Fundraising is hard work and you need to carefully assess whether it is necessary for you to fundraise or not. Some ECD centres may need to fundraise because they are reliant on those funds to cover their operational costs whereas others only fundraise for specific things like investments in buildings or new equipment.
Below we will provide you with a brief outline of how to go about creating your next fundraising plan and also provide some free resources and training that will help you to become the fundraising expert at your school and within your community.
FREE fundraising resources and training available on the Grow Giraffe App
Before we dig into what steps you need to follow to begin your fundraising journey with us, let us explain what resources and training you can access – FOR FREE from the Grow ECD Giraffe App.
Fundraising for your preschool: An in-depth course where you will learn all you need to know about fundraising such as:
- How to set fundraising goals
- School fundraising calendar planning
- Different types of fundraising
- Steps to develop a detailed fundraising plan
- Fundraising ideas
- How to involve parents in your fundraising
- Marketing your fundraising events
- How to raise funds from donors
Valuable resources to help you on your fundraising journey
Find the following resources on the Resource Centre of the app:
- Fundraising letter template
- Sponsorship request letter templates
- Event poster templates
- Raffle sheet example template
- And so much more!
Create your fundraising plan
Start with the end in mind. Sit down and decide what problems you are hoping to solve, why you think fundraising will work for that problem and what success looks like. Get very specific about what you need to fundraise for.
What could you fundraise for?
Not all fundraising needs to be in the form of money.
You could also fundraise for:
Free services (e.g accounting services, maintenance, design or garden services)
Discounts (e.g on your groceries, food, stationery or wifi)
Volunteers (e.g. to help with maintenance, events, admin)
Product (e.g. books for your reading corner, lucky draw prizes or consumables for your centre)
Types of fundraising
A lot of pre-planning goes into fundraising. In order to make sure you develop the right plan for your centres’ specific needs, it’s important to know the different types of fundraising. Each category may require different types of plans.
These are things/events that you can do at your centre that children or parents can participate in
Your fundraising would extend into your community and would include people in your community that aren’t parents. This is a wonderful opportunity to get your community involved and connected to your centre
This would mean targeting specific individuals in your network who you know can provide the support you need. For example, you might know someone at a major retailer who could sponsor an event or make a product donation for a raffle.
This type of fundraising refers to making applications to companies, foundations or NGOs that support early learning. This is usually done by completing an application process or writing a proposal
Decide on your fundraising priorities
Before we get into the action plan, you need to decide what you are fundraising for. That will inform how much you need to fundraise and what type of fundraising plan you will put together. Let’s start by understanding the biggest challenges in your ECD centre. This will help you to decide what your fundraising priorities will be. Start with the most important priorities so that you can focus your energy where it is needed most.
Answer these questions below to calculate how much money is needed and what you should prioritise:
Deciding on your fundraising Priorities - EXAMPLE
For example: Baby Bears Educare, based in Soweto has been open for 5 years. They operate from a private home that can accommodate 50 learners from ages 2-5 years old. Their fees are R500 per month. Below is their list of 1) challenges, 2) the responses that will help overcome the challenge and 3) the monetary value needed to be able to respond.
Once the total value is calculated, they can divide this by the number of learners they can accommodate (50) to calculate how much extra is needed per learner over and above the R500 monthly fees.
Now that you know what your priorities are you can rate them from most important to least important and set your goals per response.
For example if reducing food costs would solve the challenge of monthly expenses how would you go about reducing them? Perhaps your goal is to find a nutrition partner.
Make sure your goals are SMART – Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-specific.
Now we start seeing how the goals you’ve set, affect which type of fundraising you choose and how you start creating your plan/ideas that can help you achieve those goals.
Plan your fundraising calendar
Look at the school calendar and the special designated dates we could use as opportunities for fundraising. We then need to plan around those.
Now that we have a plan we can populate our calendar with our fundraising events and activities.
How to host a successful fundraising event
Fundraising events need to be carefully planned for maximum success. Poorly organised fundraising events leave a lasting impression and people may not want to attend your next one. Below are steps you can follow to make sure that your event runs smoothly and that people are lining up for tickets to your next one.
What could you fundraise for?
Now you know the basics of fundraising it’s time to start creating your fundraising plan. It is possible for you to be a beacon of fun within your community WHILE raising funds for your preschool.
Fundraising for your preschool can be a rewarding endeavor that strengthens your community, enhances educational experiences, and helps overcome challenges. By diversifying your fundraising efforts, setting clear goals, and executing well-planned events, you can engage, empower, and exceed your fundraising goals.
Remember to tell your story, foster relationships, embrace technology, and think creatively to ensure ongoing success. Good luck!