Over the past year we have made several new changes to our development office based upon feedback from industry professionals and best practices. There are two major rebranding changes taking effect immediately:
- the Development Office is now the “Advancement Office;”
- One-in-the-Spirit will be relaunching as the Lafayette Catholic School System “Spirit Fund.”
These changes are designed to accurately reflect the future direction of the office. We are more than the fundraising arm for the Lafayette Catholic School System. The office is responsible for a strategic and integrated approach to advancing the Mission of the entire school system. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) defines Advancement as “a strategic, integrated method of managing relationships to increase understanding and support among an educational institution’s key constituents, including alumni and friends, government policy makers, the media, members of the community and philanthropic entities of all types.”
Advancement is NOT a random exercise. We must have a clear vision, personnel aligned by key functions, budgetary resources for success, a master calendar, and always assessing ourselves for improvement.
The change from a biennial One-in-the-Spirit (OITS) to the annual “Spirit Fund” was not taken lightly. For several years professionals had suggested the school system make adjustments to its fundraising model. With the help of many who originally started OITS, professionals in advancement and marketing, we took a comprehensive look at the entire program. OITS was a fund started in 1991 as part of the agreement with the Diocese following the closing of Central Catholic in May 1990. It had a major “campaign” launch with a clear start and finish, and always ran opposite of Fruitful Harvest. This past year it covered 5% of the operating budget and at one point covered 10% of the operating budget in the 90’s.
Following the involvement and feedback of many, the recommendation was made to the Board of Directors to launch the Lafayette Catholic School System “Spirit Fund.” The role and importance of the Spirit Fund are many:
- Primary Avenue for Partnering in our Mission
- Establishes and Sustains a Spirit of Connectedness
- Provide Philanthropic Growth Over Time
- Catalyst for Further Donor Cultivation
- Establish a Means for Prospect Identification
- Strategic Resource for School Improvement
- Create a Sense of Shared Responsibility
The Spirit Fund will be the cornerstone of the advancement program. It will be our year long effort to communicate, engage, recruit, and retain constituents for the Mission of the Lafayette Catholic School System.
Work is already underway for a new look and feel for the Spirit Fund. A new logo will be presented in September and a video will be launched in October. We look forward to serving the entire LCSS community with a more comprehensive approach. Your feedback is important as we evolve and encourage you to please share it with us. Our approach only matters if you understand and believe in the Mission of the Lafayette Catholic School System. We are so fortunate for the gift to love, to teach, and to inspire your children each and every day.