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 […]

Required Summer Reading

Required Summer Reading

Since we’ve just ended another cycle of the five aspects of advancement, here’s this year’s edition of the “Midsummer Night’s Dream” assignment.  (Uh oh…since the acronym is changing to ARMED rather than DREAM, the name of the assignment will have to change for coming years.  Something to think about…). I read at least two books […]

Allocating Financial Aid When There’s No Financial Aid Left to Allocate

Allocating Financial Aid When There’s No Financial Aid Left to Allocate

Author’s comment:  This article was so popular I turned it into a presentation for several regional conferences last year.  It may become a Webinar, so stay tuned! Last week we looked at a marketing strategy; this week, we examine an asset management strategy. At first glance at the title of this post, you’re probably thinking […]

Stay Open!

Stay Open!

This week’s entry starts another round of the five elements of advancement – Asset Management, Retention, Marketing, Enrollment and Development.  It’s easy to remember the ARMED acronym those five elements create. Since summer is here for many schools, and just around the corner for a few others, let’s start off this round of 5 articles […]

And On the Seventh Day…

And On the Seventh Day…

Since another round of articles focusing on the five elements of advancement were completed last week, and since many schools have completed another school year, it’s time to rest for a while. You need to. Rest recharges your batteries (better than a 5-hour energy shot), takes your mind off work, lets you focus on your faith […]

It’s Less Expensive To Reinforce a Brand Than To Create a New One – Especially Since You Don’t Create Your Brand Anymore

It’s Less Expensive To Reinforce a Brand Than To Create a New One – Especially Since You Don’t Create Your Brand Anymore

This week’s post rounds out another group of five of the ARMED elements (Asset Management, Retention, Marketing, Enrollment and Development). I’ve decided to touch on this aspect of branding because many Dioceses and Archdioceses across the country are merging Catholic schools, and a number of Christian schools have begun to work together under a single […]

Ask – Even In Difficult Times – And Feel Good About It!

Ask – Even In Difficult Times – And Feel Good About It!

This week’s emphasis is on the “D” for Development as we go through another round of ARMED aspects of Advancement. Here’s why you should feel good about being a Development or Advancement professional: Development work helps people get to heaven. If you watch the news, you see stories about war strategies, nuclear concerns, unrest in […]

Retain Families By Assigning Them a Mentor Family

Retain Families By Assigning Them a Mentor Family

Leaders of faith-based schools know the drill all too well: parents show interest in your school, pay their non-refundable registration fee, and then their child doesn’t show up for the first day of school. How can you ensure those families maintain enthusiasm for your school over the summer? Moreover, how do you keep families currently […]

Keep Score.  Then Analyze It.

Keep Score. Then Analyze It.

In his book , “The Eighth Habit,” author Stephen R. Covey (1932-2012) makes a profound statement: “People play differently when they’re keeping score.” Think about it!  A volleyball game is pure fun if the score doesn’t matter. But when players are keeping score, set-up strategies develop, rotations are changed for maximum effectiveness, and teammates support […]

Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward

Let’s start another round of the five items that comprise Advancement so you can continue to work on each a little at a time. As someone once said, “Inch by inch, everything’s a cinch.” It also helps to recall that you can’t do everything (as in everything perfectly and completely) at once when venturing into Advancement.  […]