10 top tips for approaching local businesses
While big companies may seem the obvious choice, local
businesses can be more than generous when supporting their local
school. Here is some advice from our sister programme, FundEd, on
how to approach them.
1. Identify potential partners
Existing connections will be easier to approach and more
inclined to offer support. See what contacts your PTA members,
school staff and parents have.
2. Speak to the right person
Do your research and make sure you are talking to the
decision-maker. If they don't have the authority to say yes or no,
you're wasting your time.
3. Pick the right time
When you're speaking to the right person, ask them if it's
convenient to talk. If not, call back when it is. You want their
full attention for the best results.
4. Be confident!
Have some bullet points written down if you're unsure of what to
say, and be ready to give a short pitch about what you want from
them and what you can offer in return.
5. Be professional
Follow up phone calls with a confirmation email. If arranging to
meet, ensure they have any relevant information in advance. Set
yourself apart from the competition.
6. Show what you can offer
How many parents open school emails? What's your school's
website traffic? Show that you have good reach.
7. Sell the CSR side
Companies that invest in their community set themselves apart
from the crowd. Remind them of that.
8. Give options
Have three projects in mind, with varying levels of commitment.
Giving them a choice means they'll be more inclined to pick
9. Demonstrate impact
Generate publicity around any current partnerships and specific
projects companies have supported - use this to tempt other
businesses to support your school in future.
10. Charm them
Don't underestimate the charm of your children! Invite potential
partners into your school to show how their support will benefit
Subscribe to FundEd!
PTA+ runs a sister programme for school fundraisers called
FundEd. For just £90 (+VAT) a year, multiple users within your
school (PTA chair, school business manager, headteacher) can access
a wealth of online resources. This includes an extensive grants
database dedicated to schools plus expert guidance on everything
from bid-writing and crowdfunding to establishing business
partnerships. For more information, call 01342 718679 or go to funded.org.uk/sign-up.
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