Onboarding Your Advancement Team
The beginning of the school year is all about welcomes: We welcome students back to campus, faculty colleagues from summer vacation, and new teammates joining our advancement offices.
We are fresh off week-long in-services and meetings where our faculty and staff learn about the traditions of our school, the skills needed to care for students, exciting new opportunities with our pedagogy, and of course, really important matters such as who to call when you’re locked out of your office.
But we make no time to discuss donor strategies, building robust major gift pipelines, or ways to steward endowment donors, and all the other issues faced in development. It would be nearly impossible to find an entire week to take a deep dive into these issues with our development staff, and it may be too late once we are off and running into the new year.
As advancement leaders, we know both the excitement of adding new people to our team and the challenge of training for best practices and bringing them up to speed on the work we do throughout the year. When done well, this critical onboarding happens both intentionally and organically. But often, the problem is where to start. CASE has a solution.
CASE School Advancement Institute
I am excited to help launch the CASE School Advancement Institute (SAI), formerly the Summer Institute in Independent Schools. SAI is the premiere professional development program for those new to independent school advancement.
An exceptional learning opportunity, SAI provides attendees with a half-year training experience, virtual and in-person learning opportunities, and a cohort model focused on network building, professional growth, and problem-solving. Plus, the two-day, in-person intensive is coupled with the annual CASE-NAIS conference, providing enhanced learning for attendees.
Four key learnings
I am proud to join my fellow CASE faculty members in a program that will:
- Focus on best practices to strengthen your advancement shop
- Teach you how to develop comprehensive programs for alumni, annual giving, campaigns, and much more
- Fill your toolkit with fresh ideas that you can use on your campus
- Kickstart your school network and connect you with other advancement professionals globally
Get your school year off to the right start
If you have ever attended a CASE institute or sent a colleague, you know how vital this program is for someone new to advancement or transitioning to a new role. I continue to use SAI to help my new teammates grow. If you are unfamiliar with CASE SAI and want to know if it might be the right program for you, please reach out to Ann Snyder at [email protected] .
Here's to a fantastic start to the 2022-2023 school year and the work you do to advance education. Together, we have the incredible opportunity to build meaningful networks, strengthen our colleagues’ growth, fuel the ambition of our schools, and generate programs that make a difference in the lives of students. Our CASE SAI faculty looks forward to welcoming you and your new colleagues this year.
About the author(s)
Jim Bob Womack serves as the Assistant Head of School for Advancement at Saint Mary's Hall in San Antonio, TX, one of the oldest independent day schools in the southwest. In his role, he is responsible for leading the advancement operations of the school, including fundraising, communications, alumni and parent programs, and other essential community engagement functions for the school, including the strategic guidance of enrollment management and financial aid.
Previously he served as Director of Development and Director of Alumni Relations at St. Mark's School of Texas, his alma mater, where he began his career in education in 2006. During his time, he oversaw one of the most robust alumni relations programs in the nation, which earned a CASE Circle of Excellence Awards for Alumni Program and Volunteer Leadership Bronze Medal in 2010.
In 2006, Womack attended the CASE Summer Institute for Independent Schools and credits the conference with bending his learning curve. He continues to be an active member of CASE, speaking at national and regional conferences and connecting with other independent schools around the country to share best practices. In 2010, he served on the CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference Planning Committee, and he has been a member of CASE's Development Advisory Group since 2018. He has chaired the CASE Summer Institute for Independent Schools since 2018 and served as a faculty member at the Institute since 2014. He was awarded the CASE Crystal Apple for Superior Teaching in 2019.
Womack earned a bachelor's degree in advertising at Pepperdine University and worked in the communications industry as a graphic designer before beginning his career in education.