If you were to walk into a room of 50 independent school advancement professionals and ask them to define “advancement,” you would likely get dozens of variations that would describe development or fundraising, communications, alumni relations, enrollment management, parent engagement, and auxiliary programs.
Naturally, the size of the school and the perspective and personality of the head have significant bearing on how a school defines its advancement program. For 45 years, CASE has been advocating for the integrated advancement model, and true integration has never been more valuable to our schools than it is now.
By most accounts, independent schools have been struggling this century, even before the advent of COVID-19. As schools opened for the 2020-21 school year in varying combinations of in-person or online instruction, additional testing or facility costs, lost tuition revenue, and interrupted fundraising campaigns mean that the average school is up against significant odds.
The bifurcation between large metropolitan schools or niche schools with strong market position and more modest institutions continues to grow. For many schools, survival will depend upon the decisions they make in the next three years as the economy and our educational culture evolve in the wake of the pandemic and the unrest of 2020.