While the vast majority of children in the United States attend a public سایت ایران آموزشگاه and receive a solid education, there are thousands of private schools that offer an excellent alternative. I have worked as an elementary principal of a private school, and I’ve had my own children in the public system.
Therefore, I’ve seen the good and the bad of each situation. There are many positive aspects to a public institution, but in this article, I will discuss the advantages that private schools enjoy when it specifically comes to the issue of fundraising.
I once had lunch with the administrator from another private elementary school. This man was new to his job, but had over 20 years experience in the public school system. He knew all the ins and outs of standardized testing, of meeting state educational requirements, and he even knew quite a bit about staff management.
However, he asked me to lunch to pick my brain on the topic of fundraising. For this man’s entire professional career, the vast majority of the funding need to run his school came from the state. He was never forced to hold an auction or a golf outing. Sure, the PTO had some bake sales, and kids sold cookie dough from time to time, but for all the important stuff, like payroll, building maintenance, and certain supplies, the state just doled out the cash when necessary.
Now however, this man found himself in a situation where parents had to pay tuition, there was no state money, and they had to meet any budget shortfalls with increases in fundraising. He was pretty nervous about such a tall order.
Having spent my entire adult life working for non-profit agencies, I was quite used to this notion of paying for everything ourselves. So, I see this as a distinct advantage for private schools. At the end of the day, we don’t have anyone to bail us out of financial difficulty. If a donor steps up and helps us out, it was only because we developed a relationship over time, so he felt comfortable making such a gift.
We at the private schools have had to build these networks of support, we’ve had to become experts at organizing silent auctions, at developing relationships with businesses in town that will support us, and at coming up with creative new spins of product sales.
In the end, I think that private schools are therefore more equipped to handle financial challenges, because we know how to survive on a day to day basis.
Since private schools are usually smaller than their public counterparts, we often don’t have the large numbers of people to talk to when we try to raise money. Therefore, private schools often look to widen their audience, a common tactic is to turn to our alumni ranks for financial support.
If alumni are properly developed over time, they can prove to be a very valuable resource. Alumni can attend auctions and golf outings, they can establish scholarship funds, they can initiate building drives and pay for the naming rights of certain rooms or halls, and they can help with recruitment of new students. Basically, with the right motivation and encouragement, alumni can generate cash for the private school in a big way!
Now, a lot of work goes into developing alumni properly. It all starts when the person is actually a student. The school needs to create such a positive atmosphere that the impact will stay with the student for his whole life.3
This applies to the academics, the quality of teachers, the quality of fellow classmates, the school building itself, the extracurricular programs, the school athletics, the rivalries with other schools, even the school mascot and “spirit-ware” (t-shirts, hats, etc.)
As soon as the student leaves the school, the school needs to establish a post-institutional relationship with him. Letters, newsletters, websites, reunions, and networking opportunities with the entire alumni organization will help the student make the transition to fully engaged alumnus/alumna.
The third area that I noticed private schools having a fundraising advantage over public schools was in the concept of community. In my experience, I saw that families at the private school felt more linked to one another than do the families I’ve seen in the public schools. Perhaps this was due to the much small class sizes.
Since there were so fewer families, I was able to get to personally know all the families who had their children enrolled at our private school. I was aware of the various challenges each family had at any one time and how those challenges played out in the lives of their children on a daily basis. I was able to make very strong connections with a great number of the families.
Not to take away from the genuine-ness of the relationships, but it did help the school’s fundraising efforts when we all felt we were “in it together”. If a parent knew we at the school really helped their child out during a tough time, they would be perhaps more likely to volunteer or to donate money.
Again, I’m afraid that this sounds calculated and insincere, but it wasn’t. There was a natural bonding between the school and its families, because we shared something so important in common: their children.
That’s why I feel it’s so important for the leaders of the school to make an effort to be involved in their lives of their families. Whatever you can do to help your students and their parents will be incredibly appreciated. They will benefit, and in the long run, the school will benefit from the friendship, as well.