The Advancement Tour to the UK is an incredible week of case studies and best practice solutions in advancement from leading fundraisers from the educational, research, arts, health and cultural sectors. A group of fundraising consultants from AskRIGHT is accompanying participants from Australia and New Zealand during their visits.
Fundraising at the American School in London
The Headmaster’s role in fundraising for the School
Day 2 commenced at The American School in London (ASL) with Coreen Master, Head of School who presented on the Headmaster’s role in fundraising. Coreen spoke passionately about the integral need to build the fundraising agenda into the strategic direction of the School for fundraising success, and described ASL’s students as the School’s chief fundraisers:
Around the dinner table – the kids’ positive feedback to their parents – that’s the key to successful fundraising.
The most important thing for fundraising is to be in a mission-driven school, and this is lived through the relationship between the teacher and student.
The School fundraising challenges and opportunities
William Vaughan, Director of Advancement also joined Coreen. Together they spoke about the challenges and opportunities for raising money for the School in an environment where students only stay for 2 – 3 years and where alumni usually settle overseas; the sense of loyalty to the school is rarely strong.
Delegates walked away with great tips for improving their case for support and for explaining the need for philanthropy to their current parents.
Fundraising communications and key tips for social media
Elizabeth Allen, Associate Director of Advancement for Online Communications at ASL spoke to fundraising communications and presented key tips on engaging parents and alumni in social media. Elizabeth explained how The American School in London have chosen the right platforms for the constituencies, how they utilise these platforms for fundraising and how to measure your social media success.
The School Current Fundraising Campaign: New Frontiers
William and Elizabeth also presented on their current fundraising campaign, New Frontiers, again explaining how their institution’s mission is the basis for everything they do and drives their fundraising success, “Our mission is our roadmap”. Their fundraising campaign video “New Frontiers ‘infographic’” has been one of the key components for effectively engaging their constituents locally and around the globe:
The trip to the American School in London has been a real highlight of the Tour. We were all inspired by the relationship between the Head and the Director of Advancement and the genuine passion all staff displayed for their institution and fundraising.
Fundraising at the University of London
In the afternoon we travelled to the University of London to meet with Chris Cobb, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Operations) and Chief Operating Officer, and Bill Abraham, Director of Development for the entire university.
Establishing a central fundraising office
We learnt about the complex history of the University and its colleges, and of the challenges in front of the University as it establishes its first central fundraising office: the University of London is one of the few big UK institutions left unstructured.
Fundraising strategy basis
As with the American School in London, Bill described the University’s strategic plan as his bible, aligning what he does in terms of fundraising to meet the University’s aims. Bill walked Tour delegates through how he plans to build the University’s fundraising program over the next decade to ensure philanthropy contributes 10% of total revenue – a massive task of which many delegates were in absolute awe.
Bill shared with us what he believes to be the four characteristics of high-performing organisations and the ten key drivers of philanthropic growth in higher education, which provides the basis for his fundraising strategy.
As one of the UK’s most experienced fundraisers, Tour delegates learnt a lot of from Bill.