Best Practice

Fundraising and philanthropy

Professional fundraiser Peter Spence draws on lessons from the independent sector to offer state schools some advice on developing alumni networks and longer-term fundraising and philanthropy

This is not an easy time to be a headteacher. Constantly changing legislation, the challenge of academisation, alterations to GCSEs and A levels, all these new initiatives to absorb while ensuring pupils have the best possible start in life – and all of this against a background of declining resources.

Yet headteachers also have greater freedom to launch new initiatives than in the past. Many heads are attempting to deal with the shortage of funds by encouraging parents to launch fundraising events and activities, and often these are very successful. Yet they remain fairly limited in scale.

Perhaps it is time to consider taking academic fundraising in schools to the next level. Development operations, as they are known, have long been essential features of American schools and universities and more recently virtually every university in the UK has done the same.

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