It is now a pretty much well-documented fact that capital funding for schools is quite difficult to come by in this current austerity-driven financial climate and that a school can no longer rely on money from the central Government pot if they want to improve their playground or fund outdoor learning products such as outdoor classrooms and shelters.

So now more than ever before, a school has to look at alternative ways of funding these type of projects outside of their school budget and devolved capital funds. But this can all initially sound quite daunting for anyone within a school who has been charged with this task. The usual initial problems or obstacles are as follows:

  • Lack of time. There are simply not enough hours in the day as it is and fundraising is certainly something which is not simply done in one day. It undoubtedly takes plenty of dedication and effort over a period of time in order to be successful
  • Limited communication channels. The majority of schools do have their own website but sometimes a bigger reach is required outside of the local community
  • No overall strategy and plan. This is a must to have because without any “chart or map” as to where you want to go or want you want to achieve, a project can easily go off course quite quickly. And you also need some sort of plan to monitor performance against
  • Insufficient contacts within the community. Outside of their immediate network of parents, Governors and PTA etc, schools do need to have a wider base of contacts who they can call upon to help

But this does not need to be an intimidating task because at the Hideout House Company, we have built up, based on substantial experience, an effective model as to how a school can successfully fundraise for their chosen project.

This plan does not also just rely on one source, such as applying for grants, as we have found that it is always more beneficial (and less risky) to spread out the potential areas for finding these pots of money. Our plan involves donations from the local or wider community; the afore-mentioned grants; sponsorship; services; income generation from lettings; item sales; clubs and events; crowd funding.

A lot of schools are not aware that they are already sitting on a potential money supply and by this I mean income generation from letting out their existing facilities – halls, sports facilities, before and after school clubs, functions at the week-end and even weddings! The Hideout House outdoor classrooms have used in the past for outdoor civil ceremony weddings for example.

Working alongside our partners, we can offer a school help with income generation, marketing assistance (including generation of promotional materials), software tools, workshops and training (online and offline) and tapping into a network of donators. As well as offering general advice and guidance along the way. For example, maximising Gift Aid as voluntary donations to a school can be uplifted by 25% when you claim Gift Aid – we will teach you what contributions are eligible for Gift Aid and how you can administer those donations.

We can also put you in contact with other schools who we have successfully worked with in the past so that you can see how we work and how our methods are tried and tested.

If you would like to know how we can help your school raise money for any outdoor learning playground project you have in mind, then please contact the Hideout House Company on 01865 858982 or email: