The Power of the Feasibility Study

Feasibility studies, if you haven’t experienced one, are designed to help the organization’s decision-makers better understand the strengths, weaknesses, and viability of their project. It is a test of the project’s appeal and whether it’s a good gamble to mount a campaign to fund it.

How Can We Help Boards Overcome Campaign Jitters?

It’s really understandable that non-profit Boards – in particular those at independent schools – may be downright scared of entering into a capital campaign. It’s a pretty high-stakes game, one that gets increasingly public as it rolls out. Any cracks in the system are going to be exposed. Staff issues, poor record keeping, fiefdoms between departments, competing priorities. All will …

What is the Real Cost of Turnover in Our School’s Development Office?

Ever find yourself hearing three or four interconnected thoughts in the same few minutes? Or days? For me, that’s when I know something is afoot. It signals that I need to slow down, think deeply, and then write about that confluence. Here it is. Thing one is that I have recently learned of two very seasoned and successful directors of …

The Four Things All Great Schools Do In Advancement

September 8th, 2021 by Barbara Barron In my years as an advancement consultant, I’ve noticed there are some commonalities amongst the schools that are doing advancement really, really well. Here are a few. How does your school stack up? 1. The faculty – yes the faculty – have a clear understanding of the important roles they play in advancing the …

Moving Beyond Conflict to Collaboration Between the Development & Business Offices

August 11th, 2021 by Barbara Barron Conflict between development and business offices doesn’t have to be a thing, but my experience in this profession has shown me that it often is. Many school’s business and development offices live in an awkward space between conflict and cooperation. Sometimes the relationship is chilly but workable, other times unproductive, even adversarial. From the …

How to Make Yourself Invaluable to a New Head of School

May 19th, 2021 by Barbara Barron It’s the season! “Turn over time.” From Heads of School to teachers and administrative positions, it’s the time of year when we see the postings, the openings, the announcements. People come, people go. It’s a moment in the year that can be as exciting as it is frightening, depending on where you fit in …

What Do We Want New Parents at Our School to Feel?

March 24th, 2021 by Barbara Barron First impressions matter. I’ve spoken at length about this because I believe it so fervently. I know I’m not the only one who believes that the first impression sets the tone for the rest of a relationship, moving forward. How do I know? Because one of my most popular articles is about how we …

Let’s Hear it for the One-Woman Development Office

March 10th, 2021 by Barbara Barron Please note that this article is intended for the eyes and ears of the Heads of School and Executive Directors out there. Read on, dear development pro. But then forward this on to your leader, with my best wishes. There she is, toiling away in her tiny office. Can you see her, in your …

Taking Care of Our Heads — of School, That Is

by Barbara Barron | Posted December 9th, 2020 These are crazy days at our independent schools. It seems like every day there’s a confusing change that forces us to rethink education. There’s more to juggle in our daily work than ever. More headaches! Zoom meetings! Argh! And I would argue that no one is feeling the brunt of this more …

How Can We Train Volunteers To Be Superstars For Our Campaigns?

by Barbara Barron | Posted April 10th, 2019 I’m a big believer in training. And practice. I’ve written before about the importance of practicing how to ask for support. How we need to strike the right balance between being sharp and focused in our approach, but also relaxed and confident. And how that balance is best achieved by doing it, …