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. It’s a long-term growth strategy. You have to build the frameworks and refine the systems. Eventually, they’ll all begin to work together as a well-oiled machine. You’ll see that in action in a future Advancementality article.
This time, let’s tackle Asset Management first. Lots of folks have received their federal income tax refunds, and that’s probably how many of your school’s parents pay off the tuition that’s due if any hardships have arisen throughout the year. Unfortunately, with the new tax laws, parents are finding that their refunds are lower that expected, and schools are finding that parents are no longer able to meet their financial obligations with this outmoded, and now, obsolete, manner of payment.
Therefore, if they’ve been consistent monthly payers, and they just want to pay off their obligation completely, consider having them save that refund, and continue making regular monthly payments to complete their obligations for this year. Then, they can do three things with their refund: 1) Pay their tuition in full (or at least a good portion of it) for next year, which will result in a lower monthly tuition payment for the coming school year; 2) Make a sizable down payment to make a more budget-friendly monthly payment, or 3) Save those funds to be used as their tuition “savings,” allowing them to earn a little bit of interest and utilize those funds to make their normal monthly payments. And this year, this action may be more important than EVER for your school to consider instituting because of our new “Covidian” experience.
This does three things (there are always at least three):
- It helps parents develop a sense of saving (since we need to educate parents, too);
- It could creates a larger influx of income at the beginning of your school year (which you can use to get you through the difficult months of December and January); and
- It provides some hope to parents to keep them and their children as part of your school community. Realizing that, it helps with your student retention.
Realizing the power of this strategy, I’ve created an eBook titled, “SHIFT.” You can find out more about it by visiting this link. Some may look at the thought behind it and remark, “This makes a lot of sense, but we’ll never be able to do it.” May I be so bold as to say if that’s the attitude one possesses as a leader of a school today, your school may be in for some severely difficult times in the years ahead. Recall the words of Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” That’s another reason why the Advancement framework of SchoolAdvancement initially used the DREAM acronym, which has now been rearranged to spell ARMED, since your school needs to be prepared for the battles it will face…and finances are certainly a battle – especially in our current reality. Recall that all throughout Scripture, visions were presented in dreams, and, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).
© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2006-2021