staff team. Include your office staff, governors, teachers, caretakers, PTA… anybody who will listen in fact.

Put together a master list of contacts and networks that you could approach with your campaign (and your very easily shareable Rocket Fund project URL). Think big and wide, include businesses, educational suppliers, local politicians, celebrities, alumni members… Ask all staff to contribute to this list, which could be in a spreadsheet, on your MIS or even perhaps on a big piece of paper on the wall in the staff room.

Let your thoughts run wild and think outside of the box. State schools are notoriously timid when it comes to making the most of their alumni members and networks, this could be a good time to rectify that perhaps?

2.  Where are our crowd?

Now you have your list of contacts, everyone from businesses to local councillors, to friends in high places and friends of friends in high places (any well-connected governors for example?), it’s time to plan out what approach you will use to contact these people.

Are they on social media? Do you have their email address? Or does a member of your team need to cascade the message out? Does your school have a text messaging service that you can use to contact all parents and ask them to share your message far and wide?

Have a really good think about all of the channels at your disposal and which ones are the best ones for which contacts. Then go gung-ho and get in touch!

At Rocket Fund HQ we think these are probably the best channels to use:

🚀 Emails

🚀 School newsletter

🚀 Text / WhatsApp messages

🚀 School social media

🚀 Posters around the school

🚀 Flyers to the students

🚀 Messages via ParentPay or another school app

🚀 Visiting your local high street

If you have any other bright ideas, let us know and we’ll pop them on here for the Rocket Fund community to share.

3. What can our crowd do to help?

The main aim of the crowdfunding project is to… raise funds – absolutely! But how else can these contacts help you?

As well as asking for funds, ask your contacts to share your campaign to their networks, people who might be interested in education or in their local community, or others who might be able to support your project. Remind your crowd that they can share your project simply by copying and pasting the URL.

We hope this has given you a few pointers on the best way to mobilise your crowd. We would love to hear any feedback from you or ideas or ways that your school have been in touch with contacts and networks, please comment below or send us a tweet!

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