Michael Christopher, IAP-L

ISM Consultant
Focus: Advancement and Governance & Finance
Michael Christopher
Michael Christopher

Work with Michael to strengthen your school’s strategies in:

  • Board Operations
  • Development and Fundraising
  • Enrollment Management
  • Leadership
  • Marketing Communications
  • Strategic Planning and Strategic Financial Planning

In his role at ISM, Michael:

  • assists Development Offices with assessments, annual funds, capital campaigns, and endowment efforts;
  • supports enrollment management teams to maximize their enrollment strategies;
  • works with schools on creating meaningful identity and vision statements that inform planning, enrollment management, and development;
  • writes articles for ISM’s flagship advisory letter, Ideas & Perspectives;
  • leads workshops and webinars for ISM in his areas of expertise; and
  • is co-organizer and a founder of the Advancement Academy, an annual premier professional development conference from ISM that educates and mentors School Heads, Board members, and development, enrollment management, and marketing communications professionals.

Learn more about Michael—

Michael joined ISM as an Adjunct Consultant in 2002 and became a full-time Consultant in 2020, after serving for 30 years in independent school advancement and 15 years in advancement at the college level. Michael specializes in strategic planning, Board operations, development, and enrollment management.

Before joining ISM full-time, Michael was the Assistant Headmaster for Development at Lausanne Collegiate School in Tennessee. He has also served as the Director of Development at Greensboro Day School in North Carolina, and Director of Development at Holland Hall School in Oklahoma. In these schools, Michael rebuilt development programs, oversaw the creation of alumni programs, established planned giving offerings, instituted major gift efforts, executed several capital campaigns, and coordinated image and identity campaigns for each school.

Before joining the independent school world, Michael spent 15 years as the Associate Dean and Director of Admissions at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music in Missouri, building the school’s marketing and enrollment management processes from the ground up.

Michael has a master’s degree in music from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in music from Cornell College in Iowa. He attained ISM’s International Advancement Program— Leader certification in 2012. He has also presented at CASE-NAIS, APC, ISAS, NAIS, TAIS, NCAIS, and NAES.

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Michael’s expertise and prior research about our school made the difference and was helpful to focus the conversations. The clarity of the written proposal and our communication with ISM staff and Michael before the consultation was excellent."

Julie McLeod, Head of School
Good Shepherd Episcopal School, TX

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