Mind the Gap
CURRENTS Article If good communication is the key to a successful relationship, it might be time for chief fundraisers and their institutional CEOs to consider couples counseling.
Sweet Suite Tradition
CURRENTS Article This brief article highlights an annual winter holiday tradition of the Greenhill School: the kindergarten Nutcracker. The school integrates the Nutcracker into the kindergarten curriculum. Members of the Greenhill senior class who performed the Nutcracker, along with their parents, are invited to attend the dress rehearsal performance, which has become a sort of rite of passage for seniors and their parents.
CURRENTS Article In Asia, independent schools find newly wealthy parents receptive to educational fundraising.
CURRENTS Article This brief article looks at Rye Country Day School's yearly effort to solicit gifts from parents of graduating seniors, thereby expanding its endowment. Parents are encouraged to double their most recent gift to the annual fund. In recent years, parent participation has consistently exceeded 95 percent.
Setting an Example
CURRENTS Article When annual giving by faculty and staff at St. Catherine's School in Virginia reached 100 percent, parents noticed the commitment and increased their giving despite the uncertain economy.
CURRENTS Article Friends, parents, and alumni of Sidwell Friends School purchased "solar bonds" that financed the installation of solar panels on the roof of a gym. They receive a modest 3 percent return over 10 years, at which point they will donate the panels to the school.
Talking Points: Speaking to Values
CURRENTS Article Independent schools are wise to publicize new programs that might philanthropically engage their constituents.
Toast of the Town
CURRENTS Article The Catholic University of America nearly doubled its annual fund between the years of 2004 and 2008 by strategically revamping its appeals and by fully engaging a team of alumni volunteers who became "the face of philanthropy" for the Washington, D.C., institution. A sidebar tells how Harley School, a private independent day school in Rochester, N.Y., gave its annual giving program a makeover in less than five years.
CURRENTS Article Transient populations, cultural diversity, language barriers, competing loyalties, and geographic separation are just some of the challenges international schools face in communicating with their alumni. This article explores how international school alumni programs can develop a sense of community with far-flung alumni.
Office Space: Everyone On Board
CURRENTS Article Creating a process for new employees to feel connected to the school can be integral to their success.
Advance Work: Vision Quest
CURRENTS Article Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., put advice from young alumni into action, creating a very transparent, flexible Web site to support its fundraising campaign.
Recetas para Alcanzar el Éxito
CURRENTS Article Las redes sociales están cambiando la forma como interactúan las instituciones con los estudiantes, los profesores, los ex alumnos y los donadores. Debido a su tamaño, las escuelas independientes se encuentran, a menudo, a la vanguardia de la tecnología. Descubra cómo se comunican de forma más eficiente las escuelas a través de las redes sociales.
CURRENTS Article San Francisco's Drew School is guaranteeing new students that their tuition will stay the same for all four years of their high school career. The new policy is called "YES Tuition," which stands for Year of Entry Set Tuition, and this case study examines its beginnings and how the policy is affecting marketing and development at the independent school.
Recipes for Success
CURRENTS Article Social media is changing the way institutions interact with students, faculty, alumni, and donors. Because of their size, many times independent schools are on the bleeding edge of technology. Find out how schools are communicating more efficiently through social media.
Advance Work: Powering Up
CURRENTS Article The United World College of South East Asia starts a robust alumni relations program from scratch.
CURRENTS Article Independent schools continue a historical mandate to serve the greater good by connecting with their communities.
Advance Work: Spin Cycle
CURRENTS Article Each year the Taft School in Connecticut gives seniors a gift to remind them of the school and the importance of giving back to it. This year's gift was something all college freshmen need--a laundry bag.
Advance Work: By the Book
CURRENTS Article The William Penn Charter School took a new approach to publicizing its recent successful capital campaign.
Postcard from Singapore
CURRENTS Article Starting an advancement office at an independent school in Singapore has many challenges. Find out how this alumni relations department had to start from scratch.
Framing Your Mission
CURRENTS Article Although each independent school has qualities that are distinctive, the missions of many schools sometimes sound quite similar. So how do you make your institution stand out? By using marketing to establish your brand.
Talking Points: Treasure Hunt
CURRENTS Article Independent schools are struggling to keep tuition affordable and expand financial aid. This column discusses some alternative revenue streams that schools could tap into.
Advance Work: The Eagle Has Landed
CURRENTS Article An international independent school has come up with an easy and relevant way to keep its alumni engaged. It involves a stuffed eagle, some pictures, and a blog.
Advance Work: Fat-Free and Profitable
CURRENTS Article School fundraisers are usually more necessary than fun, but selling books instead of sweets might help sales and provide a better profit margin.
Advance Work: Something in Common
CURRENTS Article Smaller institutions sometimes need to think about economies of scale when planning alumni events. A group of European independent schools did just that and pulled off a successful joint reunion in New York.
As the World Turns
CURRENTS Article Development is a relatively recent activity in European independent schools, which have unique cultural and historical challenges regarding fundraising. This article describes what the challenges are and how several schools abroad are overcoming them. One important strategy is having a strong development team made up of the head of school, the board chair, and the development director. Each has a specific and critical role to play.
Advance Work: Hard Act to Follow
CURRENTS Article This article examines one independent school's successful faculty giving campaign.
Ties that Bind
CURRENTS Article The relationship between independent school officials and parents is complex and ever-changing. Although both sides are working toward a common goal--giving students the foundation they need to lead happy and successful lives--they often don’t, or can’t, understand the other’s point of view. This article examines the school-parent relationship, as perceived by both sides, and recommends strategies school officials can implement to transform parents into partners rather than adversaries.
AdvanceWork: Underdogs No More
CURRENTS Article Keeping alumni of private primary and secondary schools connected to their alma maters can be difficult in the face of competing loyalties to their high schools, colleges, and universities. Annmarie M. Wilmeth, former director of development at Browne Academy, and Maggie Szymanek, director of development and publications at Burgundy Farm Country Day School, spoke about this issue at the 2004 CASE/NAIS independent schools conference, where they offered several tips for increasing alumni loyalty.
A Balancing Act
CURRENTS Article Numerous studies have shown that independent school students tend to enjoy more personal and professional success than their public school peers. But an independent school education comes at an extraordinarily high price. These schools aren’t accessible to many lower- and middle-class families, and they can “cherry pick,” to some extent, whom they educate--two facts that perpetuate the idea that independent schools are nothing more than “elitist institutions that exist to perpetuate a well-connected ruling class.” Whether the myriad benefits students who attend independent schools reap from their experiences nullify the social implications of the increasingly limited access to such benefits by the general public is a broad question that might have no definitive answer. Part of the issue focus on valuing education.
Write-Minded: The Learning Curve
CURRENTS Article The editor of the alumni magazine at Northfield Mount Hermon School describes what she learned in her first months and years on the job. She offers some tips for generating fresh story ideas, such as keeping files of newsworthy alumni, looking for human-interest stories, borrowing elements of fiction, using a variety of genres, and searching creatively for writers.
How do school heads and chief development officers view each other's roles?
Connect with peers on a CASE listserv for independent school professionals: