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Ending the Year Strong: Fundraising in Christian Schools

4 min read
May 29, 2024 1:30:00 PM

The closer we get to the end of the calendar school year, the more everyone’s thoughts and attention turn to other things. We might as well be honest about that fact. It’s true in all schools, including K-12 Christian schools. But even though the current school year is almost checked off the list, don’t let your people hang their thoughts about supporting your school up in the closet like the uniforms that will go unworn over the summer. 

Take this time to intentionally engage givers, and most importantly, to work toward creating a culture of generosity. That is what it takes to raise the funding required to level up the impact on your students and for God’s kingdom. 

Defining Culture of Generosity in Christian Schools

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “culture of generosity,” but I don’t think we do a great job at defining what exactly that means and the specific, real-world actionable ways in which we can achieve it. 

So, let’s define it. A school with a culture of generosity actively demonstrates shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that are marked by abundance and characterized by a noble spirit. Notice, there’s no mention of money in that definition. While we definitely do include money, and because throughout Scripture the Lord talks about being generous with our finances, that’s only part of the story. 

A culture of generosity should create sustainability in fundraising by helping you raise more funds now, and when nurtured properly, it will help you raise more later. It’s sometimes hard to know where your school falls on the scale related to a culture of generosity, but here’s the big thing to focus on: 


Schools that have a culture of generosity are overflowing with people who give generously when asked. 

It's not necessarily about a dollar amount, but it's about having a posture of generosity regardless of their specific situation. They want to be a part of giving financially to the organization and making the mission possible. And of course, it’s also about being generous with time and resources as well.

A school with a great culture of generosity is full of people who volunteer. It’s not always the same 10 to 20 people who do all the work. It’s a broad group of volunteers from all over the school, and they come happily and willingly every time you need them. 

So before the end of the year, define what culture of generosity means, try to figure out where your school falls on the scale, then make sure you are talking openly about finances and fundraising. Schools with a culture of generosity have people in every corner – parents, faculty, staff, community members – who talk openly about money and the resources it takes to successfully run the school. 

However, the word “money” is probably not heard all that often. Instead, they are talking about what it takes in relation to words like mission, excellence, purpose, vision, partnerships, and impact. They are talking about resources from the heart, and they are devoted to coming together to make those things possible. 


They know that they cannot sacrifice tomorrow's culture for today's transaction. 

Schools with a great culture of generosity know and understand that crucial truth, and it’s their lens in everything they do. In order to improve and embrace that idea more wholeheartedly, here are some practical things you can do as we approach the end of the year.

  • Make sure your messaging always ties in clearly to the act of giving to the mission, as well as nurturing the hearts of givers. You are always helping people move closer to a model of biblical generosity as they support your school.
  • Respect your real fiscal year end date. Your fiscal year may end June 30, but perception is reality. When the school year closes, people are out the door. You can’t wait until the very end of the year to have year end challenges or big events. The same goes for your last appeal letters of the year. Think about these now.
  • Focus on renewals. Renewing a giver is critical. Pick up the phone today, and start calling your soon-to-be-lapsed givers. Thank them for their gift last year and let them know how valuable it was in making your mission possible. 
  • Focus on new families. Acquiring these families as givers early in their tenure is critical for growing a culture of generosity. It’s wise to have a year-round plan for cultivating these important new relationships with a special communication strategy to get them onboarded and engaged. 
  • Pause and evaluate. As your last events or initiatives of the year come to an end, take some time to reflect on it. What did each tactic do to grow your culture of generosity? Or did it draw you away? Be honest as you consider these questions.

Your fundraising goals are real, and the stakes are high. It’s critical that you’re strategic in your planning, not merely jumping from appeal letter, to event, to social media challenge. A comprehensive development plan is essential for building a broad-based culture of generosity. 

The end of the year is not too late to start. Focus on this now, and it will set you up for a better start to the next school year and every one after that. 

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