We’ve all been there: searching for that gem of an idea to raise lots of money for the school that parents can easily support without having to get the begging bowl out – right?
One school in Nottingham seems to have grappled with the problem and come out on top raising nearly £11k since September 2013 through easyfundraising. And their key to success? "Constant communication and an ever present reminder of how parents can support their children with no outlay on their part", says Chair Janene Scurfield.
Bleasby Primary School is a village school based near Nottingham. It’s not a large school. There are around 160 children on the roll, with a one class per year intake. At Janene Scurfield’s daughter’s old school they tried to promote easyfundraising to the parents but it never really managed to take off. So when Janene joined the PTA in 2013, she decided to see what they could do to make it work at Bleasby.
"It struck me as such an easy thing for parents to do", Janene says. "Many of Bleasby’s parents work full time and online shopping has become part of everyday life to them. So I just couldn’t understand why all our parents weren’t signed up to easyfundraising to raise money for the school just by doing what they do already."
Click here to set up your Easyfundraising page.
Janene and her committee decided to look at their whole approach to asking parents for support: "We tried to look for opportunities for parents to buy products rather than simply giving us money so they got something in return. easyfundraising seemed to fit in to this overall plan and we decided to go all out and try to get as many people signed up as possible."
To date they have raised almost £11,000 with 134 supporters signed up to their easyfundraising page. With that money they’ve funded the school IT upgrade: buying 11 laptops, then iPads for each classroom and now 30 iPads for the children to use. They’ve also bought new atlases and dictionaries and colour-coded Usborne childrens’ books.
So what are their top tips to being successful?
Promotion, promotion, promotion
- Created their own t-shirts to wear at events with the words: easyfundraising – easy, peasy lemon squeezy. "People came over to us and asked us what it was about and we collected emails and sent links to our fundraising page."
- Went along to school discos armed with iPads and signed up parents there and then.
- Set up a Bleasby easyfundraising Facebook page to share new promotions, special deals and communicate milestones to encourage parents to help make the next target.
- Sent out a booklet to all parents via parent mail to explain the initiative and how easy it is to participate.
Giving and communicating back
- Sent monthly newsletters telling parents how money was spent and how their support really mattered.
- Sent out surveys to both parents and children asking how they would like raised funds to be spent.
- Thanked parents for what they had done to support their children.
- Gave back to parents and children with gifts and memorable messages. These included:
- putting candy canes on each chair at the Christmas panto (organised and paid for by the PTA) with a note to thank them for their support and reminding them to use easyfundraising for their online Christmas shopping
- sending home a frisbee in every book bag at the end of the year to say thanks for the support with the message ‘Hope your summer gets off to a flying start’
- Giving out glow sticks after the Christmas push to celebrate ‘Your glowing achievements’.