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  • Ivanhoe Grammar School

    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 time.

    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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