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5 Steps to Building a Successful Auxiliary Program

By Net Assets posted 05-21-2018 11:18 AM


Facilities |

Worries about rising tuition and changing demographics resulting in fewer potential students have led more independent schools to consider auxiliary programs as a viable way to boost revenue and admissions efforts. A five-step process developed by two directors of auxiliary programs, Karen McCann McClelland of Sidwell Friends and Nat Saltonstall of Beaver Country Day School, along with Bill Rouse, senior advisor with the Auxiliary Services Organization, can help independent schools put together and deploy a strong plan. The three presented “Designing a Strategic Auxiliary-Programs Plan at the 2018 NBOA Annual Meeting in March.

They outlined five steps:

  1. Clarify how auxiliary programs may enhance the school’s mission and strategic plan.
  2. Inventory facilities, people and program strengths.
  3. Explore options for programs. Consider offerings, timing (season and time of day) and operations model/s (self-operated, strategic partnership or rental).
  4. Refine the plan and establish goals, which may relate to revenue, admissions, branding or other areas.
  5. Finalize the auxiliary programs plan and related business plan.

As you consider the value proposition for your auxiliary programs, it’s a great time to think about the pain points facing existing school families and how those could be served through auxiliary programs.

Karen McCann McClelland
Sidwell Friends School

Leading auxiliary programs are both visionary and entrepreneurial, the presenters said. Business officers must balance start-up investments against outcomes, and familiarity with program trends and the latest marketing tools is imperative.

For more details on each of the five steps, additional tips for success, examples of successful planning from three schools and further resources, download presentation materials, including an executive summary of the session (available now to 2018 NBOA Annual Meeting attendees and in June to all NBOA members). Summaries of 14 sessions are available.


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