School fundraising has been a burning topic in the UK for the last couple of years. Starting from the closure of Kid’s Company in 2015 and this year’s Brexit debate, income streams have significantly changed for many charities, schools and PTAs. As per research conducted by Directory of Social Change, only 20% of primary schools and 5% of secondary schools raise more than £1,000 a year, which is shocking.
Drastic budget cuts have made life difficult for many schools and PTAs. This year the government have been consulting on a new national funding formula for schools which claims to “make funding fair for schools and children”. However, it may leave around 9,000 schools without proper funding... Simon Marsh, Acting Head of Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys voiced his concerns by stating that even though the overall school budget will be increased, the new formula does not take into account increases in teachers’ salary, increases in pension contributions, higher National Insurance contributions.
Furthermore, the National Audit Office state that schools in the UK can expect 8% cut in funding per pupil by 2020. It means that school leaders will have to make tough decisions about where to restrict resources to balance their budgets.
The year of 2016 saw many changes in the fundraising sector: the creation of The Fundraising Regulator, the move of the Code of Fundraising Practice to the Fundraising Regulator and the agreement of EU General Data Protection. At the same time, charities started to re-think their fundraising practices and strategies to meet new challenges.
Nevertheless, the predictions for 2017 seem promising and optimistic. John Baguley, a Fundraising Consultancy CEO, hopes that charities will use more innovative fundraising ideas, reach out to wealthy donors and seek for funding overseas. It is worth mentioning that digital fundraising has come into play recently. Major charities like Cancer Research UK and Blue Cross are already testing contactless donations. It is no doubt that technology will be the new era for charitable giving and with its constant growth, we expect more charities to consider implementing online fundraising strategies.
Last year’s report shows an increased number of donations made via mobile phones and tablets - 93% of donors donated through mobiles in 2015. It is a good chance for charities to step up and embrace the rise of online fundraising - the advantage is evident.
For many schools, fundraising has become critical to provide some of the basic resources and equipment. Parent Teaching Associations carry the biggest burden as they are expected to fundraise and cover the costs for schools equipment. There is a growing pressure for schools to do more with less. As a result, important educational programmes are cut from the curriculum as school authorities do not consider them as necessary. In fact, arts and sports programmes play a formative childhood experience which is essential for every child’s growth. The money raised by PTA helps schools cover a huge range of extra-curricular activities: school trips, sports clubs, conferences, science projects etc. All of these activities help children develop new skills, get involved in diverse interests and become more well-rounded young people.
As mentioned before, online fundraising is the biggest trend in the upcoming year. Therefore, schools should be going hand-in-hand with latest tendencies and consider digital ways of fundraising. GoRaise is a free fundraising platform helping schools and PTAs with fundraising. By using GoRaise you can raise money for your school or PTA every time you shop online. Whenever you are doing your everyday shopping or buying stationery for your school, a percentage of your purchases will return as a donation, at no additional cost to you! We are happy to help schools top up their totals - as an example, Salusbury Primary School raised over £1,000 last year which, we believe, is a great boost to the fundraising pot. Find out more about GoRaise by visiting their website.