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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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Access the Most Recent Article
More articles will be added soon, and the publication schedule will change.

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

April: The Importance of Offering Parents Customized Payment Plans

Remember when “swiping” was a bad thing?  20 years ago, if someone swiped a card, that meant someone didn’t pay […]

Do Not Contact: What the CAN-SPAM Act Means

When this regulation first came out back in 2009, those that began to use email as a form of mass […]

If I Had a Million Dollars (If I Had a Million Dollars)

Remember that song from the group who called themselves the Barenaked Ladies? Every time I hear someone mention “a million […]

April: Where’s the Door?

In the days before COVID-19, I visited hundreds of schools every year.  Some schools were built during the 1930’s, and […]

If You Don’t Talk About Yourself…

…other people will!! For the first part of my life, I had a very difficult time talking about myself. When […]

Three Kinds of Thinking Essential to 21st Century Learning

When you engage in metacognition, or, think about thinking, there are many systems that can be encountered.  Of course, cognition […]

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