Dear SchoolAdvancement

Sometimes questions are received from those involved in advancement, development, and other administrative positions.  As educators, you know that the answer to a question may be able to help others who may have the same question.  Questions that fit this bill will be posted here, along with an answer, advice, suggestion or opinion.  You’ll note that the question is a link – click it for the answer/advice/suggestion/opinion associated with that question.

If you have a question, send it to  In that same spirit, if you would like to discuss those opinions with other Advancement professionals, register for and participate in the SchoolAdvancement LinkedIn group.

“What about those families that don’t have a computer?”

“A recent article I read mentioned that the “gut” is the center of the emotional domain.  Actually, the brain produces emotion in the limbic brain (middle brain), but isn’t the heart the place we associate with emotions?”

“We’re having difficulty retaining students over the summer, and last year, tried to fill seats by offering a deeply discounted tuition for new students in the upper grades.  Now, families are telling us they can’t afford tuition so they’re leaving again.  Would it be a good idea to reduce our tuition to make it more affordable?”

“I’ve been reading some of the excellent articles on your site, but I found one that said our school should have weekly open house events.  That would be a lot of work.  Are you serious when you say there should be weekly open houses?”

“I recently attended a presentation where it was stated that the decision to enroll in a Catholic High School is made by both the parent and the student when he or she is in 5th grade, so high schools should start marketing to the parents and children in 4th grade.  That’s 5 years before they begin classes.  If that’s the case, then when should elementary schools start marketing to parents so that they may enroll their children in kindergarten?”

“We use a cost-based tuition/need-based aid model in our school.  Originally, the tuition was supposed to be based on the cost of education without any additional fees.  From a marketing standpoint, is it better to increase the tuition, or keep the tuition steady and add a development fee or service fee?”

“You recently made a presentation at my school that made me uncomfortable.  How can you say that children are not our customers when they benefit from the education that they receive in our school?”

“I was hired as a teacher, since that’s what I was trained to do.  I don’t want to have to deal with all this other stuff that doesn’t have to do with what goes on outside the classroom.  I have enough to do to make sure my students achieve to their potential.”

“Our school is moving toward a 1-to-1 technology initiative, with iPads for every student in the school.  Yet, there are some families that still don’t have a computer at home.  Should we make accommodation for them?”

“Schools used to say that if they have under 100 students, they’re in danger of closing, but now I’m seeing schools with over 200 students that are closing.  Why is that happening?”

“Do you have any suggestions to help our inner city schools?  These schools have representation from low socioeconomic groups that have difficulty paying, transient workers with varied ethnic backgrounds, or minority students that are from the surrounding areas but are not a part of the parish.  How can these schools survive today?

“Why should all my school’s parents be on my tuition management system?”

“How does development drive enrollment?  The other aspects of your DREAM model make sense, but I’m having difficulty understanding this one.”

“Why don’t you have fundraising ideas on your Web site?  We’re a small school and are in need of new fundraising ideas since ones we’ve been holding simply aren’t generating revenue they once did.”

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