School Communication

How to Generate Community Involvement in Schools for Fundraising

How do you generate community involvement in schools? Recruit business partners!

How do you build capacity for real-world learning for your students, foster a positive reputation for your school in the local community, and increase your fundraising efforts all in one process? Create a system for community involvement in school by establishing business partnerships.

What are Business Partnerships for Schools?

Business partnerships are designed to get local businesses involved in schools in whatever way works for your local area.Business partnerships for your school will come directly from your local community. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this situation; instead, you should have the flexibility to build partnerships that are mutually beneficial for the school and each individual business. 

Some ideas for community involvement in schools include:Soccer

  • Sponsors for athletic teams or playing fields
  • Job shadow opportunities for older students
  • Career Day where local business leaders talk about their jobs 
  • Volunteer opportunities for community members to give back to the school
  • Story time with local community members for younger students
  • “Sponsor a Classroom” where local businesses can provide supplies for students
  • Angel Tree or other holiday giving opportunities

You can get creative with innovative ways to involve your community & business leaders in your own schools. Ask them how they would like to be involved; you might get some great responses!

Benefits of Business Partnerships in Schools:

For the School: For the Businesses:
  • Students have opportunities to experience hands-on learning such as internships or apprenticeships
  • Business leaders can provide job shadowing & interview practice opportunities for students
  • Business partners will support the school financially through sponsorships & donations
  • Encourages local community members to get involved in the school and invest in its success
  • Business partners can recruit future employees from the student body
  • The donations & sponsorships that businesses make to the school can be a tax write-off
  • It fosters a positive reputation in the local community if they can show that they are supporting the school 
  • Everyone wins in a community where there is a thriving school system because it encourages new taxpayers & potential customers to move into the region

How to Establish Community Involvement in Schools Through Business Partnerships

Community and business leaders want to be involved with your school; often, all you have to do is ask! Here are some ways to get started and organize your efforts:

  • Establish a committee of school leaders dedicated to approaching potential business partners
  • Get your coaching staff involved to generate sponsorships for athletic programs
  • Ask club & extracurricular activity leaders to solicit sponsorships for their programs as well
  • Get your students involved: clubs and other groups can call or visit local businesses to ask for support
  • Find a key parent ambassador that is well-connected to the community and with local businesses
  • Reach out to your local chamber of commerce. This is a great place to network with local businesses!

The biggest tip we can offer for generating community involvement in schools is: consult with an expert who has done this before!

Edlio client Dr. Joseph Glavan is the Director of Business Partnerships at Mentor Public Schools in Ohio. He has worked with Edlio to build websites for his local district, the community vocational school, and is now building a third website specifically dedicated to business partnerships

“Community stakeholders, if they don't have kids in the district, they don't want to see the lunch menu at Ridge elementary school, but they want to know how to connect with us and help inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists,” Glavan explains. 

The new website supports Mentor Public Schools’ mission to foster authentic learning opportunities for their students. “Our goal is to embed real world learning K-12; and to do it well, we have to build capacity. And how do we build that capacity? That's going to be through a tremendous outreach into the community. And that's where we hope that this new website will help us build that capacity to roll it out in the community more extensively,” says Dr. Glavan.

How Dr. Glavan Engages his schools Community Read the full story on how Mentor Public Schools get local community members involved in the school and keep them informed over time.-1

As a bonus, if you download the PDF of the case study, it includes a Guide to Business Partnerships based on Dr. Glavan’s experience and insights! 


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