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The role of development and fundraising is now integral to the future of Independent Schools. Independent schools are raising £190m per year through fundraising and this is set to continue to grow. In order to limit fee inflation and provide fee assistance, no Head can afford to not have development at the forefront of their school’s agenda.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, warned that independent schools would have to engage more with local communities to keep their charitable status tax privileges. To maintain their charitable status, independent schools must provide bursaries and scholarships for gifted lower income pupils.

As such, this Innovative Fundraising and Development for Independent Schools course will equip delegates with the tools to build an effective fundraising and development strategy. The course will address the most pressing issues in development today, such as data protection and shifting from short-term transactional fundraising to deep relationship fundraising.

Through unique case studies and interactive workshops attendees will master the best methods for donor engagement, building an effective development team and running a successful fundraising campaign.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Master engagement with donors and harness a strong alumni network
  • Explore how best to evidence donor impact
  • Cultivate a respectful culture of giving
  • Gain insight into running a successful fundraising campaign
  • Optimise building an alumni donor base while complying with general data protection regulation
  • Take back an action plan to maximise development for your school
All the Understanding ModernGov courses are Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified, with signed certificates available upon request for event.

Enquire About In-House Training

To speak to someone about a bespoke training programme, please contact us:
0800 542 9414
[email protected]


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09:15 - 09:45


09:45 - 10:00

Speaker's Welcome & Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 11:00

School Fundraising within UK Regulations and the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  • Understand the latest legal framework for school philanthropy
  • Ascertain who can be targeted for fundraising while complying with data protection regulations
  • Anticipate the likely impact of GDPR changes and consider examples of best practice
  • Share the consent capture results achieved with Manchester Grammar and Bolton School.
11:00 - 11:15

Morning Break

11:15 - 12:15

Building a Development Team

  • Where to start – the basics of setting up a Development Office
  • Discover how best to utilise your board of governors and ensure buy-in/support
  • The First Year – Highs and lows and pitfalls to avoid
  • Learn how best to recruit and retain good staff
  • Consider effective approaches for building a happy development team
  • Getting the Common Room on side
12:15 - 13:00

Delivering an Effective Bursary and Scholarship Programme

  • Consider how best to create a fund-raising campaign for bursaries.
  • Explain how to create demand for bursaries from local schools.
  • Describe the factors that have an impact on a school’s capacity to set up a bursary campaign.
  • Support pupils and families through the process of application and during their school career.
13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 15:00

Embedding Relationship-Centered Fundraising

Winner of the “Fundraising Initiative of the Year” Award at the 2015 TES Independent School Awards.

  • Examine best practice approaches to shifting from transactional fundraising to relationship fundraising
  • Deepen relationships with alumni, parents and donors
  • Consider the leadership of Uppingham School’s expansion – the biggest development at the School since the Victorian era
  • How to strategically plan a large fundraising campaign
15:00 - 16:00

Workshop: Realising Your School's Development Potential

In this interactive session you will have an opportunity to discuss your own development needs with fellow delegates. Using the experiences outlined in earlier sessions, you will consider and work through the following issues so that you have an achievable selection of strategies to take away from the day:

  • What are the barriers to realising improvements in fundraising at your school. How can you overcome them?
  • What examples of best practice from the day can you bring back and incorporate into your school’s development activities?
  • What engagement strategies can you apply for parents and alumni at your school
  • What is achievable at your school? Assess the different methods for raising capital and identify the best way forward for your school’s development activities?
16:00 - 16:15

Feedback, Evaluation & Close


etc. Venues – Prospero House, London

241 Borough High St, London, SE1 1GA