Running a Private School

Get help and guidance on running a private school. Find guidance and resources related to administration, fundraising and marketing. Explore strategic plan development, creative fundraising ideas and the latest technology uses in marketing.
View the most popular articles in Running a Private School:
SEO for Private Schools - Part I: Basics
If you are responsible for marketing your school, you probably have encountered the term SEO. If you are unfamiliar with SEO, this article will introduce you to the basic concepts.
Introduction
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a mystery to the uninitiated. It is one of those arcane sciences that webmasters everywhere have to be aware of. Unfortunately the mention of SEO for the rest of us prompts most of us to start reading email and texting friends. It's all so technical. The truth is that good SEO can enhance your marketing efforts. It can make your school more visible to the audience which you are trying to reach. Poor or non-existent SEO will bury your site so that it is practically invisible. So, ignore SEO at your own peril. At the least get your arms around the basics so that you can supervise your web management and design team authoritatively.

Basics
What is Search Engine Optimization? In its simplest terms SEO is making sure that your site's meta tags and content are optimized so that parents and students can find your site easily when they type specific words into a search engine. For example, if you ask Google to show results for the words "private schools" , it will oblige wWith millions of sites which have something to do with "private schools". But be more specific and ask Google to find you private schools in Raleigh, North Carolina, for example, and instantly your search results will narrow and be more focused. That's the point of SEO. To make your Web site more visible.

10 years ago SEO didn't matter much. The Web was just beginning to take off as a resource you...
read more
5 Ways to Support Your School
Supporting your school is more important now than ever. Here are five ways to lend a financial hand.
You worked harder than you ever thought you possibly could. Your teachers demanded excellence. Your best. In the end they knew what they were doing. They helped lay the foundation for success in life.

Your coaches refined your game. Showed your tips and tricks which made your more competitive. All without losing sight of good sportmanship and the benefits of regular exercise and physical activity.

But most of all you graduated from your school with the best thing of all: a network of friends and classmates which will be yours for life.

Now it's time to consider how to give something back. Don't worry that your gift will be too small to matter. Give what you can. Here are five ways to support your school.

Annual Giving
Annual giving is the foundation of most private schools' fundraising efforts. Typically graduates, or alumni/alumnae as they are called,  are encouraged to make a gift every year in support of their school. It's the same concept as the gift you make to support your public radio station or other charity. The gifts range from small amounts to $5,000, $10,000 or more depending on the graduate's financial strength and capabilities. Parents and grandparents are often asked to support the school in this way as well. This has a certain appeal to families which have sent several generations to the same school.

Exactly how do you send money for an annual fund gift? Schools make this part of the process very easy and convenient. You can write a check and...
read more
SCVNGR adds a new layer to the social media world. Jeff Kirchik explains what SCVNGR is and how it works.
Editor's Note: When social media first came on the scene, most institutions including private schools tended to dismiss it as something kids did. But Facebook and Twitter gained enormous traction once schools figured out how to use them effectively. With that in mind I asked Jeff Kirchick, a Roxbury Latin alum, to tell us about SCVNGR, one of the newest social media tools. He was kind enough to answer my questions. ~ Robert Kennedy.


1. SCVNGR is the newest social media tool on the scene. Tell us a bit about it, how it works and how it came into being?

Founded by CEO and “Chief Ninja” Seth Priebatsch, SCVNGR started as a project at Princeton University. Noticing his friends’ fingers glued to their phones, Priebatsch wanted to come up with a way to leverage mobile technology as an engagement tool.  SCVNGR started focusing on universities, museums, and other institutions but has now expanded to a business with more than 1000 partners and 65 employees. 

Used as a recruitment and retention tool at over 350 Universities, SCVNGR is part game and part game platform. Playing is simple and students go places on campus, do challenges, and earn points. Students can play custom challenges and treks on SCVNGR’s iPhone/Android app or via SMS.

As a proud Roxbury Latin alum, Jeff Kirchick decided to introduce SCVNGR to independent high schools over the summer. Since July, Exeter, Andover, and Roxbury Latin have all signed on. In regards to the high school and university market...
read more
Major Gifts to Private Schools
The only way private schools can build their financial security is through gifts. Major gifts offer proof of how deeply many donors feel about their private schools. Their munificence is a wonderful example to others.
Several private schools have received major gifts over the past several years. For purposes of this article we shall define a major gift as one million dollars or more. In addition to highlighting the generosity of the donors we also want to illustrate how the gifts are being used.

If you attended a private school and can afford to make a major gift to your alma mater, call your head of school. Discuss it with him or her. Once you get some broad agreement about how your gift can be used, then work out the legal and financial details with your advisers. The estate planning and tax consequences of a major gift are far too complex to be left to chance.

If you are a fund-raiser at a school, assume nothing. That shy 3rd grader who became a school teacher and never married just may surprise you. On the other hand the 8th grader who became a famous Wall Street trader may or may not have the means your school teacher alumna has. Cultivate everybody who attended your school. If they live far away from the school, Facebook and Twitter will keep them involved if you use those social media imaginatively and tastefully. A monthly email and an annual mailing via snail mail will complete the communications side of things. We'll look at some of the other things a private school can do to raise money in a separate article.

Finally, this article is aimed at newer private schools. The old, established...
read more
Preventing Cyberbullying
Bullying has gone electronic. It's called cyberbullying and it is rampant.
Bullying has been part of our lives since time began. Bullying goes by different names and takes several different forms. But whether you call it intimidation or threatening, whether you do it verbally or simply with your body language, bullying is upsetting and unnerving behavior. Fortunately it is completely unacceptable in most private schools.

So, where does cyberbullying fit in? Cyberbullying or bullying done electronically is extremely difficult for adults to detect. The reason why is that cyberbullying lurks in the virtual shadows created by Facebook and cellphones. Unless you are a fan of somebody and can monitor their Facebook account or have access to their cellphone, you cannot definitively prove that cyberbullying is actually happening.

The Forms of Cyberbullying

Sexting
Sexting is the texting of sexually explicit messages or transmitting sexually explicit photos via cellphone. The problem with all these electronic forms of bullying is that once they are transmitted they are archived on a server or servers somewhere in cyberspace. Put another way, if you send a nude photograph of yourself to a lover via your cellphone, how do you know that it hasn't been forwarded to somebody else. What if you have a fight with that lover and he decides to take revenge. Well, it's not a pretty picture.

Teens, and girls in particular, seem to be more susceptible to this form of bullying. That's because they take cellphones and other forms of electronic communication for granted. Many girls feel that sexting makes them more desirable and accepted by their peers....
read more
View Pages:<<Prev  1 2 3 4 5  Next>>
Recent Articles
3 Tips for an Effective Private School Job Search
3 Tips for an Effective Private School Job Search
Use these tips to tweak your job search strategies as you seek employment in a private school.
5 Financial Aid DOs and DONTs
Part of the private school selection process is financial aid. We point out five issues about which you should be aware.
25 Things You Need to Know About Private Schools
Here are 25 factoids about private K-12 schools written to make you want to explore the private school world further and in depth.
Running a Private School

Administrative

Here you’ll find information on the administrative side of running a private school. We’ll cover strategic plan development, state regulations, human resources and school safety. Learn more about the obstacles of taking over a struggling school, get tips on hiring a headmaster, and receive expert advice on dealing with bad press.

Fund-raising

Private schools often need to be creative when it comes to funding. This section provides tools, tips and resources on fundraising. Learn more about supporting your school, how to handle major gifts, and why keeping in touch with graduates can benefit your budget.

Marketing and Technology

Advances in technology have changed the way businesses market themselves. This section provides tips on social media marketing, information on the latest technology being used and SEO basics for private schools.