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Articles > Fundraising Ideas > How to appeal to donors outside of your parent network

How to appeal to donors outside of your parent network

Because parent networks are often heavily relied upon when it comes to school fundraising, find out how to expand your donor base beyond your parent network.
Appealing to donors outside your parent network
Appealing to donors outside your parent network

When it comes to fundraising, many schools rely heavily on their parent network to fund various programmes and initiatives as these are a group of people who are already familiar with the school and its mission, and have a vested interest while their child attends the school. Whilst targeting this group can be an effective way to raise funds, it can also limit the potential pool of donors, and they may not continue to donate once their child graduates. In this article, therefore, find out how to appeal to donors outside of your school parent network.


Harness the power of social media

Expanding your reach by building a robust online presence - through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - can be a highly effective approach in attracting new donors. By crafting engaging and informative content, you can attract a wider audience and generate interest among those who may have been previously unaware of your school and its mission. To maximise the impact of your social media efforts, include clear calls-to-action in your posts, directing individuals to your website or donation pages for further engagement and support.


Network with the community

Another effective strategy for soliciting donations from those outside of your parent network is to network with key stakeholders in the education and philanthropic sectors, those who share your mission. Attend relevant industry events and conferences, reach out to established philanthropic entities with a demonstrated interest in educational causes, and volunteer at community events to widen your pool of potential donors. Don’t forget that forming strategic partnerships with schools and organisations whose mission and values align with those of your school will enhance visibility and credibility, as well as present opportunities for funding through joint initiatives.


Showcase student success stories

One of the best ways to appeal to donors outside of your school parent network is to share your students’ success stories - these provide a personal and relatable perspective on the impact of your school’s work by demonstrating the positive change that your school is making on the lives of your students as well as the broader community. Feature stories and testimonials on your website and social media, as well as in your newsletters, as people are more likely to donate when they feel a personal connection to the cause. And remember to use statistics and numerical data to make your testimonials and stories more compelling. 


Think beyond the ask

Instead of asking for money, think about how you can engage with new donors in other ways. Consider hosting an event, such as a Foundation Dinner, to showcase your school’s mission, achievements, and the impacts of donations and invite your potential donors. Events like this are a great way to help generate interest and engagement from your potential donors, promote relationship building, and create a sense of community around your school. Don’t forget to keep in touch with your donors by sharing updates on the impact of their donations, as stewardship and engagement can help turn one-time donors into long-term supporters.


Offer naming opportunities

Offering naming opportunities for new buildings or facilities can be appealing to donors because it provides a tangible and lasting way for them to be recognised for their support by having their name associated with a specific place or function within the school. Or similarly, enable donors to name a particular scholarship or educational programme, so that the donor is associated with a specific cause that aligns with their interests and values.


Appealing to donors outside of the parent network takes time, effort and a bit of creativity - but, with the right strategy in place, you can effectively expand your reach and bring new donors into the fold. Don't forget to always communicate clearly and transparently, be consistent in your approach and show gratitude to all your donors.


ToucanTech’s all-in-one CRM platform enables you to reach new donors through the platform’s analytics and reporting functionalities, social media integration with sites such as Facebook, and personalised email campaigns - which allows you to track performance, promote school campaigns, and educate potential donors about supporting your mission. To find out more, get in touch with one of the ToucanTech team.


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