Development Strategy

Development Strategy

Many schools have development departments but it is surprising how often development activity and success is expected without schools making a clear link between the school’s overall strategy and the development plan. This can easily lead to unrealistic expectations or demotivated development teams as they seek to work to some extent “in the dark” about the school’s real vision and why it needs money to achieve it. Development offices are often placed in locations well removed from the core life of the school and have to invite potential donors into poor facilities which do not show the school in a good light.

Baines Cutler has unique knowledge of the wider factors behind fundraising and development success 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 key success factors and the important links between school strategy and vision, development strategy, good working relationships, involvement in school life and welcoming environments. 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 surveys we have been asked to work alongside schools in drawing up or reviewing development strategies so that development teams feel well-briefed and involved. Our unique fundraising custom benchmarking service allows us to see what others are achieving and to highlight ways in which schools might improve. We then work with schools to develop realistic strategies and highlight areas where the school and its senior people need to change and improve too. 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