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5 Essential Fundraising Tips For Your School

As a small business owner, there have been a number of skills I've developed along the way that don't necessarily fall under the vertical of our marketing business function.  I've developed basic human resource skills, earned a degree in accounting, I fashion myself a therapist at times, and am even proud of my janitorial prowess.   However the most indispensable skill, and one I hope to perfect one day, is that of fundraising.  

Expert fundraisers are the most coveted for any college board of directors because they're hard to identify and "good at fundraising" is never a line on a resume (and if it is, buyer beware!) Accomplished fundraiser's reputations precede them.  If you're fortunate to land one on your board, do your best to keep them around.  The truth however is, you're probably reading this because you don't have that all-star.  That's ok because while fundraising comes more natural to some, for others it's a learned ability.  You can whip your rag-tag board into shape by teaching the principles of raising funds, and reinforcing them over and over again.  It doesn't matter if you're a large institution, local college, private or public high school or university, the principals are the same.  Here are the 5 essential fundraising tips for your School or University.

Juan Perez Comment
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Colleges, Institutional Advancement, Private School, Universities

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Diversity Infusion: 6 Tools For More Diverse College Campus

At nearly every college, university and now even the private schools in the country you'll find a position, if not department, dedicated to the job of diversity inclusion.  While certainly, a hot trend, more diverse college campuses are the future as evidenced by the changing demographics.   

RBC.com defines diversity as any dimension that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another while showing appreciations of differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, and religion.  

Conversely, inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported and creating an environment and culture where each person can achieve his or her full potential.  

When you think about it, these two concepts are quite contrary, opposites in fact.  Can we highlight individuality while asking for togetherness?  Here in lies the challenge with Diversity Inclusion.  While on the surface a noble concept, but for many schools its a Utopian environment that we can only aspire to.  However, with the most diverse institutions realizing the greatest success, forward-thinking educators must look to diversify their student bodies, faculty, and staff.  Here are six tools for attaining a more diverse college campus.   

Juan Perez Comment
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Diversity, Colleges, Supplier Diversity, campus diversity, Diversity Inclusion

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Campus Diversity Safe Spaces VS Brave Spaces

Political ideology, social beliefs, triggering events and shifts in the power structure have the populations at large clearly divided among strong partisan lines. Contemporary communication methods like social media where voices on any side of a debate can be amplified by all the participants in said debate help define these divides even more. College campuses are not immune to this environment, and because campuses have traditionally been a format for the expression and exchange of ideas, these beliefs can often time be on full display in common areas and lecture halls throughout the school. In response to this phenomenon, a number of schools have deemed certain areas of the campus and in some instances the entire campus as a "Safe Space". The loose definition of which is an area where a student(s) can occupy learn and thrive without being encountered by speech or action that they or society at large may deem offensive. The proliferation of Safe spaces on campuses all over the US and backlash from those who believe providing these type of spaces only help divide even more have led some university officials to also consider areas known as "Brave Spaces". Brave Spaces would be loosely defined as designated areas where ideas and philosophies from all viewpoints can be shared in a civilized manner with the implication that although you may not agree with the viewpoint or even find it offensive, you acknowledge the right of individuals or groups to express said point without interruption or disturbance. College officials who are striving towards or struggling with campus diversity and inclusion must consider a number of factors when establishing safe or brave spaces on campus including but not limited to groups of students current and perspective who may be included or excluded by these designations. Ground rules for both types of spaces. They must also consider a concurrent plan of bridging the divide while creating these spaces for people to be heard and or feel safe.

Daniel Gutzmore Comment
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Colleges, campus diversity, inclusion, recruitment

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3 Keys On How to Recruit College Students Systematically

 

How to Recruit College students? This question has been asked by admissions departments around the world for a very long time. The answer is simply, Systematically. The fact is student recruitment is a complicated process a journey both for the prospective student and for the college. With many steps along that journey and multiple departments and individuals involved, the only way to maximize the efforts to build this pipeline and operate at peak enrollment is to have a system in place. This system should allow the college to identify and build a persona for their ideal prospective students across programs and courses that make sense. It should also put in a place a defined journey for these personae to take, and finally the system should close the prospect into an actual student and empower that new student the ability to evangelize about the school attracting more ideal personas.

Daniel Gutzmore Comment
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Colleges, Student Recruitment

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The Perception of Assumption

A few weeks ago I'm in a "Pitch meeting" at a large University here on the east coast, we get to the point of the meeting where we're displaying or knowledge of the marketplace and the best ways to engage and have a sustained meaningful dialogue with the target audience.  The meeting is going well when I made a statement about  immigrant populations and motivations for them moving to the U.S. from their home country, it was one of those moments where there's a disconnect between what you're saying and what people perceive you're saying.

Immediately you felt the temperature in the room change. The stare the prospect was giving me began to stimulate beads of sweat on my brow that had me whispering a silent prayer for Doc Brown and his Flux Capacitor to take me back in time. The meeting quickly changed to a lecture from the prospect about the fact that I was making assumptions about why immigrants come to this country and that his parent's were immigrants and came to this country for completely different reasons. At this point I wanted to forcefully state that I myself and the majority of my family are immigrants to the U.S. from Jamaica and I'm aware from firsthand experience of the various reasons why someone would leave their homeland and come to the U.S. and that I was merely highlighting one of the various reasons. I refrained because despite the misunderstanding I felt I still had a good shot at landing the account.

After the meeting I began to think how does a person who lived the immigrant experience and is still living it almost 30 years after coming to this country, get perceived as not understanding  the full experience and may have even offended a fellow immigrant. It's all about perception of assumption , because of my choice of words the prospect perceived me to be assuming that this line of reasoning applied to all immigrant groups.

Brands are often perceived as making assumptions about ethnic audiences this in turn creates a negative perception of the brand within this groups consumer mind.  It definitely isn't intentional but poor choices (like my poor choice of words) lead to this occurence of events. Poor  choices can occur at many different levels of a campaign it could be choosing the wrong agency, wrong media choices, copy that doesn't translate well to niche audiences, disingenuous placement of people "who look" like the audience in ads, bad PR that offends the consumer and isolates the brand, etc.

It's imperative when planning and executing campaigns the message is clear concise and screened with a fine tooth comb to ensure that the intended audiences perception of you is not that you're making assumptions about them. This is the basis in ethnic marketing for a healthy brand/consumer relationship.

@vpgutzmore

Daniel Gutzmore Comment
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Multicultural, Campaign, Colleges, PLanning, Assumptions, Media Buying

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