Development office reviews

Development office reviews

Many schools have set up development departments over the last few years but some are finding that the results are less than they hoped or expected. They then ask – have we got the wrong person? Are we expecting too much too soon? Are our parents and alumni not wealthy enough for it ever to work? Should we stick it out, close completely or start again? In short what is realistic for a school like ours?

Baines Cutler has unique knowledge of fundraising and development in UK schools. In 2014 we carried out the largest survey in this area ever undertaken, in conjunction with the Institute of Development Professionals in Education (“IDPE”). This survey identified success factors and established what schools might reasonably expect by way of costs and possible incomes. We also looked at the detail – what databases are used, whether to use wealth checkers, who gives by type of school and what sort of projects do they give to? This 2014 report drilled down deeper into issues arising in development, such as the size of team which should be employed, the level of investment schools are prepared to make into a successful development operation, what schools are raising money for, levels of return on investment and getting the relationship with the alumni association right. You can download both reports from our Publications section.

Since carrying out the survey we have been asked to review and benchmark schools’ development departments to ascertain whether they are achieving what they should and if not why not? Our unique fundraising custom benchmarking service allows us to see what others are achieving and to highlight ways in which schools might improve. Some of the issues often involve wider problems such as Head Teacher support, governor involvement or better working relationships with alumni societies and we are not afraid to highlight these areas. We then work with schools to develop an action plan and a way forward. Where necessary we can call on specialist training material developed by IDPE and even call on development professionals working in other schools. If you would like to find out more about our services or discuss your requirements please Contact Rhiannon with your issues.

Baines Cutler – the first place for schools to look for information and solutions