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Thirteen ways to get ahead in fund-raising

Estelle Maxwell outlines a baker's dozen ways to raise cash for your school Fund-raising partnerships of parents and teachers have been recognised as a major source of revenue for extra-curricular needs for decades. But as the pressure mounts on school budgets growing numbers of headteachers and governing bodies are being forced to ask for parental and community support for mainstream spending.

For schools in areas of social and economic deprivation the task of raising funds is even more challenging.

Successful fund-raising demands a professional approach, forward-planning and the ability to spot opportunities - even more so for schools in inner cities. Applications to the National Lottery have soared, as have requests for grants from charities and the Department for Education and Employment, according to Alex Whalley, editor of the Schools Funding Update, a monthly bulletin on income generation for schools.

Raising funds or attracting support from the local community and companies also demands skill and the ability to target potential sources of income.

Outlined below are 13 ways to raise money for your school, suggested by a variety of sources:

* annual fetes, including granddraws with prizes donated bylocal companies - this can raiseseveral thousands of pounds ifmarketed correctly;

* selling advertising space inprogrammes for school fetes orplays - this is particularly goodfor businesses looking to raisetheir profiles in the community;

* holding auctions of promises andasking companies to donate prizes;

* applying for funds from the National Lottery via the Sports Council or the Millennium Commission; in 1995-6 the Sports Council allocated Pounds 32 million to education;

* applying for grants to the Department of the Environment, charitable foundations and trusts. Applications to trusts should ideally be made by PTAs who are registered as a charity. Parents can ask training and enterprise councils, local authorities and businesses to bid for DoE Single Regeneration Budget money;

* appealing to parents and companies to make tax-effectivecontributions such as covenantsand gift-aid schemes to be used or outlined projects;

* holding car boot sales andjumble sales;

* holding sponsored events, such as walks or swims;

* attracting sponsorship for theproduction of school brochures,the annual report or other literaturein return for printing the sponsor's logo or name on thefinished product;

* holding conferences on school premises where local businesses can have a stand or sponsor flyers;

* encouraging parents and children to save vouchers from retailers,such as Tesco's Computers for Schools scheme;

* developing pilot schemes whichcould be marketed for use byother schools. For example,The National Curriculum RecordBook a tick-list booklet developedby teachers at Modbury Primary School in Devon, sold one million copies and raised Pounds 40,000 which was used to build two new classrooms in a joint venture withthe local authority;

* winning support for after-schoolactivities - finding ways of building up community use of school facilities to attract additional funding from a wide range of sources and attracting grant aid. This encourages home-school links and increases thefacilities available to pupils during working hours as well as after school.

* A regular resume of grantsavailable to schools and help in fund-raising is outlined every month in the Schools Funding Update published by Pitman, with a subscription price of Pounds 99 a year.

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