Other Services

Advancement Assessment

Never before has the importance or expectation of Catholic secondary school advancement departments been so high. With upward pressure on costs and downward pressure on tuition, increased competition for students and financial support, maximizing the philanthropic potential of Catholic high schools must be a top priority.

In order to achieve at the highest levels, the advancement department must be staffed properly, funded adequately, organized and structured appropriately and laser-focused on the most important elements of success. There is no longer any margin for error.

Advancement Partners will conduct a comprehensive review and assessment that is designed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your school’s advancement department. We will analyze each of the functional components of the department, interview the key personnel and leaders – both administrative and board – and, based on our analysis, provide specific recommendations for improvement.

Institutional Advancement Assessment Procedure:

Advancement Partners will assess your current advancement operation relative to the higher-education, relationship-based development model that we promote. We will review and analyze each of the required functional components of the current operation and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the department. Based on our analysis, we will make recommendations to enhance the overall effectiveness of the department and transition it to the higher education model. The Institutional Advancement Assessment will focus on the following components:

Department Structure and Organization Staffing – allocated human resources; we will assess current staff—roles and responsibilities; core competencies and personal goals and objectives Personnel and Job Descriptions Budget - we will assess adequacy of resources allocated Current activities; support processes and procedures Planning and Prioritizing Implementation process for the annual fund, major gifts, planned giving and special events Donor and volunteer stewardship process; communications; depth of relationships; top prospect involvement, and the extent to which relationships are developed with donors and prospects. Database utilization and technology integration Overall departmental effectiveness

We will interview the key advancement, administrative and board leaders and select key constituents to gain their input and feedback regarding the school’s advancement operation.

Institutional Advancement Strategy:

Upon completion of the Assessment element and based upon our analysis, Advancement Partners will recommend how to best bring alignment of resources, people, processes and procedures around our higher education model in order to maximize the philanthropic potential of your school. We will document our assessment and strategy for moving forward into a written report and will present our recommendations to school leadership. Our report will include specific strategies and the appropriate actions required to achieve the overall goals of your school’s Advancement Department.

Strategic Planning

The first step toward a successful future is articulating a shared, exciting vision of what you will become. This vision, embraced by all stakeholders, is the foundation upon which your strategic plan will be built. Advancement Partners will guide school leadership through this comprehensive, thought-provoking, and interactive process, helping you to visualize, plan, and realize your school’s fullest potential and preferred future through the creation of a long-range plan.

The objectives of our strategic planning process are:

  • To identify and affirm a shared vision for the school;
  • To articulate the strategic objectives that will drive key initiatives, deployment of financial resources and operational planning;
  • To analyze operational assumptions and prove the future financial viability of the school by creating a five-year financial model and forecast;
  • To identify capital investment priorities as a framework for major gift activities;
  • To develop a strategy for implementation and ongoing management to ensure goals and objectives are met.

Methodology and Deliverables:

  • Three professionally facilitated board/leadership workshops;
  • One-on-one interviews with key volunteers and staff;
  • Comprehensive, on-line survey to gauge feelings of alumni and benefactors to more effectively assess market position;
  • External “testing” of the strategic direction through interviews with 10 – 15 key external stakeholders;
  • Advancement Partners will clearly articulate the process required to benchmark and measure progress against goals and will publish the final plan for distribution and execution.