The Number Five Partnership has just delivered a piece of work on funding opportunities for a school and we thought it would be helpful to share some of the free information that is available about funding for schools.
We have been helping the school get a picture of what grants they might be able to access, at what level, and whether it is viable to submit an application given the competitive and time-consuming nature of fund-raising and project delivery.
It is so easy to forget in the fund finding process that if a grant application is successful the school must be fully prepared to deliver the project within the proposed timescale – this requires effective project management and is dependent on staff/ school capacity. There is nothing more stressful than promising a funder a project which proves to be undeliverable within time and budget constraints. Most funders require detailed evaluation, reporting and checks during and at the end of funded projects. This should not be overlooked when developing realistic project proposals and when considering whether the school wishes to commit resources to the grant application process.
National funding information
- Grants4Schools has recently updated its website and it is much more user friendly than it used to be – you can pay to access the database (perhaps just for a month if you have a particular project you want to research?), but you can also sign up to their monthly bulletin for free – this gives you info about education related grants and is a good reminder of what’s out there
- Funded – you can pay to subscribe to this, but you can also view their magazine online – this give all sorts of tips about fundraising within schools, especially targeted at PTAs and local fundraising as well as grant finding and freebies that schools can access, e.g. sports equipment, classroom recourse
- If your school is already signed up to the Key for School Leaders or Governors you can save the ‘funds and freebies monthly highlight’ page to get updates as they are produced – this provides a list of current national funding opportunities and ways to access free resources.
- As well as offering services to schools on landscape design and installation, A&S Landscape do a regular funding bulletin, the last one amounting to a mere 72 pages!
Local funding information – sometimes local funders can be easier to approach and develop a relationship with.
Many local authorities still fund organisations that support voluntary and community groups by giving them information and advice to operate more effectively. And many of these organisations provide access to free funding bulletins which have information about local funding opportunities. Examples of these are:
- Community Action Suffolk – schools can join CAS for free online and then access their funding 4 Suffolk area along with a funding update.
- Hastings Voluntary Action do a regular small grants guide
- In Birmingham, schools can sign up to the Friday bulletin from BVSC which provides info on the latest funding opportunities.
And finally, below is a sample of funding opportunities of varying scales that we think schools might want to have a look at:
- Future Ready Fund – a new £250,000 fund to support high-potential early stage interventions that promote wider skills in secondary-age (11-18) young people, focusing on social and emotional skills and resilience.
- The Foyle Schools Library Programme – grants of between £1k and £10k for library/reading books – a focus on deprived areas.
- First World War: then and now – a new fund for schools to apply for grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 through the Heritage Lottery Fund – aiming to help communities mark the Centenary of the First World War.
- A new grant to protect school children from homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying – to be launched this week.