Schools play a vital role in the development of the next generation. Non-public schools have more flexibility, which allows them to have a larger impact. When non-public schools are struggling, they have less impact.
This has been a difficult time for schools of all types. Public schools are being criticized for their inability to meet expectations, which has lowered confidence in elementary and secondary education in general.
The recent economic downturn and slow recovery has made it more difficult for families to afford tuition at private, parochial, Christian, Jewish, and other faith-based schools. For the same reasons, donor support is also down.
Shifting demographics and the integration of neighborhoods makes it harder to fill the classrooms with students from the neighborhood. The number of educational options for families is growing (charter schools, cyber schools, home schooling, etc.) which also makes it harder to fill the classrooms.
Historically, a school could focus on one area (fundraising, retention, enrollment, or marketing) and with a little time and effort, everything worked out. However, today success requires one to manage a combination of things including public confidence, rising costs, declining donors support, intense competition, and changing demographics. Many schools have discovered that working on one, two, or three areas, is insufficient.
It is easy to see why schools are struggling. It is a multidimensional challenge. The best way to respond to a multidimensional challenge is to change the business model.
There are successful and sustainable schools in almost every market. They look like many other schools but their business model sets them apart.
The Mission Enablers’ process starts with an analysis of your business model. We determine which areas of your business model are helping you and which areas need polishing. From there it is possible to determine what to change, how to make the changes, and when to make the changes.
After you change your business model, sustainability will improve and there will be more time to devote to your students and mission.
Is there a better time than now to make the changes that will increase your enrollment, donor support, student retention, and sustainability?