How to Kickstart Your Independent School Fundraising
Have you been struggling for new ideas on how to generate more funding for your independent school? Maybe the special events and donation appeals that worked in the past are not working as well anymore. Perhaps you are grappling with ways to appeal to a wider base of donors or to increase your average donation size.
You may be bogged down in the tactics and not looking at the bigger strategic picture.
Now may be a good time to rethink your strategy.
Taking a good look at your strategy will help clarify your goals and objectives. After all, your strategy is what guides your planning and helps you select the most effective tactics.
How to Reset Your Strategy
Establish a purpose and a vision for your fundraising. Philanthropic fundraising in schools should not be about meeting day-to-day operating expenses, but rather about achieving big picture items (e.g. improving programs, funding scholarships). Having a vision and purpose will make it easier to create fundraising goals that align with donor’s values and philanthropic priorities. It also allows you to inspire donors by appealing to their emotions.
Use and analyze data. By using a data-driven fundraising approach you will be able to better assess your donors, and measure outcomes and benchmarks. You will be better able to understand your school community and identify potential major donors from your prospect pool. Among the data you will want to analyze:
Who gives to your school?
How much do they give?
Do you have more or fewer donors year over year?
How much does the board give?
Who are your top donors?
Create a case for support. To effectively connect support to impact, you’ll want to make a compelling, emotionally-resonant case about what your independent school will accomplish with donations.
Overcome challenges. You may have to deal with diverse stakeholders with competing values and visions, including your board of directors, fundraising committees, alumni and others. Additionally, some of your stakeholders may lack expertise in fundraising.
Set up an annual fund or capital campaign. Now that you have clarified your values and fundraising goals, you will want to establish a clear pathway for giving.