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:

Identifying Your School's Brand

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Identifying Your School's Brand
Creating a brand identity for your school is an essential part of your marketing strategy. We walk you through the process.

Marketing the small private school is a challenge in the best of times. In the post-pandemic world we all live in, that challenge often seems impossible. It is not when you handle it head-on. You can't ignore it or make excuses. Denial or procrastination will not solve the problem. Identifying your school's brand will help point you in the right direction. So, here are a couple of things you can do to improve the marketing of your school. While I am writing this article for the head or owner of a school, many points fit a parent's viewpoint.

 

This video explains the basics of branding.

 

 

What follows are primary questions you need to ask yourself and your marketing committee if you have one. The answers will help drive your marketing program.

 

Who are your prospective families?

What are the demographics

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5 Easy Steps To Marketing Your School

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5 Easy Steps To Marketing Your School
Marketing the small private school can be done affordably and effectively. We suggest five easy steps to make that happen.

You run a small private school. You are facing many challenges filling seats. You are concerned about how next year's intake will look. With all the other unexpected expenses facing you during the pandemic, your budget doesn't have funds to hire a marketing firm to promote your school. So, what to do? The answer to that question lies in your school's unique trove of photos, news, testimonials, awards, and other memorabilia. I presume that you have all those materials saved somewhere on your school's computers. If they are spread about over several computers, I recommend that you save them all in one system that is backed up securely. Better yet, save them in the cloud. These materials are unique and priceless. Saving them securely in the cloud is an expense that you should consider as cheap insurance. (I'm not sure how your accountant will allocate that expense, but we'll let her decide.)

Where am I going with this? Well, take a moment to look at commercial websites or commercial Instagram accounts. The photos and the artwork grab your attention, don't they? They draw you into their story. They help deliver the message. That's all we are suggesting that you do with your collection of digital photos. They are unique. They will tell your story to a stranger who knows nothing about your school and how excellent its reputation and academics are. They are one of the first steps in generating contact by email or phone with your school. You know

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Running Your School: How To Survive The Pandemic

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Running Your School: How To Survive The Pandemic
COVID-19 has turned education at every level upside-down, inside-out. We offer some steps to guide your planning for academic year 2020-21.

It's late spring, early summer 2020. If you are the head or owner of a private K-12 school, you are coping with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Academic year 2019-2020 was going so well until everything stopped in March. You sent students home. You sent teachers home. In a matter of hours, your in-person classroom instruction became online instruction. Your old way of doing things was predictable and full of cherished traditions that made your school what it was. Your brand had dozens of metrics that proved to potential families that your school was worth the fees you charged. Your mission to educate the whole child that depended on personal interaction and watchful supervision was rarely questioned. Your brand and your mission have not changed. But the way you deliver them has most definitely changed. So, how does a school like yours survive the aftermath of this terrible pandemic? By living in the moment with a cautious, clear vision to the future.

 

In this video, a doctor explains what COVID-19 is.

 

 

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Running Your Private School

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Running Your Private School
This article aggregates all the articles I have written about running a small private school. Use it as a handbook and a reminder of things you should look at from time to time.

A small private school typically has a small staff that handles financial, marketing, and other essential administrative tasks. In larger schools, departments with several staff members handle these tasks. In a small private schools, the administrative team wears many hats and handles all the administrative tasks. This article aggregates all the articles I have written about running a small private school. Use it as a handbook and a reminder of things you should look at from time to time.

Back Office

5 Changes In The Tax Act Of 2017 To Review

We identify changes in The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which impact not-for-profit private schools. Work with your tax professional and accountant to ensure that you comply the Act's requirements.

This video discusses the impact of the Tax Act of 2017 on non-profit organizations.

Running Your School: Managing Enrollment

Not filling all the seats is a challenge for many schools. Jason How offers some answers to common enrollment questions. Be aware of population and demographic trends in your market area. Offer the curricula and high standard of teaching which parents demand.

Understanding Enrollment Agreements

Attorney Sara Goldsmith Schwartz answers my questions and provides some general guidance regarding best practices for enrollment agreements. Consult with your attorney to write an enrollment agreement that serves your school's interests.

Are Employees Stealing From You?

Part of a trustee's job is to ensure that your school has sound business practices. Employee fraud occurs all the time. Here's

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How To Raise Money For Your School

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How To Raise Money For Your School
Raising money for your small school never seems to end. There is always some pressing need. And a few long-term ones as well. We offer some tips, suggestions and strategies to help you tackle this important aspect of your school's financial situation.

Raising money to benefit your private school is something as omnipresent as the four walls of your office. It's always there. It never goes away. Even schools which have large endowments seem to be constantly raising money. They can usually afford to hire Development Directors and can count on a couple of generous alumni to prime the pump for their multi-million dollars capital campaign. But what about small schools which desperately need money over and above what they can raise through tuition and fees? This article is for those schools.  Hopefully, it will encourage you to see fundraising the way large schools do. 

I have based these tips, suggestions, and strategies on over thirty-five years as a church musician. I was always raising money for one project or another. Finding the money to purchase a new pipe organ ($100,000) or raising money for a choir trip to England ($50,000) were major challenges for me back in the 80s. Now that I am semi-retired, I am the social media director and digital content creator for a small classical music radio station. The station's entire operating budget is listener-supported and raised through 2 major fund drives and constant messaging. We have been doing that for over 40 years. You've heard your local NPR station hold on-air fund drives, haven't you? That's what we do too. My point is that I understand the challenges which you are facing raising money for your small school.

This video from SalesForce offers strategies for fundraising

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Recent Articles

Identifying Your School's Brand
Identifying Your School's Brand
Creating a brand identity for your school is an essential part of your marketing strategy. We walk you through the process.
7 Reasons Why Private School May Be The Right Choice
7 Reasons Why Private School May Be The Right Choice
Private schools come in a wide variety of educational approaches. We show you how to refine your school search.
What A Teacher Does
June 01, 2021
What A Teacher Does
A teacher wears many hats. Here's a look at her duties and responsibilities.

Running a Private School

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.
Major Gifts to Private Schools
Major Gifts to Private Schools
Keeping In Touch With Your Graduates
Keeping In Touch With Your Graduates
How To Raise Money For Your School
How To Raise Money For Your School