Remember when we thought it would be a weekend, then a week, then a month, then surely by next year… We have learned to live with uncertainty and embrace flexibility. Our new normal is anything but business as usual but it is also something to celebrate. Our Catholic schools have been brilliant at pivoting, responding, adapting and ensuring that our students and their families remain connected and thriving.
Now is NOT the time to hide your light under a bushel! Talk about your innovative plans, your faculty creativity, your students’ enthusiasm, and the esprit de corps that exists whether you are onsite, hybrid or distance learning. Each option offers unique benefits and now is the time to demonstrate your expertise and illustrate the pros of each.
It’s also NOT a time to stop inviting philanthropic support. The final quarter of the tax year is fast approaching making the fall a key time to acquire, renew and upgrade donors. Make sure your Q4 plan is in place with specific strategies for each audience. Within your constituency segmentation, you want to think about donor status (current, lapsed, never giver), ask suggestion, signator, outside envelope, etc. as you tailor your appeal.
All the usual rules apply…
- Express sincere and enthusiastic appreciation for previous gifts
- Demonstrate the impact of those gifts – how they were used, outcomes
- Include a compelling call to action in the P.S.
- Make it easy to give – include all online giving info on all elements of your direct mail package
In this age of COVID-19 you’ll want to focus on funding priorities that relate to maximizing the student experience. Facility, technology, professional development, extra staffing, maintenance – all are areas likely experiencing new and unbudgeted costs. Articulating three to five specific funding priorities (numbers, cost, features, benefits) engages the donors while revealing your we’ve-thought-of-everything approach. Incorporate testimonials from students and parents.
Your thank you response will be pivotal this year. Don’t just limit to a standard letter. Call (faculty, staff, students, board), send a video of the socially distanced students saying thank you, create a donor report card with A+ for generosity, etc. Invite them to pray for your students and assure them that they remain in your prayers.
Recruiting Never Ends
The Catholic School Management webinars scheduled for this fall address marketing and enrollment. Please join us on…
Marketing Your School’s COVID Superiority
“Catholic schools did it better” we hear. Indeed! So make sure you demonstrate the unparalleled experience you provided – and continue to offer – to students and families despite the implications of our global pandemic. While in the midst of delivering so much and so well, we also need to proclaim these accomplishments in order to ensure enrollment in the coming years.
What Are the Numbers Telling You?
The use of demographic studies is a best practice for Catholic schools. It offers a rich perspective for developing student recruitment and marketing approaches and is essential for strategic planning. We talk about making data-driven decisions – this is key data that you need. Find out what to seek and how to use it.
Catholic School Management is seeking a Head of School for Regina Catholic Education Center in Iowa City, IA. Regina is a PK – 12“Catholic Jewel” at the heart of this university town.