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A Guide to Successful Fundraising in Schools

A Guide to Successful Fundraising in Schools

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A Guide to Successful Fundraising in Schools

valutazioni:
2/5 (1 valutazione)
Lunghezza:
210 pagine
2 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 15, 2015
ISBN:
9781783015740
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

This book provides easy to follow and helpful advice on how to run a fundraising program within your school. It is structured around CIRCLE’s fifty top fundraising tips, which have been accumulated during CIRCLE’s extensive consultancy work across Australia in the last thirty years. This book is broken into parts and conceptualises fundraising as a giving tree continuum, nurturing the donor using the key techniques of friendraising, coupled with donor research and careful stewardship, to enable a smooth transition from small donor to large.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 15, 2015
ISBN:
9781783015740
Formato:
Libro

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A Guide to Successful Fundraising in Schools - Dr Philip SA Cummins

PRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

Fundraising is essential to the survival of independent schools, whether they serve well-off communities or hard up. The conundrum of funds and how to raise them is also becoming applicable to government schools, where government funding falls short of many projected needs and aspirations.

We have written this book with a view to giving those who are responsible for fundraising in schools ideas, hints and tips of how to successfully achieve this process. As CIRCLE visits schools around the country and internationally we have encountered a range of innovative tips and techniques which have been employed in the development environment and which are helping the cause of educational philanthropy. This book is divided into eight sections based on those we consider to be the best.

Though most of the application of the hints and tips contained herein will fall within the remit of the Development Office, there should be ample opportunity for the Principal to contribute to some of these suggestions and, in many circumstances, for Board Members and/or Foundation Directors to do likewise.

The development process within a school is one of gently but creatively nudging potential candidates along the friendraising to fundraising continuum. If done well, and with sensitivity, it will make asking for the gift an easier and considerably smoother process. In today’s fundraising climate, donors increasingly value a sense of proactive involvement in the projects they support. Schools need to respond to this, and be conscious of the need for providing feedback and transparency throughout the fundraising process.

Users of this book need to keep abreast of the tax advantages that will benefit them in their fundraising endeavours and seek independent advice from a qualified person where necessary, as these are subject to change.

Part One:

THE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE AND WHERE TO START

In this part of the book, we examine the role of the Development Office, and its function in assisting the school in fundraising. We also examine the basic elements of fundraising and provide points of reference of where to start – particularly in the case of new and smaller schools.

PART ONE CONTENTS

1. THE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION

2. THE ROLE OF THE BOARD AND THE PRINCIPAL IN FUNDRAISING

3. FUNDRAISING – THE BASICS: INITIAL CONSIDERATIONS WHEN LAUNCHING A SMALL SCALE PROGRAM

4. WORKING OUT A STRATEGY FOR LONG TERM FUNDRAISING

5. PREPARING FOR A MAJOR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN

6. DEVELOPMENT IS MARKETING

7. DEVELOPING A FUNDRAISING CASE STATEMENT

8. A SCAFFOLD FOR CREATING A FULLY FLEDGED FUNDRAISING PROGRAM

9. THE ADVANTAGES OF TAKING ON A FUNDRAISING CONSULTANT

10. ISSUES FOR NEW SCHOOLS LAUNCHING A FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN

1. THE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION

THE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE – ITS STRUCTURE, ROLE AND FUNCTION WITHIN THE SCHOOL

The first step in any consideration of building an effective Development Office is to get the structure right within the school. We have seen schools where Development Officers who may have been appointed for some time have not received adequate or proper support, either from the Governing Body or from the Principal. What’s more, there does not appear to be a clear understanding of the need for this support or what such support may entail: some Principals will be willing to create a position, an office and a title, but then unwittingly hand the Development Officer an ineffectual budget, a tight rein and not enough time. As a result, the Development Officer has not been able to operate effectively, and little in the way of extra financial support has followed.

The Director of Development needs to be associated with a position of leadership. In schools which fundraise well, the Director of Development is generally in a position of authority, reporting directly to the Principal, perhaps a regular attendee at Board meetings and is given due seniority and respect across the school community. Schools which fail to support their Director of Development, usually by not providing access to the Principal and the Board, often underperform in donor engagement and eventual fundraising. Without this seniority and access, the Director of Development is unlikely to be regarded highly enough within the school community. Bear in mind that major donors will want to deal with someone who has demonstrable and appropriate status.

The third vital leader internally is the Business Manager, who must have a positive outlook in relation to aiding the fundraising function. Successful fundraising schools ensure that their Business Department is fully aware of the fundraising programs underway, is supportive of them and most importantly, does not pursue policies which run counter to the donor cultivation program. For example, donations need to be brought to the attention of the Development Department immediately – to enable thanks, and general communication with parents – needs to be against the background of who is being specifically cultivated.

It is of little or no use appointing a Development Officer to a school unless the Governing Body and the Principal are committed to the idea and are prepared to implement a suitable structure of support, including:

The Governing Body needs to form a Development Sub-Committee whose task is to provide external support for the Development Officer’s work and to keep development tasks in front of the Governing Body. This committee should extend beyond the Governing Body to include at least some major donors. Some schools do this by setting up a foundation whose Directors are entirely major donors and the support comes from them. Some of these have enjoyed a degree of short term success, but in the longer term a blend of major donors and Governing Body people may be more successful as a support group.

A proper structure needs to be set up in order to receive any funds raised. Usually this will be a company structure. This has the advantage of separation from the school so that income to the fund will not be income to the school. The company will have responsibility for receiving, investing and disbursing funds and in some instances raising them. Some schools have only major donors as Directors of the company, but many longer term advantages can accrue from having the Governing Body and some of its members as Directors.

The company must exist for the benefit of the school so that its own earnings will be transparent as far as the tax situation is concerned. The school’s building fund will probably become part of the company structure.

The school needs to decide on the budget for the Development Officer and secretarial support, computer and research back-up, publications and functions.

Before any steps towards an appointment are made, it is essential that the Principal and the Governing Body work out clearly the job specification for the Development Officer. Medium and long range fundraising targets should also be set for the school, as the achievement of these will be part of the Development Officer’s task. The position is a key one in securing the school’s future and so every care must be taken to appoint the right person.

INTERNAL STRUCTURE, SIZE AND STAFFING OF THE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE

Most Development Officers work by themselves with secretarial assistance. They do the best they can with the limited resources their schools feel able to offer. Schools, always pressed for funds, often feel unable to justify more staff, yet without more staff they won’t receive the money they need.

One can only negotiate from a strong position. Let us say that you have a major gift program and an annual giving program in place. You have good lists, good communication with your community through newsletters, close contact with alumni, successful reunions etc. Everything is running smoothly and effectively but you cannot do any more.

The school needs a bequest program and the Governing Body thinks a capital campaign would be a good idea. A capital campaign is energy and time consuming (see Part Six), even though it runs for a limited period of time and can be a lot of fun. If you are a ‘one man band’ it does have the potential to disrupt the effective running of many other areas. Give the Governing Body their choice; one capital campaign or current programs. If they want both, then you may need to insist on additional assistance - either consultancy, professional, secretarial or all three.

A bequest program is always vital (see Part Seven). Bequests offer enormous potential which will not be realised without the investment of time and money. Time delayed in starting is truly money lost. A lot of visiting, talking and care is involved. A suitable person, employed even one day a week, will be a valuable asset. With the best will in the world, a volunteer visiting on a regular basis rarely happens. Be prepared to argue for this one gently and often. If you win even half a day a week and can show evidence of success, your case will be won. Look critically at your own work. Where are you most effective? If it is you who would handle bequests, consider handing over an area of your work to someone else. If you hate writing, pass the newsletter on. If marketing is your responsibility, consider whether the Registrar or Business Manager might not be better placed to deal with it. Remember that for many of us jobs were acquired not because we knew how to do them but because they happened along about the same time as we did, and we were all lumped together in the unknown quantity basket.

Be enthusiastic, be persuasive with your Principal and Governing Body, and remember - if the answer to your request is no, you need to rephrase the question.

DEVELOPMENT OFFICE FUNCTIONS

The Development Office is normally required to fulfil two key functions for the benefit of the school: fundraising and marketing. The former involves a judicious mix of fact finding, friendraising and fundraising, whereas the latter involves developing and implementing a marketing plan in order to attract students. The actual registration task can, but normally does not, fall to the Development Office. However, this is often a function of size. Many Development Officers, especially in smaller schools, will carry the added responsibility of marketing the school. This will involve the development of a marketing plan based on sound demographics and research that has sought people’s attitudes. It will also involve the formulation and implementation of a marketing strategy including the public relations aspect of marketing, such as advertising, media and publications, enhancement of positive word of mouth promotion of the school, and the like. In some of these areas the Development Officer will usually benefit from expert professional assistance.

Other functions

Not always included in the job specification for a Development Officer are a number of tasks which are vital for the achievement of the objectives set out above. They include:

The need to keep academic staff informed of the friend and fundraising activities, and engaged in them where appropriate (see Part Eight, Chapter Three).

Seeking and maintaining of long term commercial relationships with entities such as the school’s bankers, significant suppliers and the larger neighbouring commercial concerns.

Tutoring others in the school community in the techniques of asking for gifts, remembering that the Development Officer cannot be expected to make all the approaches (see Part Six, Chapter One).

Continual reinforcement of the message that ‘fees do not build buildings’ and the facilities that today’s students enjoy are there by virtue of the generosity of previous generations.

Support for the Principal in the continuing public relations role s/he must play.

DEVELOPMENT OFFICE QUARTERS AND FACILITIES

To operate effectively the Development Officer must work out of presentable quarters, remembering the positive profile which needs to be projected to potential donors. This will generally mean that s/he will be adjacent to the front door of the school, as would be the Principal. Proximity to the Principal should also be considered as an important factor if the Development Officer is to be effective in his/her public relations role.

Secretarial support is vital if the development function is to achieve its goals. It may well be that it is most critical in the early stages as the highly labour intensive task of establishing a reliable database gets underway.

DEVELOPING A FUNDRAISING STRATEGY

A good rule of thumb is that an effective Development Office – if involved in fundraising on a full time basis – should be generating revenue five times direct costs five years from a standing start. This obviously excludes receipts from bequests which cannot be budgeted for with any certainty. The key variables which will impact on this include the age and socioeconomic status of the school, the extent to which fundraising is pursued to the exclusion of other activities such as marketing, and the support given to the function by the Principal and the Chairman of Council/Board.

In general terms, however, it needs to be recognised that Development is a long term process and success is most likely to result from the careful nurturing of relationships which cannot be achieved overnight. If it is the financial independence of the school which is at stake, then time spent on getting the process right will be a sound investment in the long run.

Key Considerations

Consider discussing and jointly agreeing which functions in the school fall within the remit the Development Office.

Before appointing the Development Officer, consider having the Principal and Governing Body define your school’s fundraising strategy.

Consider allocating adequate support to get the job done, and recognising the long term nature of the development and fundraising process.

2. THE ROLE OF THE BOARD AND THE PRINCIPAL IN FUNDRAISING

THE PRINCIPAL’S TIME

As schools’

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  • (2/5)
    Lots of generalities--probably a good book for a beginning fundraiser.