My name is Barbara Barron, and I write this blog to share advice on a profession that I adore.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing a struggling school start to thrive. My hope is that you’re here to make a positive change as well. I hope my advice can be a part of that change.
Shoot me an e-mail if you want to swap tips, or share your voice here.
What Does an Advancement Consultant Do?
When an Independent School hires me as a consultant, the service I provide to them is always specific to that school. However, over the years, I've found that the scope of the work I do usually fits into one or two of these key areas...
How Can We Get Better at Asking Parents for Gifts?
Funny enough, one of the most common questions I get asked is how to ask parents for donations. The easy answer: don't make it hard for yourself.
How Do We Create a Culture of Philanthropy at Our Schools?
Are we doing everything we can to create a "culture of philanthropy" at our school? It's time to drop the buzzwords and get down to specifics.
How Do We Become Schools That Truly Value Teachers?
No other group of staff at our school has more impact on whether our school delivers on its mission. It's time we rethink how we visualize our organization.
Engaging with Donors
How Do We Write a Welcome Letter to the New Parents at Our School?
We all know we only get one chance to make a first impression. So why, then, is our welcome letter to new parents so bad?
How Do We Write a Really Good Annual Fund Letter?
If you use a template to write your annual fund letter, people will notice and respond less. Like everything else we do, the answer lies in specificity.
What Are Some Low-Cost High-Impact Gifts We Can Give Our Donors?
It's incredible how much goodwill you can foster by giving your donors thoughtful gifts at irregular intervals.
How Do We Prepare for the Biggest Ask of Our Career?
It amazes me how many times we crash and burn as solicitors, yet continue to just... wing it. Surely there's a way to prepare? Of course there is.
What Should We Do When We Make a Donor Angry?
Believe it or not: there is something you can do that takes six minutes and will prevent this permanent stain on your relationship from ever appearing.
How Can We Make Our School’s Annual Auction More Successful?
Once a celebrated community event, the annual school auction has mutated into an unrecognizable monster. The question is: is it a monster we need?
How Can We Get Rid of Our School's Phonathon and Raise More Money?
The era of the phonathon - volunteers cold-calling parents during dinner time to ask for money - is long past. So why do so many schools still hold these outdated events?
How Can We Make Sure Our School’s Annual Report Isn’t a Scam?
It's incredible what we take for granted when making annual reports for our independent schools. It's time to separate tradition from bad practice.
How Do We Create Strong Word of Mouth Buzz With Our Donors?
It's all about creating buzz-worthy experiences. But first we must make room in our busy schedules to give ourselves the freedom to create.
How Can We Show Our Team We Appreciate Them Every Day?
Show your amazing team that you are grateful for them every day. It isn't always easy, but it doesn't have to be hard, either.
How Can We Cultivate a Strong Relationship with Our Head of School?
What can we do, as Development Professionals, to affect the underlying dynamics of the single most important relationship we have? Stewardship.
How Can We Train Volunteers to Be Superstars for Our Campaigns?
Our goal is simple: give our volunteers everything they need to drum up support for our school. But what do they need, exactly, to be successful?
How Do We Get a 100% Return on Our Annual Fund Letters?
It might sound impossible, but I've seen it firsthand. The secret to making it happen is by doing something called "leading with gratitude."
How Can We Create a Strategic Fundraising Plan That Actually Works?
You're right to swing for the fences. But you also need to take your ambitious goals and tether them to reality. Start by following these four action items.
How Can We Know When We’re Done?
This may come as a bit of a shock, but I'm not looking to be your school's fundraising consultant forever. And - honestly - you shouldn't want that.