Fundraising for Early Years Providers

Fundraising for Early Years Providers


Early years providers deliver a vital service and provide quality child care options for families, but unfortunately, as we know are often underfunded. While fundraising is normally an exercise that has to be performed in community based early years providers, it is not only community based services who feel the “pinch” and have to look elsewhere for supporting fund .   All early years providers still have to pay for their premises, their supplies, equipment, play materials and food for the children and most the most significant cost can be wages for their employees.   

Most early year’s providers do function on a for-profit level, but they may often have to charge lower prices to interest working parents or families with multiple childcare care needs and then have to make up the shortfall somehow.  Early years services can also find it hard if their prices get too high and they stand to lose customers or take a loss because they can’t take as many children.  

As part of a long term sustainability plan, early years providers can decide to complement their income by fundraising.   Parents may be willing to help out with this, but the service can have a problem attracting the attention of the wider community.   Unfortunately, when people don’t have children, they’re not always that worried with supporting their local early year’s provider and many don’t see the point of giving to something that they won’t use. However, that doesn’t mean that early years providers cannot be successful at raising money in their community – they certainly can, and they may even get a little advertising, too.


Develop a Fundraising Plan

  • Review previous fundraising plan; identify the current economic model, the past activities and their success very resources required.
  • Begin with a target – how much is needed?  This figure should be based on identifying the goal of the campaign, how much it will cost and what is the gap in funding available.
  • Develop your case – why should people/agencies give?
  • Identify current fundraising resources – what resources do you currently have to support realistic fundraising activities.  Think about staff, time, financial resources and communication costs.
  • Identify best fundraising mix?  You may require a mix of fundraising activities to reach your target.   Fundraising activities include:
    • Grants – foundations, corporate, government.
    • Major donors – asking them to make gifts/sponsorship to your organisation.
    • Events – both large and small.
    • Participatory fundraising – like walk-a-thons.
  • Develop your timeline and implementation plan –what needs to get done and who will do it?
  • Review fundraising activities once completed.

Types of Fundraising Ideas


Fundraising Success Story in the Making in Co. Kildare

Little Angels Preschool (Community Childcare) in Athy, is in the middle of their very own fundraising campaign to develop their outdoor play area and are having great success to date. 

 “Here at Little Angels Preschool we are lucky enough to have an enclosed play area which is in need of refurbishment so we decided to fundraise to upgrade this facility. Our short term goal is to create a covered outdoor space so that the children can play even in the worst of the Irish weather. The quote for this space is €3,405 and as can be seen from the photo we have to date raised €2,000 through selling various forms of crafts, etc. and also Veronica Mitchell one of our staff ran the women's mini marathon. We hope to have the funding in place to complete this first part of the project so it will be ready for the children in September”                                                                               Valerie Ryan - Childcare Manager – Little Angels Preschool

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