30th March 2001 at 01:00
THE SCHOOLS FUNDING GUIDE. By Nicola Eastwood, Anne Mountfield and Louise Walker. Directory of Social Change pound;16.95.

Many grant-making trusts have difficulty getting rid of their money - trust deeds are tightly written, with particular sorts of people in mind. So when a well-written and well-targeted application arrives, it is greeted with sighs of relief.

This highly professional and practical guide to raising funds confirms that the reverse is true: applications for money, whether aimed at business, the Government or charitable organisations, will fail if they are not carefully put together.

It's a fallacy that if you ask, say, 1,000 people for a favour, then surely 10 will turn up trumps. In the words of the authors: "You may be tempted to bypass all the talk about strategy and just fire off a standard mailshot to every address in this guide, in the mistaken belief that this scatergun approach will save time and have at least some success. Please don't."

Many schools need and will welcome its sensible advice on the smaller events (fairs, jumble sales, discos) and the greater scheme of things. It helps you define your strategy (What do you want the money for? Is it in line with the school's vision?) and explains how to make the most of regional and central government funding; how to approach companies (what's in it for them); how to get lottery money; how to get European money; how to find and make applications to the right trusts. Then it does the spadework for you by listing all the addresses and other details you need.

The answers to questions that heads and governors ask - despairingly, as they know they haven't time to chase up the information - are here, in one of those "must-have" volumes for the financial manager or the head.


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