Moorfield Primary in Widnes are the first superstars of the summer term! They've entered the last term of fundraising with a bang, securing a phenomenal £10,000 from a local business!
When we first heard the news at Solar Schools HQ, we were pretty starstruck by their amazing fundraising efforts. We wondered how they'd done it - some sort of top secret mastermind plan, offering to endorse the business until the day the school closed, giving away excessive amounts of cake...? Nope. The students are the real superstars here! It turns out 4 pupils from the school just chatted to someone senior in the company about why solar panels were important to them. What an incredible achievement!
Moorfield have had an incredible journey so now with just £1,600 to go before they reach their target, we chat to Natalie Lynch, teacher and fundraising extraordinaire. We caught up about how they did it and how they're going to make up the final pennies...
1) You managed to secure a phenomenal £10,000 in business sponsorship. How did you do it?
We have a group of year six's who have done a lot of climate change work in the past. We have a link with Liverpool university and we work on a green project together, so the children have done assemblies, presentations and stalls on climate change in the past. One of our local governors, Sue Fox, is also a senior in BYK Additives. When she visited the school, our group of year six's showed her our solar display and told her why they felt getting solar panels was important and why we needed the money. There were only 4 students, and they weren't scripted or guided by teachers on the day. I think that's what made it so special and made the company want to help us out - the students showed their own passion annd enthusiasm. They didn't use our words - they said it themselves.
2) What's been your favourite part of fundraising with Solar Schools so far?
It has to be the connections we've built as a community. I've organised lots of events and the same group of amazing parents are there every time, from discos to race nights. After one disco, I was approached by a mum I'd never spoken to before - her child wasn't in my class and it never taught her child at all - and she said thank you. She explained to me what a great time her child had been having and that she was glad that staff wanted to get involved with parents. All schools want to build a community, and I think Solar Schools has helped ours to do that. I'm glad that as teachers we are building links with parents and families. We are out in the world - not just behind the classroom door or behind a desk on parents evening.
3) You have just £1,600 left to go. What tricks have you got up your sleeve to reach your target?
We're excited for our summer fair. We're hoping to raise at least £1000 from that, so we will be practically almost done! We're considering organising a disco-race-quiz after half term too. We did all three events separately over the year, so we thought we'd bring them all together for one last fundraising push. We'd have a local dad DJ-ing, then pause the dancing every once in a while for a race, and there would also be a quiz on the table for everyone to get involved in. The last thing we're hoping is just to appeal to parents. We have so little money left - before their donation might have felt like a drop in the ocean, whereas now it really does push us ever closer to our target.
4) You're very active on Twitter. Do you think social media is important for community crowdfunding?
Definitely. Everybody's always got their phones out now - it's the new way to communicate. Many people even feel addicted to social media. Getting it out on channels that people are addicted to can only be a good thing. On Twitter, we're followed by lots of businesses who watch what we're doing, and we were recently retweeted by the Halton Hour who have 40,000 followers! As for Facebook, even
though we didn't win the Good Energy competition, it really showed the power of social media. Our photo was liked by over 700 people - we don't know 700 people! The picture spread far and wide. The reach you get by using social media is unlike anything else, and the more people who know about your fundraising, the more people will potentially be engaged.
5) If the whole world were listening and you had just 140 characters to win their donations (and hearts!), what would you say to WOW them?
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