You can find so many interesting, as well as remarkable, items on the Internet. Truthfully, you can find just about anything. Several years ago, I stopped at a used instrument store and found a guitar I thought was a little overpriced, especially for the condition it was in. I went next door to one of the local coffee/bakery/salad and sandwich chains for some lunch and surfed a couple of Web sites on my mobile device which confirmed my thoughts…but the price wasn’t off by much.
In other Web searches, I once found a Web site that sold an eBook for $17 which offered help for schools to increase their enrollment. What does it suggest? Find remarkable things about your school, then spread that news through social networking. If you’ve been a visitor to this site, you’ve already received similar information at no cost! Also, if you visit or subscribe to SchoolAdvancement, you’ll also realize there’s something not quite correct about that premise. Marketing doesn’t increase enrollment; successful marketing increases inquires to your school. How you handle, cultivate, and shepherd those parents and guardians that have inquired is how you increase your school’s enrollment.
The eBook that’s offered, however, is a remarkable way for someone to make $17 when schools are desperately seeking any solution to help with their enrollment difficulties. Enrollment and marketing texts aside, there are many programs on the Internet today that claim to help anyone with a computer and an Internet connection begin their own business. I’m sure some of you may have been captivated by some of them, and, perhaps, some of you may have indeed created a successful home-based business. The point is that computer-based businesses are touted today as that “part-time” or “second” job which so many people need today in order to “make ends meet.” And in our pandemic, since working from home is now a new normal, I’m sure there are some people who are making the decision to simply work for themselves from home!
For many faith-based schools today, this type of need is also necessary. Faith-based and private schools need to “seek outside sources of funds” so they can continue to fulfill their mission, rather than continue to lay the entire financial burden of the school’s operations on the shoulders of its parents and guardians through tuition. Most of the time, those “outside sources” are considered to be a school’s alumni, businesses in the community, community members and other donors who support the mission of the school and the “remarkable” things it does successfully.
But let’s explore a little deeper. While some “remarkable” things about your school might include a “buddy system” of your school’s students (5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders are “buddied up” with children in the lower grades, spending some time reading to them, eating lunch together or attending Mass together to help build community in your school), a mentoring program for new parents to experience, or a sign language program so students are proficient when they “graduate” from your school, there are also some remarkable attributes your school can adopt which also raise funds at the same time. The most common one is before-school and after-school care and instructional programs for your school’s students. But consider these:
- Online courses targeting adults about the Catholic faith for Catholic schools, or other faith traditions for other faith-based schools.
- Summer course work, with potential online components. A local public school allows its upperclass students to participate in summer gym for a fee so that they are able to take courses they are interested in during the semesters school is in session (perhaps allowing them to earn college credits, too).
- Online tutoring offered during the week, or offering weekend tutoring on site.
These activities don’t have to be limited to the parents, guardians and students currently enrolled in your school, allowing you to raise outside sources for funds while perhaps serving an unmet need in your community, and getting the community involved in your school. Once your school becomes not only a school for children, but rather a community educational resource, that’s when you may really start to build relationships…and become even more remarkable.
© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2011-2021 (Original Publication Date: 20110110)