We Understand Your World

GG+A’s very first client, in 1961, was an independent school. Since then, we have served hundreds of independent schools nationwide and worldwide: day and boarding; established and young; K-12, K-8, 5-12, 9-12; single-gender and coed; faith-based and secular.

We recognize that good fundraising counsel honors a school’s culture, needs, and aspirations. GG+A’s Independent Schools Practice Area serves dozens of schools per year and treats each one like the unique institution it is. We also understand that schools are different from higher education institutions, which is why we have a team that knows about schools firsthand. We understand the many hats independent school fundraisers wear; we have our own experience teaching, coaching, monitoring carpool, and supervising advisory. We’ve secured gifts and entered them—and done everything in between.

Fundraising programs at schools GG+A serves range from less than $1 million to more than $10 million annually. Campaign goals vary in size from $5 million to more than $150 million. We scale our partnerships to meet client needs.

Challenges and solutions

Although every school is unique, many independent schools struggle with similar challenges: supporting trustees in leading philanthropy and fundraising; partnering with a Head of School who is inexperienced or uncomfortable asking for contributions; securing major gifts when staff and resources are focused on budget-relieving annual gifts; reflecting school history and culture while implementing new practices; and investing limited resources where the most significant gains can be achieved.

We help schools accelerate fundraising, by strengthening what you know about your program and partnering with you to use that knowledge for improvement. Utilizing the school’s own data and deploying strategic thinking, we identify areas where the Board, the Head, and the advancement staff can make positive and sustained change. We bring to bear our knowledge of independent school fundraising best practices and our firsthand experience fundraising in schools to assist clients in charting their path toward success. To serve our clients holistically, our independent schools experts also work with GG+A colleagues across the firm who specialize in constituent surveys, philanthropic analytics, strategic communications, and teaching and coaching. Through our support, we help schools build long-term fundraising capacity, secure more philanthropic support, and strengthen their culture of philanthropy.

We understand that schools are unique types of nonprofits. That’s why we support schools uniquely.

 

Many independent schools have been built on the support of families, many for generations, who are dedicated to the school’s mission and the communities they serve. Charlotte Country Day School (CCDS), an independent, JrK-12 coeducational school in North Carolina, accomplished several fundraising campaigns throughout its history based on this kind of support–a small donor base of trustees and families.

Charlotte Country Day School
Read Success Story

Our services

From evaluating fundraising programs and preparing for major campaigns to delivering fundraising counsel and training fundraisers and volunteers, GG+A helps schools build fundraising programs for sustained and accelerated success. Services include:

Campaign Readiness Studies

Examining the school’s current programs, resources, and activities to fundraise for the school, GG+A determines readiness to engage in campaign fundraising and delivers recommendations for fundraising strategy, staff size and organizational structure, advancement budget, and volunteer involvement, to ensure success in campaign fundraising.

Campaign Feasibility Studies

Through confidential, one-on-one conversations with the school’s principal and leadership campaign prospects, GG+A assesses a school’s ability to meet campaign goals and provides a review of institutional strengths and weaknesses relevant to ensuring the success of the campaign.

Advancement Program Reviews

Studying the existing advancement program and outcomes, GG+A compares the school’s current results against its potential and its aspirations, then delivers recommendations for changes that will accelerate philanthropic revenue.

Cases for Support

Through interviews of school leaders, GG+A develops an understanding of the school’s voice and writes a clear, compelling case for support that communicates the school’s vision, illustrates how the mission will be accelerated through philanthropic support, enables prospective donors to see how their gifts can create lasting impact, and creates enthusiasm for the proposed campaign.

Campaign and Operating Plans

After developing an understanding of the school’s ambitions for philanthropic growth, GG+A devises a written plan addressing both overall strategies and detailed tactics to guide campaign or ongoing fundraising.

Philanthropic Analytics

Via collection and analysis of a school’s recent fundraising results and prospect pool, GG+A helps schools determine the possibility for philanthropic growth, the investment necessary to support that growth, and the constituents on whom to focus.

Strategic Counsel

With focused and customized support of school leaders and advancement staff, GG+A assists the school with executing campaign or ongoing fundraising by serving as a thought partner, developing prospect strategies, coaching fundraisers, and advising on advancement programs.

Trustee and Solicitor Training Workshops

GG+A delivers the school’s board, campaign volunteers, and senior administrators focused and interactive training that orients them to their roles in fundraising and gives them tools for qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors and prospective donors.

Our Clients

GG+A has long and deep experience consulting with independent schools. Current and recent clients include:

  • American College of Sofia
  • American School of Paris
  • Bakersfield Christian High School
  • The Blake School
  • The Bryn Mawr School
  • Buckingham Browne & Nichols School
  • Cate School
  • Charlotte Country Day School
  • Charlotte Latin School
  • Christ School
  • Collegiate School (VA)
  • Dana Hall School
  • Delaware Valley Friends School
  • Durham Academy
  • Episcopal Academy
  • Episcopal School of Dallas
  • Eton College
  • Far Hills Country Day School
  • Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
  • Frances Xavier Warde School
  • Friends' Central School
  • Friends School of Baltimore
  • Germantown Friends School
  • Girls Preparatory School
  • Greenhill School
  • Greenwich Country Day School
  • International School of Indiana
  • King School
  • Kingswood Oxford School
  • The Kinkaid School
  • Latin School of Chicago
  • Loomis Chaffee School
  • The Lovett School
  • The Madeira School
  • Manzano Day School
  • Montclair Kimberley Academy
  • National Cathedral School
  • New Canaan Country School
  • North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
  • Polytechnic School
  • Punahou School
  • San Francisco Friends School
  • Savannah Country Day School
  • Sewickley Academy
  • Sidwell Friends School
  • St. Christopher’s School
  • St. John’s High School
  • The St. Paul’s Schools (MD)
  • Tower Hill School
  • University of Chicago Laboratory Schools
  • University School of Nashville
  • Upper Canada College
  • The Webb Schools
  • Westover School
  • Westtown School
  • William Penn Charter School
  • Woodlynde School