TOPIC | Time to develop

As the New Year gets into its stride, many schools find themselves searching for fresh ideas in the development office. For some this means recruiting new staff, while others see it as a moment to take stock and tackle the fundraising conundrum; how to achieve the transformational results that bring exciting new buildings or much-needed bursaries.

According to the IDPE, professional fundraising in UK schools is booming.  School governors and senior managers are grasping the impact of development teams, not just on the bottom-line, but also in terms of the life-long relationships they foster with parents and alumni. In reality, development income in the last decade has doubled to £190 million a year, largely as a result of school fundraising departments investing in sound planning and sensitive engagement programmes.

Gifted partnerships with schools

This looks to be an upward trend, if schools can resist the urge to rush the business of philanthropy. At Gifted, experience has taught us that fundraising, just like education, is about planting seeds and helping them grow. Recruiting excellent staff, developing workable plans and engaging professional support when it’s needed – all reap rewards in the long-term. Our philosophy is to support schools with practical fundraising solutions that go beyond the immediate sight-line. At Wimbledon High School, this approach has helped The Girls Day School Trust to clarify its fundraising potential and plan for even better facilities. While in Warwickshire, Gifted is guiding the £4 million One Campus+ campaign for the Warwick Independent School Foundation. And in the North, we’re delighted to be working with Wakefield Grammar School Foundation, on the strategic feasibility planning for a £10 million site development.

If your school is considering its fundraising challenges and you need some inspiration or advice on the next steps, please get in touch to arrange an initial, no-obligations conversation with one of our directors.

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