Frequently Asked Questions
1. In simple terms, what does an advancement program entail in our school setting?
Here are the areas over which the Advancement Office holds the responsibility . . .
- communication/marketing (print and the web)
- community and government relations
- development/fundraising (including special events)
- alumni relations
- Lincoln Community School Foundation
2. Why are we introducing this program at Lincoln at this time?
First, the LCS Board of Trustees approved the creation of an Office of Advancement in its November, 2009, meeting. Head of School Dr. Dennis Larkin wrote about the decision in a November letter to the LCS faculty: “The Director of Advancement will be a senior administrative position in the organization. The individual in this leadership position will assume responsibility for admission, marketing, communication, LCS branding and LCS image to both internal and external communities, alumni, government relations, and friend raising and fundraising programs.”
Second, the old bromide ‘there is no time like the present’ applies. In its vision statement LCS looks onfidently to the future with a new campus and an expanded program.
3. Are there targets or overarching goals already set?
Yes. The Board’s Advancement committee has adopted these goals for 2010-2011:
- Educate LCS staff and parents to develop an understanding of and support for the advancement program
- Plan and implement a government relations outreach campaign
- Develop a corporate marketing plan for implementation in school year 2010-2011
- Plan and manage a well-conceived media campaign.
- Research, organize, and implement a multi-faceted fundraising plan based on best-practice models.
4. How different is this from marketing and public relations?
No matter what name(s) you attach to the role – information, marketing, community or public relations – clear, predictable, and consistent communication with our publics is one charge of the advancement office.
We aim to develop and nurture relationships with our external and internal constituencies, over time, in order to favorably influence their perceptions and behaviors.
But advancement has additional responsibilities in the LCS setting: admission (identifying prospective families; uncovering their interests; admitting, enrolling, and matriculating mission-appropriate students, and integrating their families into the culture of the school; stewarding and continuing to re-enroll students throughout their time at our school); communication (educating our families about the value of investing in LCS, through tuition and charitable giving; both ultimately benefit them and their children); development (identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding prospects and donors in order to establish and nurture relationships and to raise resources); alumni (staying connected with former LCS students – those who have graduated as well as those who were students for only part of K-12 education); LCS Foundation (managing the U.S.-programs and status of our U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization).
5. How will the program contribute to the success of LCS?
It is the charge of the Office of Advancement at LCS to . . .
honor the past by valuing our alumni and the traditions that have made LCS;
celebrate the present by admitting qualified students and communicating LCS achievements – internally to our community of students, parents, and staff; externally to a wider audience of corporate leaders, government officials, and the international school community; and a wider external;
imagine the future through strategic communications/marketing, community and government relations and a broadly-based approach to fundraising.
6. Why is it called advancement?
Advancement is an organizing idea that’s been adapted from colleges and universities and re-applied to independent schools in the United States and Canada. Increasingly, it is gaining presence in international schools. In its simplest sense, particularly in K-12 independent/international schools, it is the office responsible for creating awareness, building relationships, and generating support for a school. At Lincoln, that means protecting and advancing our good name.
7. Who is who in the advancement program? Who all is involved?
Staffing . . .
Seth Odei-Danso, Admission/Alumni Officer
Tara Nkrumah, Community Relations Coordinator
Khushboo Moolchandani, Advancement Assistant
Cynthia Davis Hall, Director of Advancement
Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees . . .
Nassima Brown, Chair
Dennis Larkin, Head of School
Cynthia Davis Hall
8. Is it only a capital fundraising program or is it more broadly defined? Philanthropic?
Advancement at LCS is broadly defined and comprehensive. Simply put, that means the program aims to advance the LCS mission and vision by integrating our school’s admission, development, communications, and marketing programs. Bottom line? The advancement program at Lincoln Community School is organized to offer the human and financial resources necessary to help ensure the future viability and vitality of LCS.