I just read a short article entitled "Full Benefits in a Flat World" in the current issue of Advancing Philanthropy. It prompted me to consider a niche marketing idea.
Catholic independent schools - especially those sponsored by a specific religious order - find themselves in a remarkable position vis-a-vis philanthropic giving, particularly among the younger generations X and Y (aka Millenials). These groups, both of which use social networking heavily, are attracted to international causes.
For those schools among us who have the benefit of a religious order with international connections, we have an opportunity here to further ensconce the charism of that order by means of philanthropy.
Why don't we consider allocating part of our Annual Fund efforts toward international missions? As such, we'd be encouraging our younger donors to give toward international causes (relieving poverty, providing clean water, making micro-loans, etc.), but we'd be keeping them focused on the religious order that sponsors our school(s).
That sounds like collaboration to me...partnering with our donors - via their interests - to advance our institutions while making a greater difference in the world.
It stands to reason that, properly structured, it would increase giving. But why not take it a step further? Ensconce the idea in the school's marketing efforts, and maybe we'd be looking at a way to attract and enhance enrollment...
Seems like a win-win situation to me.