The Two Things You Must Do Before Summer Vacation

by Barbara Barron | Posted June 8th, 2022 | Subscribe to this newsletter It’s early June. If you are reading this even several days after I published it, thank you! I know how insanely packed early June is for anyone in a school. Final projects. Awards ceremonies. The last push for participation in the Annual Fund. Alumni gatherings. And the …

Ending Our Engagement

November 16th, 2021 by Barbara Barron As I progress as an advancement consultant, I am becoming more familiar with engagements that end. Or need to. Most are because the project for which I’ve been retained has happily and successfully concluded. The goals were met and the organization is better for the work. The school has expanded its capacity to do …

How Can We Fit In at Our School?

May 26th, 2021 by Barbara Barron and Kelly Tieger We talk a lot about “fitting in” at schools, don’t we? Our admission teams are charged with identifying and enrolling students – and families – who we believe will be a “right fit”, or a “good fit”. This is, of course, crucial, because selecting students and families who seek the program …

What We Can Learn From Banks – and Then Do Very Differently

April 21st, 2021 by Barbara Barron My husband and I recently went through a real estate transaction that reminded me of my least favorite donor experiences. As we were going through the rigamarole, I thought to myself, “This is uncomfortably close to how our donors sometimes feel.” Sad, but true. Story summary: we refinanced our home in CA and purchased a …

How to Use Permanent Life Insurance to Help A Donor Make Their Largest Gift –Ever

January 27th, 2021 by Barbara Barron What if you had the chance to secure a significant, maybe even transformational gift from a donor at an amount far beyond what they give annually? One that rivals their largest gift ever or even…their cumulative giving?  Interested? But what if you knew from the outset that the pledge would not be fulfilled for …

Finding the Good: How the Advancement Appraisal Works

by Barbara Barron | Posted January 13th, 2021 Ever wish you could get a clear-eyed, objective look at your advancement program?  An honest assessment of what’s really working, what’s not, and what to do about it?  You’re not alone. In fact, most schools would benefit from an outside eye. And it’s what I offer in the form of an Advancement …

How to Approach Philanthropy Through a Lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: An Interview with Tesha McCord Poe

by Barbara Barron | Posted November 11th, 2020 Independent schools around the country are finally embracing the important work of diversity, equity, and inclusion. And they’re doing it in all aspects of school life: from governance, to hiring, to disciplinary procedures, to curriculum choices. Those of us in Advancement are also called to consider how our development programs can reflect …

How Do We Thank Trustees?

by Barbara Barron | Posted August 19th, 2020 A client asked me that question the other day. And it’s a good one. It’s a question that is far more complex and potentially far-reaching than it might appear at first glance. The question is actually this: How do we thank the people who help steer our organizations? Who give so generously …

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, …

How Can We Raise Money for Debt Reduction and Cash Reserves?

by Barbara Barron | Posted October 10th, 2018 Once upon a time, I was hired to build a major gifts program to reduce debt and build cash reserves. Exciting, right? I remember conferring with some professional friends at a conference shortly after I started. “Good luck, Barbara!” one of them said. “That’s what I’d call unsexy money.” Funny. And kinda true. …