As more parents come from the Millennial or Generation Y age groups, donors are (typically!) leery of giving to a nebulous “cause.” They prefer to know exactly how their donations are being used by the institution. Thus, convincing people to donate to your school’s annual fund can be tricky, as the annual fund is often a “catch all” fund raiser that finances many different programs at the school.
Here, then, are some common questions asked by families about the annual fund, and how you can best answer them to encourage large donations.
End-of-year graduations wouldn't be complete without the obligatory "photo ops" and self portraits ("selfies"). Besides, your school’s photographer can’t be everywhere at once, and so student- and family-provided pictures can capture some amazing moments for promotional use.
Why not capitalize on the celebratory picture-snapping and start a “hashtag party” so that others can share in their happiness? Ask families to upload photographs to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest—all their preferred social media sites—from graduation and other senior-specific events using the school-approved hashtag so that everyone can see what they’re up to.
As this year’s recruitment cycle winds down and you begin to make final decisions on applicants for next year’s class, it’s time to consider what your Admission Office did well this cycle and how it can improve for the next. One of the areas of concern for schools—turning to listservs and forums for insight—is re-enrollment.
One way private-independent schools bypass this headache is to implement “perpetual” or “continuous” enrollment. In such an arrangement, the student is automatically re-enrolled for the next semester if the student has maintained sufficient standing to warrant the invitation to return (e.g., satisfactory behavior and academic performance) and the student’s account is paid in full.
Is this a universal solution for every private school? Considering that every school is unique, maybe not—but it’s certainly worth examining further.
We love to talk about the things we love. It could be family and friends, the latest and greatest TV show or book, or a beloved vacation spot. Most of us tend to leave out the negative things, preferring to dwell on the positive. In general, that’s a great way to live and work. But, as an Admission Director, you know that ignoring the less-than-fantastic elements of your program will (eventually) lead to people departing from the school in droves, no matter how excellent the positive aspects are.
So, be proactive! Before your school sees a massive exodus, find out why your withdrawing families are going elsewhere. This doesn’t have to be an awkward, unplanned conversation—a simple survey process can provide the answers you need and solid information you can act on.