Educate Plus

Impact of Recent Events on Development Programs, Staffing & Budget Decisions in schools

Impact of Recent Events on Development Programs, Staffing & Budget Decisions in schools

As we begin to emerge from the immediate effects of the horrific drought, bushfires and COVID19 virus pandemic, independent school development teams face operational and financial challenges. Marts & Lundy and Educate Plus developed a brief survey to learn about how recent events have impacted programs, communications, staffing and budget decisions across school development teams. The survey asked participants to report on and categorise their activities, results and adjustments, based on institutional plans as of July 2020.


A Marts & Lundy and Educate Plus Special Report

To read more and download this 25 page detailed report, please click here: Survey Results

Summary of Findings
Schools are adapting their communications outreach and Case for Support in response to recent events.

Schools have adapted their outreach via a variety of methods, including an increase in virtual meetings for selected groups, personalised written communication, stewardship calls, pre-recorded video messages and phone calls to donors. In addition, more than half of schools have reduced general printed materials. Two-thirds of schools have increased the emphasis on financial aid for currently enrolled students in their Case for Support.

Most schools have been able to provide some financial assistance for current students and families impacted by COVID-19 (via their endowment and/or other giving sources). Day/boarding schools have been most likely to be able to provide such assistance.

  • Expectations are low for 2020 philanthropic income, but the 2021 outlook is more positive.
  • Schools are carrying on with their annual fund but have amended their approaches.
  • Nearly half of Development Offices are sticking with existing KPIs.
  • Most development budgets are stable for the next 12 months but those expecting reductions are faced with steep cuts.
  • More than half of school development teams have been able to maintain staffing levels – no reductions or freezes – thus far.
  • Recent events have presented opportunities to modify engagement approaches.


Panel discussion on survey results

There is a recording of our webinar held on 16 September 2020 below – members only. Don’t miss your opportunity to hear from our panel as they discuss the contents of this research.


Author A Marts & Lundy and Educate Plus Special Report

As a full-service fundraising consulting firm with an international client base, Marts & Lundy are a recognised leader in helping institutions of all sizes build a “culture of philanthropy.” With offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, they serve clients across the globe bringing international perspectives on fundraising with an acute understanding of the distinct community that is home to each.

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