Harnessing the power of crowdfunding

How one school struck gold with a 50th anniversary and another discovered the secret for ongoing success

‘We raised more than £7,000 with a 50th anniversary appeal’

The Key Stage 1 playground at our one-form entry infants on the outskirts of Cheltenham was lacking in equipment, so we decided to mark the school’s 50th anniversary by fundraising for a fantastic new play zone. We wanted a play area that was imaginative, interactive and fun – and the quotes we received came in at around £20,000. As a PTA, we planned to cover around half of this through our reserves and through applications for match funding grants. We also launched an ambitious £10,000 crowdfunding campaign on the GoodHub platform, which we already use for regular giving donations.

The campaign began in spring 2023 and we asked all the pupils to help us celebrate and raise money by doing a 50-themed fundraising challenge of their choice. We publicised the campaign on social media and through the class reps, telling parents how they could create a linked fundraising page for their child by clicking the ‘Fundraise for us’ button on our GoodHub homepage. They could then add a few lines of text about their chosen activity, upload a photo if they chose to, and share with their family and friends directly through the social media links on the page.

Each child’s page had its own QR code so that people could give directly to their individual challenge, with supporters and their donations and messages of encouragement displayed down the page. We also gave an option for children to be part of a leaderboard, showing the live fundraising totals on our homepage.

The children rose to the challenge, with some raising more than £500! They really enjoyed ‘owning’ their own page and documenting their fundraising. One pupil did a ‘50 artworks challenge’, another a ‘50 book challenge’ and two sisters did ‘50 ways to be helpful in 50 days’. We also had a Lido 50, along with 50 hours of silence, 50 dances in June and 50 litter picks.

In addition to the crowdfunding campaign, we raised £500 from the Tesco Stronger Starts community grant and additional funds through a summer fair, GLENFEST!, and a parkrun takeover.

So far, we have raised £7,745 through this campaign, including Gift Aid, and we aim to go ahead with the play zone this school year so the children who have fundraised can see what they’ve accomplished. The playground will be named by the child who raised the most money (£545).

  • Julia Caskey, treasurer, FROGS Glenfall Parent Teacher Association, Glenfall School, Cheltenham

‘Our school community raises more than £20,000 a year through campaigns and events’

Our two-form entry north London primary school may be small but everyone chips in with fundraising. We have an ongoing page on the GoodHub crowdfunding platform and we use this both for regular giving and running campaigns. The money we raise goes towards we raise goes towards new equipment to support the teachers and enrichment activities. We recently funded a new set of Chromebooks and storage space for our Open Play and Learning (OPAL) equipment. We also fund the dog who visits our SEND pupils.

The PTA’s Christmas bazaar brings in around £10,500 each year. It’s a great community event with a Santa’s grotto, stalls and games. The bottle tombola alone can raise about £1,000, with alcohol donated by parents. Our annual summer fete is similarly successful. We create an online brochure for both, which gives us an income stream from advertisers, predominantly local businesses.

We’re lucky to have an enthusiastic parent who runs a regular Last One Standing football competition that generates a lot of money. People pay £5 to enter every week and choose a Premier League team to support. If the team wins, the entrant stays in the competition. The tally for this had reached £820 by February. It’s a very family-friendly event and can get quite competitive. The parent keeps interest topped up with regular emails and he’s also donated £100 from his company.

Twice a year, the teachers and teaching assistants organise a class disco for one hour after school. The suggested donation is £4 through our GoodHub page and each child gets a drink, snack and goody bag included in this. We used to run the disco in the hall but the teachers now do it in their classrooms, which the children love. The last one raised £2,300.

The PTA held a Girls’ Night Out event in school to mark International Women’s Day. We invited local businesses mainly run by women to have stalls, including a nail artist, and both pre-loved and new clothing. The theme was inclusivity and diversity. Our idea was to encourage women to support other local women in business through a social event that included a bar with cheese and charcuterie boards. Many of the businesses are run online so it was a great way for people to meet up in person and network.

  • Linda Groarke, The Friends of St Monica’s School, St Monica’s Catholic Primary School, Southgate, London (420 pupils)

Further reading

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