Whilst the government strives to provide equal access to education for all Australians, the reality is that school budgets vary. They must be stretched as far as possible to accommodate a specific and an ever-expanding list of priorities, from playgrounds to computers. Schools look for ways to fund these expensive facilities, as they are expected to provide students with inviting and well-equipped playgrounds as well as the latest digital technology. The latter is particularly important given that students need to thrive in an age where their level of digital literacy determines the degree to which they can engage with opportunities for personal, professional, and educational development. New School resources can be funded in a variety of ways.
- Organise fundraising activities which charge an entry fee, such as school fetes and student theatrical productions. Initiatives which encourage the involvement of students, staff and the local community are fun to organise and help develop the problem-solving, creative, organisational, and social skills of students. These combined efforts demonstrate to students that schools can contribute to community life, teach them to be grateful for their facilities, and to take pride in them.
- Apply for grants. The downside with this is that the application process is often long, and there are no guarantees that funds will be approved. Continually reapply for grants if you choose to rely on them, as a grant is often a one-off lump sum payment that will quickly be spent. Institutions that rely on grants would do well to hire a full-time School Grant Writer if they want the grant application process to run as smoothly as possible.
- Schools can also amass funds for resources by turning to the unconventional method of crowd funding. The major advantage of this option is that fundraising does not rely solely on the resources and the generosity of local communities. Crowd funding invites the whole world to provide capital to invest in expensive projects. Parents and community organisations can promote the school’s online funding page to help generate funds. Crowd funding can also build a school’s reputation as a worthy institution that is committed to providing students with a high-quality education and the best possible facilities. It makes fundraising more transparent.
- Launch a School Fund Raising Campaign, by asking current and past families for donations. School families are more likely to donate if they know what the money will be used for. Transparency is important. Engage donors by setting a fundraising target, and updating them on the progress. Make it their choice whether they be publicly recognised for their donation.
The major drawback with the options explored hitherto is that schools must wait for funds to accumulate before new projects can be started. For schools that want to get their resources more quickly, there are more convenient solutions.
- Schools can enter into business partnerships with companies that are willing to provide funding, or willing to offer equipment to students at a low rate on a trial basis. Businesses which offer equipment for trial at attractive rates to students will receive feedback on their products, and students will get high-quality equipment they can use. A company that supports the community in this way boosts its profile, so partnerships are a win-win situation for everyone.
- Lease resources such as playground equipment technology from companies at affordable rates. Such arrangements mean that schools can pay off their equipment in affordable, staggered installments. This allows students to take advantage of equipment sooner rather than later, and allows schools to invest in capital that they do have where it is most urgently needed. Ask your different Schools Suppliers if this is an option. If they don’t offer a leasing arrangement, there are reputable finance companies offering competitive leasing arrangements. Discuss your School’s needs with them.
- Apply for a bank loan – one of the most common options for funding large scale School Projects, but not used so much to fund the acquisition of common resources.
There different financing options to suit a range of school budgets and approaches to funding School Resources. Navigating these options and deciding which one is most convenient for a particular school may be tricky at times. Seek as much information as possible before making a decision. Schools which accept the challenge, will learn which one is the funding option is most suitable. The students will be the beneficiaries.
“Education.” Flexirent. 2017.
“Funding for Playgrounds.” Miracle Recreation Equipment Company. 2017.
Clifford, Miriam. ”16 Innovative Ways to Use Crowdfunding for Education.” InformED. 28 January, 2013.
Hicks, Kristen. “3 Ways Schools Can Fund Education Technology.” Edudemic. 18 August, 2015.