How Can We Make Good Use of AI In Advancement?

by Barbara Barron | Posted April 10th, 2024 | Subscribe to this newsletter Are you using AI in your advancement work yet? This is a question I am asking my clients and asking myself. Even more on point: how can we make good use of this technology that is emerging with lightning speed?  What are the right and ethical uses …

Why Would a Consultant Choose to Work with Your School?

by Barbara Barron | Posted March 27th, 2024 | Subscribe to this newsletter Before I write anything that might have me drifting into the land of self-promotion, let me start with this qualifier: I may not be the right consultant for you. I am honored and, after 7 years of being a consultant, still flattered to be asked nearly every …

How to Look at Pledges in a New Light

by Barbara Barron | Posted March 13th, 2024 | Subscribe to this newsletter It’s that time of year when you may be looking at a batch of outstanding pledges. Whether they are to the Annual Fund or are campaign installments due now, it’s time to send a reminder.  Many of us don’t love pledge reminders. In fact, we may even …

Top 10 Things Great Schools Do in Advancement

by Barbara Barron | Posted February 14th, 2024 | Subscribe to this newsletter There is no end to the lists of “best practices” we might create to guide our work in independent school advancement. My view is that real advancement lives both inside and outside the development office door. I take a broader view, including lots of people. Here’s my …

We Advancement People: Reflections from the CASE-NAIS 2024 Conference

by Barbara Barron | Posted January 31st, 2024 | Subscribe to this newsletter There’s something special about sitting in a room with 1,400 advancement professionals from around the country. That was the sell-out crowd gathering in Austin for the CASE-NAIS 2024 national conference.  And while this is not our first rodeo since COVID, it still felt unmistakably festive to be …

My Latest Talk

A good major gift program is well designed. It has a short list of needed projects that, generally, have the winning appeal of being tangible, immediate, and high impact. This is the magical trifecta in fundraising!

Open for Business on Both Coasts

June 30th, 2021 by Barbara Barron Quick life update. A few months ago, my beloved and I purchased a second home in Northwest Connecticut. We did this to create a “home base” much closer to our five grandchildren. (And their parents, of course!) The house is a rambling old thing but we’re having fun getting it set up. We love …

What Are the Dangers of Having an Angel Donor?

by Barbara Barron | Posted on February 12th, 2020 Are there downsides to having a donor (or two or three) who effectively secures our entire Annual Fund campaign each year? Or who provides most of our capital campaign (or major gifts program) giving?  Does posing this question make me sound insane? I mean, why would we not want to have …

How Can You Know if Your School is Prepared for a Capital Campaign?

by Barbara Barron | Posted January 7th, 2020 There is a very good reason that schools and other organizations only endeavor to launch a capital campaign every five to ten years. Capital campaigns are big and hard and scary. While they have the power and potential to transform an organization and its program, helping to better deliver on the promise …

How Do We Get a 100% Return On Our Annual Fund Appeal Letters?

by Barbara Barron | Posted August 14th, 2019 True success story: a client reported back to me on a pretty far out-there strategy we had developed last summer for their Annual Fund approach to returning parents. Would you believe me if I told you that she is seeing almost 100% return? That nearly every family is increasing its giving substantially, …