As we begin 2024, we know it will be another year of change.  Ten years ago, in 2014, new IRS rules kicked in on January 1st which were related to the Affordable Healthcare Act.  While the most recent and most sweeping changes to our nation’s tax code were approved in 2018, we realized that many of us weren’t receiving sizable tax refunds anymore.

This created a problem for faith-based schools, since there were a number of parents that had historically paid their tuition for the school year with their income tax refund.  Today, there are still parents that want to do this, and schools let them.  Then, when the income tax refund doesn’t materialize due to a lesser than expected refund, or a refund that was used for other unforeseen expenses, the school finds itself in even worse financial condition.

This is what happens when some things change, and other things don’t change with them.

Entering the second half of the 23-24 school year, more learning will take place in our schools, and, when learning takes place, change happens.  So, it might make sense to this year to make a resolution to embrace change rather than fear it.

While this election year is going to be an unprecedented one, let’s take a look at what happened in the Presidential election of 2008.  During 2009, there was some analysis done as to why the Democratic Party gained so much ground in that election year, as well as in the elections that occurred in 2006.  These were the things that were highlighted as reasons for success:

  • Charismatic leadership
  • Use of the Internet
  • Successful fund raising
  • Grassroots campaigning
  • Consistent messaging
  • Calling for accountability

Note that five of these six items deal directly with the five aspects of advancement:

  • Asset Management (Calling for accountability)
  • Retention (Use of the Internet) to solidify relationship
  • Marketing (Consistent messaging)
  • Enrollment (Grassroots campaigning to register voters)
  • Development (Successful fund raising)

Also note that all these aspects have an effect on one another, and without each other, there would be a breakdown in the process.  When all five of those elements operate as a system, there is an emergent property that results, which could be considered to be Charismatic leadership…which leads to the big question:

Is the leadership of your school “charismatic?”

If not, may I be so bold to say your school may lose…enrollment, that is.  Today’s parents are seeking an excellent “experience” in all things they pay for, and their children’s education is no exception.  As we’ve seen, charismatic leadership provides a compelling vision which can engage individuals, and change even ingrained mindsets.  A compelling vision is essential, since, as it’s stated in Proverbs 29:18 – “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2009-2024 (Original Publication Date: 20090105)