Galas and live auctions can raise a lot of money for a school, but they take considerable time and planning on the part of numerous staff members, volunteers, and parents. Today, private schools are breaking out of those old-fashioned fundraising models—or at least expanding beyond them—to create real, modern revenue-drivers.
Even with increasing tuition rates and strong donations, your school could probably use more income. After all, the more you bring in, the better experience you can offer students and families. In today’s competitive environment, maximizing revenue is more important than ever.
Undertaking new revenue streams requires the right tools and the tech savvy to pull it off. An investment in technology that integrates with your other systems, backed by strong, knowledgeable support, can open new doors. Here, we’ll share some money-making ideas, along with the technical considerations to make each one successful.
These are just a few ideas for how to increase private school revenue. Use your creativity and your school’s unique talents to build on these ideas and create your own “cash cows.”
Every good fundraiser knows, the easier you make it for someone to donate, the more likely they will do so. Donating today takes place across all channels: mail, phone, websites, social media, and text messaging. Millennials, in particular, are accustomed to giving with a few taps on their phone. Take advantage of this simple route for families and alumni to support you.
Another easy way for donors to give is through an online crowdfunding campaign. As they give, they share with their friends, encouraging others to participate. Use this technique to raise funds for a specific capital project or launch a limited-time campaign in honor of a holiday or your school’s anniversary.
Rent out unused space
If you have buildings sitting empty on the weekends or during summer, you are missing out on revenue. Make your space available to the community for camps, conferences, or performing arts.
Lunch and learn events
Hosting useful events not only boosts revenue but strengthens your ties to the community. Ask your own faculty or staff to present on topics of their expertise or invite guest speakers. Either way, you can charge admission for a relatively simple lunch-and-learn or an ongoing series of them.
A coffee or other small concession stand encourages conversation among the families of your students as well as your staff. It’s a method of earning a modest but steady stream of income, with the opportunity to expand later if you wish. Discounts and freebies also make great donor perks and thank-yous, at little cost to you.
Silent auction with mobile bidding
Silent auctions are nothing new. The difference today is their versatility. It used to be that a person had to attend an event in person, write down their name on a sheet of paper, and hang around to learn whether they had been outbid. With mobile bidding, people can bid on items from anywhere in the world. You can extend bidding over days or weeks. The best part is, you can alert people when someone outbids them, prompting the bidding to continue.
Social media campaigns at events
Whatever your event, from back-to-school night to elegant fundraisers, you can incorporate social media. Set up a hashtag for the event and create a feed of posts. Attendees can share their photos and updates in real time. Better yet, they can post about any merchandise they’re buying or auction items they’re bidding on, right there at the event. The excitement will generate more participation. You can also use social to promote your next lunch-and-learn or the daily special at your coffee stand.
Wow! There are limitless ways your school can increase revenue through modern technology. The question is how to make it all work. You will need secure ways to process payments, send receipts, track auction bids, and more. You can go paperless and assure your participants that you’re protecting their privacy by investing in a set of quality technology tools.
A mobile app like MySchoolWallet lets you collect payments from busy families on the go. It’s customizable, intuitive, and will positively delight your families.
Maximize your workflow efficiencies with a centralized system for accessing payment information. Your finance team needs to see how much money comes in and from where, and measure ROI. Choose an intuitive tool that puts all this information in one place.
Create customized forms that families can access on a computer or their mobile device. Make it easy for them to enter information to register for an event, make a purchase, or pay fees.
Data and tracking
When you have revenue flowing from multiple sources, you will want regular, accurate reports. Set up tracking on each form of payment and compile the information you need into a handy format. You can then easily share the success of your new revenue streams with your team and your board of directors.
You may already be bursting with ideas for how your school can raise additional income. So, take the first step by figuring out what tools will bring your dream to life. Community Brands would love the chance to show how we can help you on track to increased revenue today.