Imagine this scenario: your school’s online donation page is hopelessly outdated and requires upgrading, both for aesthetic and security reasons. The price for an experienced web designer in your area is more than your school expected to pay for the work. However, hope appears in the form of a PTA parent who says he'd be willing to tackle the project for free.
You’d jump for joy at the serendipitous solution to your problem, right? Not so fast. Before the project is done, you might end up paying more for your “free” work than if you’d hired a professional in the first place.
We’re approaching the peak of holiday season, which often means a flood of last-minute donations as donors scramble to make their tax-deductible gifts before the new year. The season of giving thanks for friends and family often extends to generous donations, but not all increased generosity counts as a “major gift.” As you establish your protocols for the coming deluge of donations, we have some guidelines for you to consider when defining what a major gift means to your school.
Electronic communications make reaching potential students and their families as simple as pressing the “send” button. To do that, however, you need email addresses, which can be time consuming to collect when you have to advertise your upcoming enrollment events next week. The temptation to purchase the emails of likely local prospects is like a siren call, luring you to trade your budget dollars for easy access to information—but they’re not worth your time or money. Why? Well, we’ve got a few reasons for you.
If you’re a follower of social media trends, you know that the more “authentic” a post sounds, the greater a response it will generate from your audience. “Natural” voices help foster relationships and prevent readers from feeling like you're selling something instead of engaging them in conversation. One of the best ways to unleash your school’s “authentic” and “natural” voice is to encourage your faculty and staff to post about your school on their personal social media profiles.
Volunteers are vital to your school, but especially to the Development Office. These people represent those who believe so much in your school’s mission and what it’s accomplishing in your community that they’ll freely offer their time, talents, and dedication to further your school’s goals.
While you need volunteers to help your school function, your volunteers also need certain things from you to ensure their success and to keep them coming back to help in the future.
Storytelling lies at the heart of every successful annual fund or capital campaign. Everyone wants to hear how the school changed the lives of its students and their families, coupled with an inspirational call-to-action to help the school continue to bring its mission to more people. Getting those stories, though, can sometimes feel like panning for gold—Lots of work for a single nugget you can use—but it doesn’t have to be that way.
This month, we’ve got three questions to ask your school’s key stakeholders to find those shining stories.
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