We Understand Your World

GG+A’s very first client, in 1961, was an independent school. Since then, we have served more than 150 others worldwide: Day and boarding. Single-gender and co-ed. Faith-based and secular.

We understand the pressures on fundraising programs at independent schools—to boost philanthropy to keep tuition affordable, to meet growing demands for financial aid, to secure gifts from current parents, and to produce big results from small alumni pools. We know that modest resources require tough choices, and that no matter the budget, every decision about investing in your fundraising program must be backed by data and informed by the best strategic thinking.

Challenges & Solutions

While each situation is unique, we find that many independent schools struggle with the same handful of challenges. How to create a major-gifts program when staff and resources are focused on budget-relieving annual giving programs? How to broaden major-gift fundraising beyond the trustees? How to prepare board members and other school leaders to run an effective campaign? How to support a Head of School who may be new to fundraising?

Depending on your ambitions—and the insights we’re able to gain through original research—we will work with you to develop and implement practical plans that are custom-built to succeed.

With its largest campaign initiative in the school's history on the horizon, William Penn Charter School sought counsel to assess its readiness. Now several years into its campaign, it has received its highest dollar amount in campaign funds to date.

Penn Charter Case Study
Read Success Story

Our Services

We listen. We research. We position schools to increase their appeal to alumni, parents, and friends. We help build programs for sustained success. Services include:

Annual giving operating plans

A strategic and tactical plan that addresses all components of campaign planning and management, including core strategies to realize goals and a table of gifts needed to meet those goals; cash flow projections and operating budgets; timeline for all phases of the campaign; roles and responsiblities for leadership and volunteers; naming, crediting, and acceptance policies; and prospect management strategies. Serves to guide a wide range of campaign activities and can help avoid delays at key junctures in the campaign or at critical points of a gift negotiation. Can also be designed as mid-campaign operating plans, or overall fundraising plans for smaller institutions.

Board and staff training and coaching

At GG+A, consultants with extensive development-leadership experience coach clients in the core competencies of major-gift fundraising: qualifying and planning, cultivating, asking, negotiating, and stewardship. Learn more.

Campaign operating plans

A strategic and tactical plan that addresses all components of campaign planning and management, including core strategies to realize goals and a table of gifts needed to meet those goals; cash flow projections and operating budgets; timeline for all phases of the campaign; roles and responsiblities for leadership and volunteers; naming, crediting, and acceptance policies; and prospect management strategies. Serves to guide a wide range of campaign activities and can help avoid delays at key junctures in the campaign or at critical points of a gift negotiation. Can also be designed as mid-campaign operating plans, or overall fundraising plans for smaller institutions.

Campaign planning studies

Provides the insights and data needed to make critical decisions about a proposed campaign’s structure, objectives, and implementation, offering an objective review of strengths and weaknesses  relevant to the proposed campaign. Fundamental activities include briefing lead prospects and volunteers on the campaign’s goals, soliciting feedback on the case for support, and face-to-face conversations that explore the perceptions and gift potential of key constituents. Includes an analysis of internal resources available to support the effort and evidence-based recommendations for strategies, investments, and reallocations that will help support an ambitious and achievable campaign.

Development program reviews

An assessment of the development operation that provides recommendations on the optimal organizational structure and deployment of staff and resources, as well as an evaluation of overall culture, environment, and level of readiness to support sustainable increases in fundraising. Typically focuses on management and organization, resources and budgets, prospect management, communications, and constituent engagement.

Our Clients

GG+A has long and deep experience consulting with independent school in North America, the UK, and elsewhere in the world. Here is a sampling:

  • The Blake School
  • Brooks School
  • The Buckley School
  • The Cambridge School of Weston
  • The Chapin School, Princeton
  • Charlotte Country Day School
  • Christ School
  • Dana Hall School
  • Friends' Central School
  • Greenwich Country Day School
  • Loomis Chaffee School
  • Milton Academy
  • Montclair Kimberley Academy
  • Phillips Academy
  • The Shipley School
  • University School of Nashville
  • William Penn Charter School