The past five years have been pretty hellish for school funding -there can't be many schools that haven't felt the effects of decreasing income and rising overheads. What better time for a book to support schools in their own income generation?
Enter The School Fundraising Handbook, which tackles the tricky process of applying for grants and fundraising for specific projects.
If you are expecting a masterclass on the intricacies of professional corporate fundraising, donor acquisition, the management of alumni or customer-relationship management database and marketing for income generation, this isn't it. There is little here for the professional or experienced fundraising professional. So I must admit to being somewhat disappointed by a book that promises to be the handbook for fundraising in schools.
Title aside, the book itself holds a wealth of information and advice for school business managers, senior school staff and headteachers. There is an abundance of ideas and tips on how to plan and manage projects efficiently and effectively, saving time and effort by getting straight to the heart of the project's desired outcome: savings on expenditure. Essential stuff indeed.
Perhaps most useful is the guidance on completing grant applications. Lindsey Marsh provides considered and shrewd advice on the value of research in terms of bid criteria, supporting documentation and preparing accurate costings, but also in sourcing the most appropriate body for a project to maximise success potential.
In all, despite the slightly misleading title, The School Fundraising Handbook is a useful tool for aspiring and new school business manager and headteachers. It's packed with useful advice and its -œgrab-and-go- sections allow dipping in and out as and when the hectic school schedule allows.