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Articles > Fundraising Ideas > 'The School of Mine' Philanthropic Campaign

'The School of Mine' Philanthropic Campaign

A CASE ASIA-PACIFIC session round-up with St Aloysius' College
'The School of Mine' Philanthropic Campaign
'The School of Mine' Philanthropic Campaign

CASE ASIA-PACIFIC 2023 provided a great opportunity to listen and learn from schools at the forefront of fundraising & development, one of which was our very own ToucanTech customer St Aloysius’ College, represented by Director of Foundation Daniel Martin and Principal Mark Tannock. Together, they shared the journey that St Aloysius’ has been on in the past 5 years to create a sustainable giving culture and launch a first-of-its-kind philanthropic campaign. The ‘School of Mine’ campaign aimed to raise funds in support of buildings, bursaries, and the future of St Aloysius'

Back in 2018, a feasibility study was undertaken with Marts and Lundy to assess the school’s capability to run a fundraising campaign. This included a welfare check, and provided insight for the critical decision to move forward with the campaign and to get their foundation board to approve the plan. The feasibility study provided 45 key recommendations to improve the chances of success for the campaign, including:

  • The establishment of a campaign committee
  • Development of a strategic plan for the College Foundation
  • Participation and a school-wide approach
  • Optimising the structure of the Foundation office 
  • Improving the stewardship program/reporting back to donors
  • Proceeding with a 5-year, school-wide campaign

The campaign included four elements; their major giving programme, broadening their engagement programme, looking at the ‘School of Mine’ priority, and focusing on Foundation governance. Their campaign consisted of a community phased launch, with a quiet phase leading into the public phase in 2022, during which they launched their campaign video and publicly advertised the campaign. One of the main activities running throughout the campaign was their schedule of events, which served many lessons including: 

  • A lot of parents are invested in the community and will turn up at events
  • It’s the smaller bespoke events that are more impactful - cocktail parties, boardroom lunches (volunteer-led)
  • It can’t only be Advancement Team who attend - there needs to be involvement from the Principal and other staff / volunteers
  • Friend-raising vs fundraising - decide what you are focusing on before the event and set team goals
  • Segment your events wisely and time with parts of the campaign: they launched their Bequest Society during the campaign and added events specifically for this group into the calendar

Lessons learned from the campaign so far included:

  • How vital it is to involve the principal and key stakeholders early-on and throughout
  • Being strategic & structured in your approach
  • Collateral set-backs- relying on in house resources were more successful in creating a good image 
  • Sharing the funds between bursaries and buildings helped to give everyone a reason to donate - parents & alumni
  • Using consultation for cultivation - asking people for feedback makes them feel involved
  • Alignment of advancement across the college - working out what’s going on and what people don’t like
  • Major gifts fundraising are essential! Focus on these early on in the campaign to ensure success

With many fundraising campaigns, there are elements of public and private fundraising, but no matter which stage or strategy you are undertaking, being able to successfully track and engage your donors is a must. Using one system to track online donations, send personalised donor ‘thank you’ emails or letters, run a Giving Day, or manage major donor relationships and your pipeline can help your team to stay on track and strategic whilst in busy campaign-mode. ToucanTech is an all-in-one donor management system, built specifically for schools, and used by exceptional fundraisers such as St Aloysius’ College. To find out more, speak to the team here


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