School funding: We raised nearly £40,000 for new classrooms

How one Oxfordshire school ran a multi-faceted campaign

Europa is a rapidly expanding multilingual school for children aged four to 19. Pupils take half their classes in English and the other half in either French, Spanish or German. Based in Culham, Oxfordshire, our state-funded Europa School replaced the private European School. As more families joined us, we expanded from two-form to three-form entry in 2020.

This means we are accommodating an additional 30 children every year and our classrooms are at capacity. Currently, we teach some of our Year 6 primary classes in the secondary school building. However, by 2023 the secondary pupils will need this additional space themselves. So our plan is to convert spaces in our existing buildings for the primary pupils. To fund these renovations, we launched the Capital Campaign – an ongoing fundraiser seeking to generate £40,000.

To reach this ambitious target, we have been carrying out a range of fundraising. Digitally, we have set up donate buttons on the school website so that people can quickly and easily send their contributions. Locally, we have found that many businesses are enthusiastic to sponsor our events – legal firms and estate agents have been particularly supportive!

We have involved our pupils in fundraising too. Throughout 2021 we organised some very successful fun runs. Each year group had their own race and we encouraged everyone to collect sponsorship using individual fundraising pages on the InvestMyCommunity crowdfunding platform. The final tally was an impressive £16,667. InvestMyCommunity is now known as GoodHub.

We also hosted a gala ball, where we welcomed 130 guests to a Great Gatsby-themed party. A local company, Slade Legal, sponsored the event, paying for all our printing costs. The remaining expenses were covered through ticket sales. Nevertheless, we needed another way to bring in profits and we settled on a charity auction. Local businesses donated generously – one even gifted a skiing holiday abroad! With such high-value prizes, guests were willing to spend to win and this allowed us to raise a fantastic £7,500.

We have now reached 75% of our target, but the rising cost of living crisis and a degree of fundraiser fatigue have made it harder to galvanise people for the final push. To combat this, we are getting creative with our next fundraiser. It will be a ticketed music and art show, where pupils and parents can showcase and sell their work. We hope it will be an opportunity for everyone to join together and help us hit our fundraising target.

  • Anna Cole-Morgan, HR manager, Europa School UK, Culham, Oxfordshire (800 pupils) 


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