Time to shine
Successful development offices, raising millions of pounds for new facilities, scholarships and bursaries have been the stronghold of established independent schools for decades. More often than not, those leading the field have been boys’ schools with healthy alumni networks and a tradition of giving, spanning several generations.
But there’s a change in the air. Working with the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) has revealed that the appetite for energetic major gifts fundraising is growing and that governors, parents and senior management teams at girls’ schools are eager to match the enthusiasm and expertise of their boys’ school counterparts. ‘There’s a real sense of this being a time for girls’ schools to shine,’says Gifted’s Chris Goldie. ‘At Wimbledon and Putney High Schools, continued academic success is motivating alumnae and parents to give back to these outstanding institutions - and contributing to robust fundraising programmes in girls’ schools up and down the country.’
Interestingly, something similar has been happening in the state school sector, with more schools taking advantage of IDPE’smentoring and support programmes. Whilst some still struggle to find the up-front investment for a development officer, many are beginning to appreciate the benefits of professional support in securing additional sources of income for capital projects or innovative educational initiatives.
At Kenilworth School in Warwickshire, Gifted has been engaged to guide governors and senior management in the feasibility stage of a multi-million pound plan for a brand new school. ‘The opportunity to engage the wide array of stakeholders in this venture and demonstrate the benefits of building not just a good school, but the very best school for the town, is a really exciting one,’says Gifted’s Andrew Day. ‘Government funding will only deliver so much. Taking plans to the next level of educational excellence, with specialist equipment and facilities is where active philanthropy and community engagement can make all the difference.’
If your school is about to tackle its next fundraising challenge and you’d like to know more about our consultancy services at Gifted, please get in touch with one of our directors