Partnerships and fundraising

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Building a bottle school may be possible without partnerships to support the process – but its much easier with them! As soon as you have the idea to build a bottle school, start thinking about who else would be grateful for the opportunity of contributing to the project.
 
The Municipality
 
Mayors are often delighted to support the construction of a bottle school, because it’s an opportunity to get much-needed educational infrastructure built in the community they serve, at a very low cost to them. The municipality may be able to contribute the skilled labor of masons that are in their employment. The municipality may have materials (cement, sand, rebar, etc) left over from previous projects that they can donate, and they may also be able to help with transporting materials.The municipality may have access to an architect and/or structural engineer who can help draw up plans for the bottle school. As always, be sure to get any agreements in writing.
 
Partnering with neighboring communities
 
In our experience, we have found that neighboring communities (above all, the kids in the communities), especially in bigger towns with a larger and more consistent amount of post-consumer waste, are gladly willing to help with collecting bottles and trash and making eco-bricks. Use this opportunity to extend the reach of your environmental education program.
Businesses
 
Local and national businesses may also be willing to make a donation in order to support an innovative project that brings education to a community at the same time as cleaning it of trash. Try reaching out to suppliers of raw materials (cement, rebar, etc), national construction companies, local hardware stores and any relatively successful local businesses. There may also be other NGOs or community development organizations active in your area, who may wish to support the project. Be open to their participation, but be careful that they don’t try to “take over” the project, or cause unnecessary stress or drama.
 
Friends and Family
 
If you have connections or relatives in a wealthier country (such as the USA), you may find it productive to fundraise in that country for your bottle school project. Traditional fundraising models such as bake sales, raffles and being sponsored to do something work well, but it also works well to just ask people for donations. There are many fundraising web sites that make it very easy to ask for donations online, and which allow you to create your own personalized fundraising web page that you can share through social media and email.


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