Like many independent schools, Ivanhoe Grammar School had raised
funds periodically for specific projects but had neither expected
nor relied upon fundraising to be a significant source of income.
When, in 2002, the School began to develop long-range plans,
it became apparent that philanthropic support from parents and
alumni would be necessary to realise the capital master plan
within a reasonable timeframe.
The Board and Principal had long suspected that a different
approach to fundraising might yield greater results, but were
unsure where to start. Philanthropy Squared’s philosophy
of developing relationships at all levels of the institution
through an active program of communication and involvement made
sense. Their own experience revealed that fundraising for short-term
dollar needs led to a high degree of cynicism among parents
and alumni. They readily acknowledged that a culture of philanthropy
could only be created if there were a a shift in emphasis over
The resulting strategy was designed to change the way the School
interacted with all its external communities. Since the Board
of Governors adopted the proposals, Philanthropy Squared has
worked with the Principal and members of the Development team
to define roles and job descriptions, recruit staff, refine
parent and alumni communications, re-invigorate the Parents
Association, educate teaching staff and others, and integrate
Development into the fabric of the institution. A capital campaign?
It is just one part of all this. The target of $5m is small
relative to the scale of the master plan, but larger than any
previous campaign the School has run.
Board members led the way in fundraising by taking the first
step themselves. All members have made their own contribution
and collectively they have committed 7% of the total required.
Others have been inspired by their example, many making their
first ever philanthropic gift to the School.
The key to success so far is that the Board of Governors has
not simply focused on the dollar target as an end in itself.
Their manifest endorsement of the principle that donations are
an expression of a relationship is the factor above all others
that has allowed the School to raise more during the ‘quiet’
phase of this campaign than it had throughout any previous campaign.
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