Taking them on the journey with you
"A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done."
How do you compel your school community to support your development or fundraising project? Through clever and considered communications which invite people to join the 'ride' to your exciting destination.
It's important to articulate and 'sell' the vision or ultimate goal of your project in an engaging fashion. Present it in such a way that is meaningful to your school community. What difference will it make? What's in it for them? This is key to enthusing your school community to join you on the quest.
- Aim to inspire people and make them feel they are an integral part of the journey to achieving the goal. Illustrate how they can help make the vision a reality. It's about providing doorways for people to have ownership and motivating them to step through them.
- Create a take away 'elevator pitch' that sums up the project's purpose and the difference it will make, so the community can adopt it and support the cause through the all-powerful word of mouth. Repeating this pitch throughout the project's communications will reinforce the community's common purpose.
- Remember also that every project is an opportunity to build your organisation's brand and culture. Your vision and goals need to hook back into your school's governing mission and purpose.
Vision casting is an essential ingredient of launching your development or fundraising project.
Just like Christmas presents under the tree captivate children, it's important to incorporate a range of teaser elements in your communications plan's pre-launch stage, to entice your school community.
Integrate the project's communications with existing and proven communication platforms that your audience engages with, leveraging off the school newsletter and website for example. Supplement this with online strategies and stand alone items for mail-outs and project information collateral.
Design an engaging launch event that brings the value of your vision to life and ensure adequate time is spent on crafting the guest list so networks can be capitalised on.
Securing one or more Ambassadors for the fundraising project is a valuable profile raising tool to fuel community support. Aim to recruit people of influence who are well respected in the school community who have a passion for the cause.
An Ambassador's role is to be the spokesperson for the project and champion the cause in their networks. Their presence at the launch event and participation in news stories will serve to engage stronger interest.
Equip your Ambassadors with the project's elevator pitch and key messages so both written and verbal communications are consistent and effective.
Provide a pathway
Developing and sharing the plan for achieving the vision will serve as a useful measuring stick for reporting back to the school community on the project's progress.
Share the journey
Sustain momentum generated by the launch event by providing regular updates to the community such as a column in the school newsletter or magazine, and an ongoing progress report dashboard on the school website.
These measures allow the community to see their collective progress in reaching their destination.
Celebrate on arrival
Celebrating the project's outcomes on completion plays an important role in nurturing community pride, paving the way for support for future projects.