Business Project: supporting schools and education

by Deborah Fitzsimmons in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

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Unfortunately this project was not successful.

Cover start up costs of a new initiative BEpartners2prosper to raise funds for schools through building partnerships with local businesses..

by Deborah Fitzsimmons in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

This crowd funding project aims to raise funds to help cover start-up costs for the BEpartners2prosper initiative which launched in June. The aim of the initiative is to close the funding gap for schools through gaining donations from local businesses in return for advertising, publicity and educational engagement opportunities.

The problem and how we are tackling it

In the face of the largest real-terms cuts in a generation schools across Northern Ireland have to look to fundraisers and donors to fill budget gaps.  Schools have little choice but to turn to private donors to fund core teaching activities.  The BEpartners2prosper initiative needs your help to close the funding gap and allow schools to maintain educational standards.  Your donation can make this happen!

So far BEpartners2prosper have enrolled 11 post primary schools from across Northern Ireland on a pilot scheme in the launch year.  Principles have signed up and Board of governors and senior leaders are fully supportive and behind the initiative.  Schools have developed creative and innovative advertising, engagement and media opportunities to attract local businesses.  Deborah quickly realised she needed two additional associates’ one engaging with local businesses the other in a part time supportive role.  Delighted so far with the response from local businesses engaging with the BEpartners2prosper initiative proving to everyone how much they value the opportunities available and want to engage with their local school.

Local schools partnering with local businesses

More and more schools in the UK are turning to fundraisers but as is normal for Northern Ireland to be behind the rest of the UK when it comes to raising funds for schools.....this is where BEpartners2prosper comes in!  It came into existence to pursue a donation strategy which was mutually beneficial to both schools and donors in Northern Ireland.  As a qualified teacher Deborah (BEpartners2prosper creator) talks with infectious energy about her schools that are eager to partner with businesses and hard at work developing creative opportunities for business.  She is frequently approached at conferences by schools and business owners for advice on how they can take part or donate.

She says schools have no option but to learn to adapt, evolve and open their doors in a way they haven’t before to manage dwindling budgets whilst maintaining educational standards.  Deborah’s innovative approach makes schools realise they have much to offer business and in doing so helps them develop creative advertising and media opportunities in return for donations from local businesses.  Deborah is equally passionate about her businesses who partner with schools!  They have so much to offer schools....

Our vision

We want to crowdfund to raise enough funds to cover BEpartners2prosper start up costs which we estimate will be ~ 10K.  4K will go toward a dedicated website where schools and businesses can link up and become long term partners.  At present BEpartners2prosper can only be accessed via Deborah’s website so not ideal.  We want to bring more schools across NI onboard....they all have funding gaps and BEpartners2prosper can help them.  We want to employ people...BEpartners2prosper will need people. 

Why is this project so important to Schools?

Principles will tell you these are unusual times!

Schools are being hit with some of the most stringent cuts in a generation and looking beyond parents to philanthropists for financial support towards core teaching activities.  Turning to private donors to fill the gaps is not new; in Victorian times schools and orphanages were largely supported by local industrialists.  The constant threat of cuts, rising wage costs and higher national insurance and pension contributions, all ultimately impact pupils who see and feel the effects in the classroom. 

All too often Principles are making difficult decisions such as cutting staff or teaching assistants, putting off refurbishing classrooms or outside areas and reducing the range of subjects available to study. 

Typically donors are disturbed, even surprised when first approached by BEpartners2prosper.  They don’t understand why schools are asking for donations to support teaching provision, but the reality is; there are gaps which need bridged and schools have few options available to them.  Unlike Charities schools don’t have dedicated fundraisers or spare staff who can focus on raising money or looking for donors.

Supporting BEpartners2prosper will help Schools, Students and Businesses.   It will help bridge the funding gap, providing young people with a quality education and link businesses with schools to enjoy mutual benefits in careers collaborations and access to a potential future workforce.  



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more


E-Newsletter update at the end of the pilot detailing information about sponsorship raised and the number of business connections made between schools and businesses across N.Ireland.

Let's make 'Business Project: supporting schools and education' happen