Since June and continuing into March 2017, Joyce Workman, CSI mission advancement consultant, has been conducting two-day workshops at CSI schools to assist them with financial and recruitment techniques. The workshops, offered at no charge to the schools, provide practical information and strategies, as well as encouragement, to those responsible for student recruitment and fundraising.
Day one is spent creating a platform of understanding for all players, including staff, key parents and volunteers, board members, and donors. The group discusses all aspects of fund development (annual, capital, recruitment, retention, endowment, major events) and how important it is to build relationships. “At the end of day one, everyone should be on the same page–understanding what their advancement/development office is responsible for as well as their role in supporting that department,” said Workman.
On day two, schools get specific with their school budgets and calendars, determining what they need to raise every year to bridge the gap between what Christian education costs versus what comes in via tuition. Then teams go to work to map their month-by-month plans to raise those funds. “They use their calendar to schedule what events they are going to do when and why,” said Workman. “When they leave, they will have a map they should be living and breathing and tweaking/adjusting every day in order to reach their funds and students goals.”
Fremont Christian in Fremont, Michigan, signed up for a September workshop as a follow-up to work they had done with Workman a few years ago. “We wanted to get a check on our status of recruitment and development,” said John Barkel, the school’s principal. “We found we have greatly improved in these areas, but they are areas that are in constant need of attention. Joyce offered additional suggestions and advice that we are certain will pay off.
“I think the biggest take away from the workshop is to continually work at improvement,” said Barkel. “We have grown dramatically (75 students in two years), but we can't rest on our laurels. The workshop provided more specific advice to fine tune our craft of recruitment and advancement, including some very practical ideas to add to our program.”
Workman understands that advancement is a long game: “Statistically, most advancement professionals begin to hit their prime after seven years in a position, but most leave after three. These workshops not only offer education but also support for development professionals. We need to create better understanding and expectations so all involved can be successful.”
There is still one workshop opening available for February 20–21, 2017. To take advantage of this opportunity, contact Workman at gro.enilnoisc@namkrowj.