Fit for funding?
There is a common misconception that grants for schools are few and far between. It still surprises me when I speak to head teachers, school business managers and teachers about the plethora of opportunities available to them and they ask – “Are you sure we’re eligible?”
Generally speaking, schools are fit for funding.
Many funders choose to work with schools through their grant-giving.
Why is this?
1. Insider knowledge
Schools occupy an enviable position in the community from a funder’s point of view. They already have strong links to some of the community’s youngest members and their families, who are often the most vulnerable members of that community. Schools can provide meaningful insights into the needs of the communities they serve. What challenges do they face? What can be done to help them overcome those challenges? They have knowledge about their community, gathered from pupils, parents and staff members. A funder with an interest in helping children, young people and families will obviously want to connect with schools for this reason.
2. Community links
Schools often have existing links with voluntary and community groups and extended services providers. This creates opportunities for collaborative work which can be supported through additional funding, potentially increasing the reach and impact of work carried out. Funders are often looking for ways to make their donations go further. Capitalising on existing relationships is one way that schools can do this.
3. Committed supporters
These links also provide schools with a means of accessing people in the community who can volunteer their time and services. This can greatly support a funding application. Funders look favourably upon organisations that can demonstrate willingness from others to help and support. If other organisations support you, then it’s likely there’s a good reason! Funders want to be part of the action.