Welcome to School Advancement
Welcome to School Advancement
Systems Thinking to Help Schools Form a Firm Financial Foundation
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Questions about Advancement, Systems Thinking, or the ARMED Framework for your school?
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Move Your Mindset From Fundraising to Development to Advancement

Linear Thinking is Process-Oriented; Systems Thinking is Systems-Oriented. Your school may have excellent results, but all its systems must be working toward excellence to be sustainable.
A tetrahedron is a commonly called a three-sided pyramid, even though it has four sides. When one side changes, the whole object must adjust to accommodate the change to maintain its shape.
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The Need For SchoolAdvancement

At this time in history, fatih-based schools have closed or merged due to rising costs and changing demographics. Schools simply cannot rely on traditional fiscal approaches to fund their ministries.

Conversely, some areas of the country have experienced growing populations, producing a desire for additional faith-based schools. Some of those populations do not have the financial means to pay for large construction projects, and growing communities are put in the same financial conundrum as those that are shrinking.

While school leaders grapple with the changes they're facing, a paradigm has begun to take shape. Isolated successes have been experienced in some areas of the country, while other dioceses, deaneries, parishes and their respective schools, as well as Christian and other faith-based schools, strategize to plan for the future.

Rather than continuing to “reinvent the wheel,” this site's goal is to provide guidance gleaned from schools which have experienced successes, accepting responsibility for achieving not just excellence, but sustainability. In a spirit of community, SchoolAdvancement shares "next" practices, proven strategies, failed experiments and suggestions regarding what to avoid along the path, and, interestingly, how some small "shifts" can have a significant positive impact on the future of a school. Though the curriculum of various faith-based schools may be different, the five elements of Advancement - Asset Management, Retention, Marketing, Enrollment and Development (The ARMED Framework) represent the “business" side of the mission and are essential for every school’s success.

While some school leaders and boards are beholden to the belief that “It’s all about the money,” others have said “It’s all about enrollment.” Actually, “It’s all about all of it!" Your school's customers will evaluate "the experience" of your school based on their expectations of excellence.

Download your FREE copy of "Understanding Advancement: A Systems Thinking Framework for Today's Faith-Based School!"

Recent Articles

October: Stop Charging Late Fees

Over the past 12 years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of school leaders.  During that time, a handful of schools told […]

Budget and Envelope

Let’s see a show of hands… How many of you have started working on your school’s budget for the 2021-2022 […]

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) […]

October: Your School Needs an Automated Follow-Up Process

Up until last year, there were still a number of faith-based and private schools which still had AN open house, […]

One Approach to Increase Enrollment

About 15 years ago now, the Catholic high schools of a local Diocese were given a directive to hire admissions […]

Your School: A System of Systems

Let’s apply some systems thinking to your school, and begin in the classroom, where we learn the importance of “3” […]

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