Rocket Fund impact report 2018

Rocket Fund is a crowdfunding platform for schools, designed to enable all students to access the latest technology.We recently completed wave four, bringing our total number of projects to 160, raising over £140k for schools in a year. To celebrate, we're sharing our results and impact so far.We’re also currently looking for partners and investors to help us scale Rocket Fund to 1,000 schools. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch here.

Key stats

  • 160 projects live
  • 65 per cent success rate (Kickstarter's is 36 per cent)
  • 1,600 teachers registered
  • 3,200 donors
  • 29,000 students have benefited
  • £140,000 raised for schools
Rocket Fund key stats

Total amount raised: £140,000

This includes:

  • £4,500 match funding from businesses
  • £19,000 match funding from Rocket Fund
  • £116,500 crowdfunded by schools

Largest amount raised: £7,921 by Newstead Wood English Department. They raised over £5,000 in their first 48 hours.
Fastest time to target: 40 minutes by Newstead Wood English Department.

School characteristics

From the rural North of Scotland to the Southern tip of Cornwall we're excited to see that we're attracting schools from across the UK. Explore the map below to see the locations of schools who have been involved in each wave.

Interactive map of the schools using Rocket Fund:

Age groups

Again, we’re pleased to see our user base is representative of the school population as a whole, 77 per cent of schools using Rocket Fund are Primary and 17 percent of schools are Secondary.

Age groups using Rocket Fund

Levels of deprivation

We track the level of deprivation for every school that uses Rocket Fund, using the percentage of students eligible for pupil premium (a measure of the percentage of pupils that have been eligible for free school meals at any time during the past six years, that is published here). The average percentage of students eligible for pupil premium is 24.9 per cent in England. 39 per cent of schools using Rocket Fund are above the national average level of pupil premium, and 93 per cent of schools said they wouldn’t have been able to purchase the technology without using Rocket Fund.

Poverty levels in schools using Rocket Fund

Furthermore, just under three quarters of schools said that less than 50 per cent of their students would be able to access the technology elsewhere (e.g. at home or via a club).Project characteristics

Project by subject area

At the moment Rocket Fund only allows schools to fundraise for technology products, as a result, the majority of projects are raising money for products to help teach STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) subjects. Although 32 per cent of projects are for products to help teach computing, most projects tag more than one subject, showing that the majority of products will be used across the curriculum.

Percentage of projects relating to each subject

Most popular items

Robots, coding kits, VR headsets and tablets make up 60 per cent of items fundraised for on Rocket Fund. Some of the most popular items within the "Robots /coding kits" category are: spheros, Bee-Bots and micro:bits.

Projects fundraised for on Rocket Fund

Great examples of pitch videos

Here are three of our favourite pitch videos so far.

Future Programmers (wave 4 - raised £1,237 so far)

Tech @ MPS (raised £1,600)

St Johns Rocket Fund (raised £3,000)

Donor characteristics

  • Largest single donation: £1,000
  • Average donation (mean, excluding donations over £99): £20
  • 70 per cent don’t want any reward
  • 70 per cent know the fundraiser
  • 70 per cent are parents
  • 10 per cent are from the local community
  • 1 per cent are alumni

We initially expected most of the donors to be parents; however, we’ve seen a few schools avoid asking parents altogether, focussing solely on local businesses, who are often very happy to donate. We also think the alumni community could offer a huge potential untapped resource, as many former pupils would love to support their old school, but are never asked.

VIP donors

  • 10 per cent of donors give £100 or more
  • This makes up 50 per cent of the total amount raised
  • 1 per cent of donations are £500 or more

We’ve been blown away by the generosity of some people and pleased to see large donations becoming a fairly common occurrence. We’ve also noticed that many larger donors prefer to remain anonymous - another benefit of crowdfunding.

Non-monetary benefits

As well as the obvious monetary benefits, we’ve also observed the following non-monetary (but extremely valuable) benefits of crowdfunding:

  1. Galvanises communities - some our users have found crowdfunding a great way to connect with the extended community (beyond parents) and have said that businesses are often keen to maintain links after they have donated
  2. Engages students - students involved with their crowdfunding project love seeing the donations come in
  3. Educational value in the process - crowdfunding also teaches the following skills: project management, pitch creation, media production and marketing skills

Our favourite comments from schools & donors

DigitalDPS tweet

"We have lift off!!!! Thank you SO much for our first donations!!! The pupils are so excited!!!"

Mrs Jones
Central Park Primary tweet

"We have received the robots and the children were so excited to open them. The amount of computing we can do with them is endless."

Ms. Read
Businesses want to support their local schools

"I can't recommend Rocket Fund highly enough, the thrill to see the pledges coming in was amazing!"

Mrs. Brown
Excell Supply tweet

What's next?

I hope the data above has given you an insight into the impact and potential of Rocket Fund.

We’re now looking for partners and investors to help us scale this to 1,000 schools.

If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch here.

Part of
Rocket Fund


Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Senior Programme Manager

Ben was a Senior Programme Manager in the Innovation Lab's Education Team.

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Rachel Chatterjee

Rachel Chatterjee

Rachel Chatterjee

Operations Intern, Innovation Lab

Rachel was an Operations Intern in the Education Department in the Innovation Lab.

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