Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

Blog > Fundraising Ideas > How do British International Schools Fund raise Successfully?

How do British International Schools Fund raise Successfully?

British International Schools abroad are increasingly reliant on fundraising to help them enroll students in a highly competitive admissions market. But many of them lack the budgets and fundraising expertise of their more successful US peers, and face prejudice because of their fee structures. So the story of how they overcome these obstacles to successfully cultivate an alumni community and donor base will interest anyone intent on soliciting donations from financial backers.

Neil Richards is headmaster of the British International School, Phuket in Thailand. “I think that fundraising will become a significant factor in international schools in the years ahead,” Richards says. “Most schools will be operating under capacity as more and more schools are opening up — the degree of saturation in some places is alarming.

“However, as national governments relax restrictions on international schools and the enrolment of nationals, there will be business opportunities. Fundraising will certainly become a more important aspect for ‘mainstream’ schools.”

Because it is difficult for schools that are seen as being “for-profit”, as many fee-paying international schools are seen, to entice donations, Phuket undertakes fundraising activities for charity instead, to build a donor base that may be willing to contribute to the school’s own activities in the near future.

“The students and teachers have successfully led a number of campaigns over the years,” says Richards. For example, the school recently raised over 70,000THB (£1,576) for Ovacome, a UK-based ovarian cancer charity that provides support to families and women affected by the devastating illness. The school raised the money through selling running vests, cake sales and donations. As well as raising money for charity and setting up a potential donor base, these types of events have the added benefit of providing opportunities for students to develop responsibility and awareness of their role as global citizens.

But Richards goes on to highlight the great challenge schools like his face in approaching donors to back internal projects: “I try to initiate discussions with potential donors, but so far it has been difficult to overcome the prejudice concerning ‘for profit’ schools,” he says. “Also, being under Thai ownership with almost no direct contact being made between the owners or the Board with our parent body, it is difficult to ‘sell’ the school [to donors].”

He believes that British international schools will need to donate more resources to alumni development in the coming years to remain competitive. “It is not something that is a part of the culture of British-style schools, although all schools would acknowledge that it is important,” Richards says.

“Most of the major independent US schools; they have been fund-raising for generations, and the endowment funds or building projects are very impressive. I know of no major international school that has been majorly successful in fundraising.” But he recognizes that this will need to change. Soon.

Similar stories

Terry Snow, a Legend Among Fundraisers

Terry Snow donates $20 million to his alma mater, Canberra Grammar School. More...

Produced in partnership between ToucanTech and IDPE
Book a Summer demo with ToucanTech and receive your free Fundraising Pack + Consultation

Get an extra boost for your fundraising efforts this year - ToucanTech is offering a free pack of fundraising guidance,… More...

John Lyon School, Harrow on the Hill
Customer showcase: John Lyon creates COVID-19 hardship fund & raises £7,500 in one month

John Lyon's fantastic fundraising efforts have raised £36,000 for a new COVID-19 relief fund to support its pupils who … More...

An insight into: Engaging with Vulnerable People

Read our round-up of our recent webinar which provided advice for fundraisers, charities and development offices on enga… More...

Founder's Day at Watford Grammar School for Girls
Customer showcase: 88% of Watford Grammar School for Girls' 2020 alumnae join their online network

Watford Grammar School for Girls have been expertly promoting their online alumnae network to their recent school leaver… More...

Most read

Founder's Day at Watford Grammar School for Girls
Customer showcase: 88% of Watford Grammar School for Girls' 2020 alumnae join their online network

Watford Grammar School for Girls have been expertly promoting their online alumnae network to their recent school leavers, and as a result 88% of thei… More...

Graduates throwing their caps
Engaging the Class of 2020 around the world

With none of the traditional farewell events available, find out how schools and universities worldwide have been celebrating the Class of 2020 and we… More...

John Lyon School, Harrow on the Hill
Customer showcase: John Lyon creates COVID-19 hardship fund & raises £7,500 in one month

John Lyon's fantastic fundraising efforts have raised £36,000 for a new COVID-19 relief fund to support its pupils who have been financially impacted… More...

This website is powered by
ToucanTech