Home' Independence : Independence Vol 36 No 1 May 2011 Contents 60 Independence Vol 36 No 1 May 11
MARKETING & DEVELOPMENT
the school’s philanthropic culture needs
to change, then the Head has a huge role
in shifting that. If there is no existing
philanthropic culture in the school, a
good place to start is with the students.
Most schools do encourage student
giving to causes as part of teaching the
responsibility that comes with privilege.
Today’s students are motivated by causes.
At our school, some student fundraising
is for our scholarship program. Some 20
per cent of our students are on financial
assistance so students know they are
helping to make possible an Academy
education for future students through
their fundraising effort.
We also ask our students to donate when
they graduate to a class fund. It’s teaching
them to be good alumni before they leave.
For example we asked the class of 2010
to donate $20.10 and we asked for 100
per cent participation. The class fund is
within the Academy Foundation and we
steward the students just like any other
donor to the Foundation. We hope they’ll
give $20.10 each year while they’re at
university and add a zero when they’re in
the Ten Year Out Club as alumni.
The most helpful thing I did in upskilling
myself to meet the development demands
of being a school leader was to spend
five days at an independent school
advancement boot camp. I then learned
from the Development Directors I hired
and from the donors who supported
the school, and eventually I earned my
CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive)
credential. While I haven’t kept my
certification current, I use the skills I
learned during this part of my career
almost every day as a Head!
Carolyn Grantskalns was Principal of
Wilderness School, SA from 1990 to 2005.
In 2006 she moved to Melbourne to take
up the position of Principal at Lowther
Hall Anglican Grammar School. At the
ADAPE conference she co-presented with
Catherine Raaflaub a session on ‘The
Head’s role in fundraising’.
Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School
is a day school for girls, with 800 students
from Kindergarten to Year 12.
When I became Principal at Wilderness
School I had been Acting Principal for six
months, Deputy for six months and Head
of Middle School for 18 months before
that. The previous Principal had had to
resign due to ill health so it was quite an
unexpected change. The school was in
the middle of a campaign to raise $1.2
million, which in Adelaide at that time
was considered a large sum of money for
a school campaign.
The appeal was at a crossroads. A
new consultant had just taken over the
campaign and his first action was to
make an appointment with me to explain
what my role in the campaign would be.
That included leading by giving to the
campaign. Luckily the consultant didn’t
name a very large sum at that point!
So right from the very beginning of my
principalship I knew fundraising was
going to be a very important part of the
leadership role. There wasn’t a choice
Having completed that campaign
successfully and built the building that
was dependent on that fundraising, we
then went on to do a series of much
smaller annual appeals. One of the things
we did was host a function for donors
every year in my home and that probably
had the best attendance of any of the
functions. This function was hosted by
the Foundation so it enabled us to explain
the role of the Foundation in the school.
I understood that the Head’s role is to be
the story teller, the person who builds the
emotional appeal of a campaign.
When I first moved to Lowther Hall, the
school didn’t fundraise apart from the
voluntary building fund donation but
the school Council was keen to change
that by starting a bequest program. I
advised against that because I didn’t think
a bequest program would be successful
in the absence of some kind of culture
of giving. That’s when we called in
We used the consultant I had worked
with in Adelaide to do a feasibility study
around how much we might successfully
raise if we launched a school Foundation.
He reported back that currently our
community is not a community that has
an understanding of philanthropy. Our
parents do not have a culture of donation.
Their attitude is that they’ve worked very
hard to earn their money; they don’t see
why they should give it away and believe
the fees they pay should be enough. So
we’re currently in a phase where we’re
trying to explain why, if we want to
develop the school, philanthropy will be
key to that. It’s slow but steady progress.
In 2010 we received $75,000 in donations,
but some people have simply transferred
their Voluntary Building Fund donation
into a donation to the Foundation so we
are approximately $40,000 better off. In
2010 we also held the first big Foundation
function which raised $47,000. This was
used to provide aquariums and a terrarium
in our newest building. We put plaques
up to show our community what their
A stretch gift from each board member and the
school leadership says to other donors that the
people who know the school best believe in the
Principal, Lowther Hall
School, Essendon, Vic
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