Education Marketing and Advancement

Objectivity, transparency, and a collaborative spirit

Connor Associates is a highly personalized marketing,
advancement, and strategic thinking consultancy.

We create opportunities to link families, schools, and communities through our work with
private schools, independent schools, public charter schools, and non-profit organizations.

Marketing Therapy

with Mike Connor

I can’t help but wonder that if another recession hits, or if independent schools can’t convince families of their enduring value as tuition continues to escalate, will this emerging trend toward Career-Tech Ed colleges turn out to be a tolling bell for some independent high schools? Are they a threat, or could their increasing popularity be an opportunity for us to consider another revenue stream alongside our more traditional mission and, in the process, build a bigger, more inclusive tent?
A common enemy has a way of encouraging cooperation among the most intractable departments of any business. Many schools are losing market share, merging, looking for new revenue streams, or closing. We all need to row in the same direction to defend ourselves against the waves and tides of the threat of irrelevance or, even worse, extinction. Even teachers and trustees are now beginning to acknowledge the wisdom of paying attention to marketing, enrollment, retention, and communication when it comes to keeping their jobs and their school sustainable.
Knowing the 80/20 rule—that I'd get 80% of our annual fund revenue from 20% of my school’s donor base—left me with a huge question: Who comprises the 20% I should focus on? And here's a novel idea with a far-reaching benefit: How about bringing development and admission to work together to enroll those major donor families who can support tuition assistance programs--which in turn can help drive socio-economic diversity? It's a win-win-win: for admission, development, and for those families who can improve the composition of your enrollment but who need greater affordability options.
"Our school used Connor Associates for a year-long engagement and we could not have been happier with the results and with the work and attention of Mike and his staff. The demographic study we conducted, the marketing recommendations we received, and the information we collected from our internal, external, and alumni audiences was invaluable. They go far deeper than anyone else with whom we considered working."
It is with great pleasure that Connor Associates announces a new partnership with St. David’s School, an independent, college preparatory day school in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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