Thursday, 20 December 2012

Funding Failures

Last wednesday I visited my school placement and I am thoroughly pleased with my choice - the staff were warm and polite, the facilities were advanced, and the general outlook, particularly towards the national curriculum, were unique and innovative. I imagine I will fit in well there.

The most recent issue I have been facing for the past couple of weeks is funding. The project was never originally set out to be a profit building business - I had no idea how my project could generate income in order to stimulate sustainable cash flow. However, I spoke with the PE teacher I will be working alongside with and they suggested that I compile an equipment kit. I realised I could even tailor these kits to individual needs, which would make a great selling point. I would have a fixed cost for each kit and sell it to the parents of the children - now I quickly realised that if I was requesting money from anyone involved in the project that it would most likely put them off, and ultimately result in less participants and then even less money. So instead I would design the kits in the name of market research, keeping a fixed costing price I could give the kits away with their unique programs and a questionnaire. This questionnaire would ask the parents if they thought the kits were effective or not, if they should have more or less in them, and how much they were willing to spend on their kit. It is from this vital information that I will be able to figure out a more accurate financial plan for continuing this project into a sustainable business.

The next step in this process was enquiring about funds. I acquired a financial mentor who was a winner of the business plan competition I intend to enter at my university. So far his advice has been helpful and lead me to sign up to I found many organisations through a guided search who could potential fund my project. After a number of phone calls and further advice from my mentor, no organisations decided to help me with funding. Most places were interested in registered charities and larger organisations, though some specified that individuals were eligible. But time was not on my side either, some funders had annual meetings to arrange the funding of projects and could take six weeks to six months to reply.

Even with some financial planning and a practical outlook on market research I have failed to find a funder so far. With time growing short and being a one-man-show, I find myself in desperate need of a plan B. If I cannot acquire funding from an organisation I will have to think about hosting a fundraiser event, though there is little time for that too. If that fails to transpire, then these questionnaires may have to be made more prestigious.

Live life to the full.


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