Welcome to the Nirvana School

Nirvana is my own personal imaginary independent school. At Nirvana,  the advancement program thinks as a team. They do what it takes to support one another and create a high standard and strong work ethic.

The Final Three Things All Great Schools Do In Advancement

October 20th, 2021 by Barbara Barron Before you read any further, I recommend you first take a look at the two articles that preceded this piece: “The Four Things All Great Schools Do in Advancement” and “Three More Things All Great Schools Do in Advancement.” All three of these articles have come out of my experience and first-hand witness over …

Three More Things All Great Schools Do In Advancement

October 6th, 2021 by Barbara Barron Based on the popularity of my previous article, “The Four Things All Great Schools Do in Advancement“, and the wonderful suggestions that came to me via e-mail and Twitter, I decided to revisit the topic with three more observations. Like before, these are all things that I have witnessed firsthand in my twenty-plus years …

How to Start a Major Gifts Program at Your Independent School

April 7th, 2021 by Barbara Barron Let’s begin with a definition of terms. What is a “major gifts program?” A major gift program is an ongoing part of a mature and robust advancement program. It is different from the Annual Fund or a capital campaign in that it does not necessarily have a specific timeline, launch, or end date. It …

How Do We Become Schools That Truly Value Teachers?

by Barbara Barron | Posted March 13th, 2019 With huge gratitude to the brilliant mind of Gordon MacKenzie and re-reading his astonishingly smart and creative book “Orbiting the Giant Hairball”, I’ve been moved to write about our typical organizational charts and how we might think about them in a very different, and perhaps better, way. Most schools operate within a …

How Can We Get Better at Asking Parents for Gifts?

by Barbara Barron | Posted September 12th, 2018 Let me start this by asking you a question: how many big asks have you made today? “Well, Barbara, I asked my favorite barista Chloe for a little less foam on my latte, and then I asked Jason to re-send that e-mail he sent yesterday because it didn’t show up…” I’m being …

How Do We Create a “Culture of Philanthropy” At Our Schools?

by Barbara Barron | Posted June 13th, 2018 Quick note from Barbara: So excited to share this work, which is a collection of advice from many trusted friends and collaborators. For those of you who came here by word of mouth, the fastest way to get the “Culture of Philanthropy” PDFs are by signing up for my mailing list. By …