How to successfully fundraise for outdoor classrooms

With budgets being ever tightened, schools are increasingly having to look at alternative ways and means of how they fund their outdoor learning programmes and playground projects. But we have built up a lot of knowledge and experience in helping schools find the necessary ways and means of successfully doing this.

But you need to be prepared to put in the effort as without pain, there never is a gain!

Our approach would be to spread your net widely over various ways of raising money so that you are thereby reducing your risk of failure if one doesn’t work out. Here is the plan you need to follow:

  • Apply for a grant. There are various grants out there which will support and fund capital items such as outdoor classrooms and we know which ones to approach and how to approach them. You need to remember that bid writing is incredibly competitive (especially in this financial climate) and time consuming but we can offer you experience-backed advice as to what you need to do in order to be successful
  • Get a crowd funding site up and running. Organisations and schools are increasingly looking at this medium to publicise their project to the local community and beyond. There are now specialist educational crowd funding websites which do not charge but which give you a great platform to promote your project. These websites offer you an opportunity to use video too as an effective medium
  • Be entrepreneurial. Schools are now renting out their premises to generate extra income – before and after school clubs, functions at the week-end and even weddings! The Hideout House outdoor classrooms can also be used for outdoor weddings for example and don’t forget weddings are big business. You just need to apply to the local registrar office for a license to conduct civil service ceremonies. Think too about fitness classes and renting out your sports facilities to local clubs and societies
  • Corporate sponsorship or donations are also a good source of funding. But you need to put some effort in and think like a business. Our local village school sent a flyer round recently asking for money for a bus they wanted to buy at £30K – that is all it said. No mention of what is was going to be used for or how it would benefit the school and children. You need to sell this if you are going to be asking for money – another way would be to ask for set amounts which are easily affordable rather than just saying you want £30K for example.
  • PTA events which a lot of schools do anyway. But make them a little bit more creative and fun otherwise apathy will soon set in from both the PTA and parents. We have developed quite a few creative ideas

If you would like to know how we can help you raise money for outdoor classrooms or any playground project you have in mind (and tell you about all the schools we have already helped), then please contact us on 01865 858982 or email: