Whether you are a college prep academy, a private preschool, or even a traditional elementary school, chances are you are always looking for funds. Fundraising events can help bring in money, but sometimes they are not worth the time it takes to plan them properly. Explore some of the following ideas to see which suit your programs and needs best. Focus on one or more initiatives to boost your school funding this year. Your community will thank you!
Large grants abound. but they are also complex and difficult to apply for. Luckily, they are not your only grant option. Choosing grants that operate on a local level, that are offered by businesses in your own community, or that are for a specific area of study can help you secure the funds you need. Smaller grants offer a simpler process and it is easier to control the application and submission part of the grant. Ideally, choose one board member and one administrator to select and apply for a grant.
You can also make a grant committee that selects and pursues grants. Brands like Michelin Tires (STEM), Bank of America (Business), Walmart (General Purpose) and Crayola (Art) all offer grants for programs in their chosen areas. Electronics for your classrooms, STEM supplies and microscopes, or that new kiln for the art room are all ideal small grant ideas. You’ll need to define what you want to spend the money on and then complete a short application.
Creating or taking part in a community event may be as simple as signing up and showing up. In some communities, a single day of charitable giving is becoming more and more popular. You may already be in the vicinity and qualify for a Giving Tuesday or similar event. The Central Carolina Community program runs “Midlands Gives”, a community giving day for the central part of South Carolina. In 2019 alone, over 400 nonprofits were funded with a total amount of over 2 million dollars. Over 15% of the recipients were schools and educational programs. As with grants, a small team comprised of a few savvy board members with administrative support can attend and direct this process.
Each of your school board members is already a successful member of the community. Asking them to help support your next school funding initiative may be the most important thing you do. If you can get each school board member to share your next fundraising event or need on their own social media channels and with their own network, you can often raise more funds or find more assistance in your own community than you ever expected. Make it easy by pre-drafting an email or social updates and selecting some pictures of your students at work and play. Your members can pass these on in minutes and have a significant impact on your next program. Whether you are creating backpacks for kids and need help acquiring supplies or you are outfitting a new science lab, local board members can help source those needs.
Your board is there for many reasons, but fundraising and supporting your organization is at the top of the list. By choosing just one initiative at a time, you can ensure that the great ideas you come up with actually come into fruition. Research each of the above ideas, then take the best options to the board; when you provide a clear choice and path to success, they will be more able to assist in your school funding efforts.
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