Development Leaders have to most often fill the holes in the budget. It is critical that we move from desperation to relationship, from luck to hope, and from spinning wheels to moving the school forward. Here are just two ways in which we might think about development leadership in your school.

Planning and Fund-raising: Most Christian school fund-raising works hard to engage its families through bringing them into activities and common endeavors including auctions, sales, athons, and the like. And most Christian schools do not have a full-time professional helping with these efforts. The reality is that if the number of volunteer hours was divided into the funds raised, the hourly rate would be very low. A common result is that volunteers feel burnt out and guilty because they feel they should be more highly motivated. CSM can assist through clear focus of goals based on a holistic view of the school that engages the Board as development leaders and reviews the finances to make development dollars forward-looking dollars that can transform the school.

Relationships and Fund-raising: we want our donors to be excited, involved, and long-term investors in the school. They will give optimally if they feel that they are not giving into a black hole, that their investment is impacting the lives of children, that their gift will be respected and stewarded in powerful ways. It really isn’t about money at all. It’s about the relationship the donor has with the school. The better the relationship, the more consistent and generous will the gift be. CSM can assist to rethink fund-raising around relationships in simple yet profound ways. CSM’s Mary Principle understands that even Jesus had a fund-raising group supporting his work and it too was relationship based. Future generations of students are relying on your ability to develop a strategic and personal fund-raising program!

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