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Alternative Ways to Secure Funding for School Classrooms

Dame Allens Science Lab Design

Alternative Ways to Secure Funding for School Classrooms

Unfortunately, funding is so often the stumbling block in plans to design and develop new, cutting-edge classrooms. Whilst the schoolboard and faculty may have all the good intentions in the world, money does not grow on trees, and with thousands of UK schools searching for extra cash and financing – it can be incredibly difficult to secure the funding.

At Innova we have assisted many schools when it comes to applying for the Wolfsen Foundation, Savoy grants and guidance for leasing options we’re happy to help.

If you are struggling to find the funding to improve your school’s classrooms, it may be worth considering these alternative methods for securing the much needed cash.

Crowdsourcing

Over the past decade, crowdsourcing (sometimes known as crowdfunding) has grown significantly with more and more individuals, organisations and companies utilising the method to raise funds for a project. Appealing to the public (usually via an online portal such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe) to contribute small sums towards the total fund; crowdsourcing relies on a large number of benefactors supporting a project.

One of the major benefits of using crowdsourcing to secure the finances is that the benefactors attain no ownership over the project – so will not be able to exert any influence or insist upon any conditions.

Some of the projects backed by crowdsourcing have managed to raise millions (the Pebble Time Smart Watch raised more than £13 million). This demonstrates the huge potential of this funding method if the project captures the public’s attention.

Most of the crowdsourcing platforms simply require a funding page with a description of the project, what the cash will help achieve and the donations accepted. Some of the platforms have the option to add photos and videos (which could help conversion) and reward your benefactors.

 

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The Wolfson Foundation

A more traditional form of funding, the Wolfson Foundation supports excellence in science & medicine, health & disability, education and the arts. The independent charity raises funds for worthy causes, financing all manner of projects.

The foundation has awarded more than £800 million to various projects since the charity’s inception in 1955. In the 60 years since the Wolfson Foundation was established by Sir Isaac Wolfson, the trust’s key priorities have remained the same – offering much needed support to the worlds of academia and research.

Potential applicants have to follow a two stage application process, and full details can be found on the foundation’s how to Apply page.

 

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Seek a Sponsor

For schools which have attained academy status, it is possible to seek sponsorship from an organisation or individual. Via this Government scheme, your school may be able to partner with a sponsor who will become responsible for the performance and finances of the school as well as a number of administrative tasks. For academies looking to develop new or existing classrooms, a sponsor could finance the improvements if they deem it central to the improvement of the school’s performance. Working in collaboration with the sponsor, it may be possible to design and develop classrooms to your exact specifications and requirements.

 

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Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi education is a fund made available to organisations including schools and STEM clubs. Grants can range from £100 to £125,000, as long as you fit within the aim of promoting computer science and its use across STEM and the arts. The Raspberry Pi Education Fund seeks to help children between the ages 5 and 18 years of age. The successful applicants will have to demonstrate benefits to “children’s understanding of computing” or show how computing benefits learning in other areas.

The foundation will use the money to match other investments and says it will fund up to 50% of “total projected costs”, for more information about Raspberry Pi click here.

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Leasing Options

If you have an urgent need for a new build or refurbishment but have a tight budget then there is another option available. From tailored option to suit you and your school here are a few reasons leasing could be right for you:

Deferment Option: For when you cannot make it to the next budget release, there is an option which allows those in the education sector to proceed with their projects but have the power to delay the first payment until the next budget helps avoid students, school and colleges to go without.
Specialist Insurance: Access can be granted for insurance options that include zero excess and cover for equipment left unsecure which is ideal for schools and colleges.
Lifecycle Finance: Another option available is the ability to adopt your finance to match the lifecycle of your organisation. Using finance can also help ensure that you do not face unexpected and under budget costs.
Compliant Finance: There are even LEA/government designed solutions that match their guidelines so you don’t compromise your school or college. Some companies can provide every form of finance including operating lease, finance lease and hire purchase options; you just need to know where to look.

The Savoy Academy

The Savoy offers not just charitable trusts but individual scholarships and competition prizes for all those interested in a future within the hospitality sector. Any educational establishment that holds a hospitality department may apply to the trust for a particular project, as its aim to enrich the quality of training and education given by Schools and Further Education. Although the Savoy Academy does not fund rebuilding projects they do look at investing and refurbishing existing establishments. For more information on how you can benefit from this funding click here.

 

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Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation has been funding schools since November 2001; The Foundation has since granted over £81.8M since then and continues to support the education sector. Applications are accepted all year round except for capital projects which exceeds £75,000. To find out more and apply, click here.

 

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If you have managed to secure the necessary funding to make the desired changes to your school classrooms, the Innova Design Team can help you develop engaging learning environments.

Contact

Are you looking to improve your classroom environment? Contact us on 0161 477 5300 or email: hello@innovadesigngroup.co.uk to find out how we can help you.