School fundraising: making the most of your networks and contacts

by Ben Gill | Feb 21, 2020 | Advice

School fundraising: making the most of your networks and contacts

How you can boost school fundraising by making the most of your crowd.

Crowdfunding, that’s what the Rocket Fund platform is all about, so let’s have a look at how to make the most out of your crowd in order to boost your funding!

We’ve seen schools all over the country raise anything from £500 to £8,000 on Rocket Fund, some schools reach their target in 40 minutes, others take a few weeks. One thing that we know for sure is that every successful project interacted with their audience or “crowd” along the way.

Ask yourself 3 questions:

1. Who are your crowd?

No school is an island… Before you launch your project, it’s best to do a brainstorm with your whole staff team – ask them who would be interested in supporting your school? Ask your receptionists, 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. 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 networks, this could be a good time to rectify that perhaps?

2.  Where are your 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

🚀 Text / WhatsApp messages

🚀 Messages via school messaging app

🚀 School newsletter

🚀 School social media

🚀 Posters around the school

🚀 Flyers to the students

🚀 Asking your local businesses / 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 your 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 with 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 your project’s 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!

Ready to raise funds for your idea?

Over £100 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.