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Approaching local businesses

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 one.

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 your pupils. 

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


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