Four Basic Approaches to
Strengthen Your Christian School's Finances
#1: Effective Marketing
Strong marketing gives your
school the best long-term viability. The overall goal is
to increase net tuition revenues while serving more of the types
of people God has called you to serve.
At this time, GraceWorks'
highest organizational priority is developing practical
resources to assist Christian schools with marketing. Some of these include:
Schools - The Definitive Guide --
Over 400 pages of
principles, ideas and real-life examples. Shipping July,
(Save 40 - 50% by
GraceWorks' on-site "How
to" seminar for marketing Christian Schools:
Lifting Off, Soaring Ahead
-- Rather than providing a seminar for and all your competitors in
town, GraceWorks provides a marketing seminar exclusively for
your school's marketing team -- everyone from secretaries,
board, key volunteers.
Christian Schools Marketing
Studies -- The ultimate step for
Christian schools who want to
achieve the next level of marketing effectiveness. A
complete evaluation of your marketing program, typically with
150+ specific recommendations for improvement. Includes a
statistically valid telephone survey of your community.
Provide an insightful look at your current marketing
situation in broad strokes. Marketing audits can be
particularly valuable where it is clear that the current tuition
and financial aid policies are not working, and decisive change
Your GraceWorks' consultant
can "take the heat," but more importantly, help you determine and
implement the needed changes effectively.
Coaching -- Provides a highly structured monthly
program to keep you on track with your marketing plan and
Now being developed ...
GraceWorks' Parent Satisfaction and Referral Survey. A
two-minute electronic parent survey to access your parent
satisfaction with your school -- and their willingness to refer
your school to other parents.
As more schools participate,
GraceWorks will provide you comparison data with other schools.
For more information about the Parental Satisfaction and
Referral Survey, request the
FREE Christian School
Word of Mouth Referral chapter from Marketing
Christian Schools: The Definitive Guide.
Most Christian schools
need fewer fundraisers with higher financial impact.
To accomplish this, GraceWorks is negotiating (as of June,
2006), with a professional consultant in Texas who consistently
nets in excess of $150,000 for a unique dinner auction.
If you are interested in
bringing such an event to your school, please call (719)
278-9600, and speak with GraceWorks' President Dan Krause
Christian schools face a significant long-term problem in that
American society is increasing adopting a "fee for service"
mentality. (See Lyle Schaller's: 44 Ways to Expand
the Financial Base of Your Congregation, Chapter 6).
The plethora of fundraisers
at many Christian schools fit that "fee for service" mentality --
parents pay a fee for a candy bar, or an auction item, or a
round of golf.
We have to recognize that
this is a different -- and not better -- mindset than the
Christian philanthropy that built many of our Christian schools
(and churches) decades ago. There is a need to bring
back, and train parents, on these timeless ideals.
Real Philanthropy - Fund Development
For over two decades,
GraceWorks' Senior Consultant Bob
Rogalski has been working with Christian schools to
increase their annual fundraising on a yearly basis.
development) is simply asking for the money - not selling
something, not having an event. Fundraisers are
volunteer time intensive, but typically do not require special
skills or training.
Fundraising requires some
time, to be sure, but it is much less time intensive than
the other hand, it does require special knowledge and skills.
For example, practically
every Christian school should have a formal major gift program.
Unless they have a trained development professional on staff or
on the Board, both good ideas, they are unlikely to enjoy
GraceWorks can help you
improve your fundraising success in several ways:
Major Gifts Seminars
-- GraceWorks' President Dan Krause has raised in excess of $23
million in a two decade fund development career, including 15
Krause will train your entire
team in the many details necessary for success from
developing relationships, to cultivating, asking, and closing.
For schools considering a
capital campaign, the Major Gifts Seminar includes an in-depth discussion of
how to manage transitions between special project fundraising
and capital campaigns, as well as the important strategic
considerations of planning successive capital campaigns.
You can request a free,
10-page summary of effective major
gift principles. Or call (719) 278-9600 for
GraceWorks' 65-page monograph on effective major gift work,
or a sample major gift proposal.
Annual Fund / Major Gift
GraceWorks provides ongoing structured
coaching, both on-site and by telephone, to help you achieve
your annual fund or special project goals.
is to train and mentor your development personnel in the same
fund development techniques and principles used by college and
universities around the country.
Approach #4: Cutting
The real issue is
re-allocating costs. Most Christian schools have cut costs
to the bone, already. We need to be strategic in how
we spend money.
A starting question is:
How will the costs we cut impact our tuition revenue? If teachers become unhappy because their benefits have been cut,
how many parents will we lose?
An even better question is
... If we make cuts that cause parents to be unhappy, to what
extent will they quit referring new parents to our school?
With GraceWorks new Parent
Satisfaction and Referral Survey, you can cross-tab the
satisfaction of parents who are involved in different parts of
your overall program. This tells you where you should
allocate your precious dollars for the biggest impact.
For example, you could
compare the satisfaction of parents who participate in your band
or music programs, versus parents in general. If band and
music parents are significantly more satisfied with your school
than anyone else, you certainly would not want to cut band and
music services. Instead you would want to increase these
In fact, if you
savvy, you go to a major donor and ask them to underwrite this
improvement of your band and music program. Think of your
case for support -- "Here's the hard data that shows our band
and music parents are the most satisfied, and most willing to
refer, of all parents. Therefore, to grow our school we
need more children participating in band and music. Could you
As a volume service, the
Parent Satisfaction and Referral Survey is affordable for
any Christian school. To get started, call GraceWorks at