Events: Are They Really Worth It?

Events: Are They Really Worth It?

You may recall from reading some of the articles of SchoolAdvancement.com that, as educators, we are all about change!  Even though you think you may be planning the same lessons from year to year, the dynamics of your classroom change with each year.  If the classes you teach have different students in them, then your […]

Financial Aid and Your School’s Tuition Model

Financial Aid and Your School’s Tuition Model

Tuition.  Most schools don’t like to talk about it, and most parents don’t like to hear it.  “What does it cost,” asks the parent who calls the local Catholic school. The school gives a yearly figure. “Well, our tuition is $4,000 per student, but that doesn’t include…” <click><buzzzzzzz> The conversation stops there because the interested […]

Surveying Your School’s Parents About “The Experience” of “Their” School

Surveying Your School’s Parents About “The Experience” of “Their” School

Continuing on from last week, “The Experience” is one of your school’s keys to successful student retention – or should I say, parent retention. Remember that the first step to building enrollment is keeping the students you have. While I have not been able to find scholarly research on this piece of data, anecdotal examples […]

“But Parents With Young Children Aren’t Moving In To My Community”

“But Parents With Young Children Aren’t Moving In To My Community”

How many times have we heard about changing demographics, changing economic circumstances and changing attitudes based on the consumer’s experience of a company, service or product?  How many times have we heard that all those changes are detrimental to our schools’ survival?  Here’s a newsflash – EVERYTHING changes. If nothing changed, we would become stagnant, and […]

Publication and Placement of Your School’s “Remarkable”/”Distinctive” Qualities

Publication and Placement of Your School’s “Remarkable”/”Distinctive” Qualities

Can you guess the two key places where you need to publish your school’s remarkable qualities? If you said 1) in the local newspaper and 2) in the yellow pages, that would be incorrect.  In fact, a meme I once saw suggested a new advertising slogan for the Yellow Pages: “Throw This Away.” Although advertising […]

Prepare Your School’s Marketing Materials

Prepare Your School’s Marketing Materials

Now that you’ve determined the three to five traits that make your school “remarkable,” or, perhaps, “distinctive,” in the minds of parents of prospective students, remember that they must be truly remarkable traits about your school. There are private Christian and Catholic schools which still believe that because they espouse Gospel values that they are […]

Enrollment Planning

Enrollment Planning

You still have time to discern three to five things that make your school a remarkable place to be.  In fact, let’s go one step further than remarkable.  After all, what you think may be remarkable may be the same thing that a school 3 or 4 miles away considers to be remarkable about their […]

Have You Determined What Makes Your School “Remarkable?”

Have You Determined What Makes Your School “Remarkable?”

The school year is in full swing!  September was the month for parent nights so they could visit your school and see what their kids may be experiencing, the first parent-teacher organization meeting, and and getting to know more about those new families who have become part of your school community!  You may still be […]

What Makes Your School “Remarkable?”

What Makes Your School “Remarkable?”

Now that you know what your school’s strengths are, the next step is marketing them to the community. While that may sound simple, that can be a very difficult statement to fully comprehend. There are five things that must be considered: 1) There are at least several (and sometimes many) communities within your local community, and […]

Lead With Your Strengths…Or, More Correctly, Lead TO Your Strengths

Lead With Your Strengths…Or, More Correctly, Lead TO Your Strengths

Now that you’re aware of your school’s strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats and have reviewed your strengths again, it’s time to pick a direction. It’s important to note that just because you’ve defined opportunities, weaknesses, threats and strengths in that order doesn’t mean you need to work on them in the same order. Realizing that […]

Refine Your School’s SOWTS Analysis

Refine Your School’s SOWTS Analysis

Last week, I mentioned the importance of having an SWOT or TOWS analysis, and encouraged you to conduct one as an OWTS process. Not only for your school, but for yourself as well. To review, these letters stand for Opportunities, Weaknesses, Threats and Strengths.  Perhaps start with defining your Strengths, making it a SOWTS analysis, […]

Where Are You Now, Where Do You Want To Be, and How Will You Get There?

Where Are You Now, Where Do You Want To Be, and How Will You Get There?

In the most simplistic terms, these are the three steps involved in the strategic planning process.  The questions asked in the title of this article can also apply to a planned vacation or excursion, or, on a much deeper level, to one’s own personal journey.  The steps involve blunt and truthful assessment, vision, and logistical/creative […]

Share Ideas

Share Ideas

This week’s entry completes another round of the five aspects of Advancement, focusing on Development. It’s an easy one – share ideas. Don’t keep trying to reinvent the wheel. One of the ways you can share ideas with development and advancement directors across the country is to join LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com) and sign up for a […]

Your School’s Responsive Web Site

Your School’s Responsive Web Site

Publishing articles once a week about Advancement and “how it works,” I’ve found not only is a mind a terrible thing to waste, but it’s even more difficult to change when folks are “stuck” in not only “fundraising” mode, but even in “development” mode. Development does not occur in a vacuum. It is part of […]

“Systemicity”

“Systemicity”

One of my favorite recordings is “Synchronicity” by The Police.  I like when synchronicity is recognized.  It happens all the time.  But when things that happen simultaneously are actually recognized as having an effect on each other, it is at that time that systems thinking can be reinforced over linear thinking.  Synchronicity is different from […]

The Advancement Director’s Schedule

The Advancement Director’s Schedule

In light of the articles on Advancement over the past couple of weeks, I thought this would be a good time to share some thoughts about your work schedule as an advancement director, offering a framework for a daily plan, and not just a yearly one as the new school year gets underway. Remember that […]

HOW Do I Do the Things I Need To Do?

HOW Do I Do the Things I Need To Do?

As promised, this week’s installment speaks to another aspect of the “how” to handle Advancement. While last week’s article outlined a methodology relative to Advancement (taking the five aspects one day at a time until a comfort level has been established to be able to juggle all five with continuous re-prioritizing as necessary), some folks […]

One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time

This article is geared to those folks who have the responsibility of “doing it all,” and do not work for a school where there is a Development Director, a Marketing Director, an Admissions Director, a Business Manager and a Principal (who is the de facto Retention Director). It may be kind of difficult to follow, […]

BASIQS: A Tool to Assist Your Efforts to Increase Enrollment

BASIQS: A Tool to Assist Your Efforts to Increase Enrollment

This time around, we focus on the “E” aspect of ARMED Framework (which is, by the way, the DREAM Framework, revisited) – “Enrollment.” In more and more of the schools I speak with and read about, many say that it all comes down to money. At this time of year, schools have wrapped up the previous […]

Gather Your School’s Current Families to Stop Mid-Summer Melt

Gather Your School’s Current Families to Stop Mid-Summer Melt

This week’s strategy focuses on retention, which is important during the summer. High temperatures make cold treats like ice cream, ice pops and popsicles melt. Enrollment is no different. Most school administrators hold their breath, hoping that those families that said they’d be coming back for the next school year show up on the first […]