Chapter 1 – Access funding for your visit
Private funding - local and national companies
Many companies often have corporate social responsibility budgets to support local community groups and schools. These companies will often prefer to fund something tangible like equipment rather than staff time, but may look to fund and help with specific events for under-privileged groups. In the past, companies have been known to help with the purchase of growing equipment or wellington boots. It may be advantageous to speak to companies that already supply your farm, or food and farming companies as a first point of contact as these will have an interest in educating young people. You may also be able to provide them with nice photos and anecdotes for their annual report, or offer teambuilding opportunities for their staff to help out with visits, subject to the appropriate child safety checks.
Private funding - School and parent support
Private funding for farm visits usually comes from schools that are prepared to pay for their farm visit. Schools will usually pay for the trip from their core funds, but may also ask for donations from the parents for the farm visit and transport costs. Schools may not have specific funding for a farm visit, but if you can prove that it is valuable for meeting curriculum targets, or personal, social and health benefits for the pupils, they may be able to justify spending the money. Many schools take children on geography field trips or residential stays – why not argue that these should be done on a farm? It is important to emphasize that what you are offering is more than just a fun summer day out, and more of an educational and skill-enhancing experience.
Private funding Charity support
Sometimes, charitable organizations that work in the environmental sector can secure funding for farm visit opportunities. These may have been supported by funding from grant-giving trusts and the national lottery which they are able to access through their charitable NGO status. Farm-visit coordinating organizations may have direct contact with teachers and host twilight sessions for them to raise awareness of farm visits, so this can be a useful way to promote you visit opportunities. Others may also offer funding for residential stays for school groups from inner-cities if you are able to facilitate accommodation or camping on the farm.
- see if there are farms that receive state or municipal funding to pay for the visit
- Investigate whether there are funding sources or sponsorship you can access
- Look to see if the school/friends of the school group/parents are happy to pay for the visit
- Some charities and grant givers can offer funding for farm visits