Many current consultants don’t include Asset Management as a part of their discussions with schools regarding Advancement. Why? Asset Management is usually considered a function of the business or finance office. If this is done, then there are only four elements relative to Advancement, and, if you’ve read Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline (1990), you’ll realize that it takes the fifth element to complete the system. The fifth element is sometimes very difficult to find, but once it’s found, the system then makes sense and can operate correctly.
Perhaps you don’t have control over how tuition is collected, but if you’re engaged in the task of increasing enrollment in your school, you must certainly be involved with the administration and allocation of financial aid funds. Since Development also deals with generating revenue which can be used to provide funds for financial aid and scholarships, Development leads back to need for Asset Management.
Further, if you are a school principal or administrator, you may be very successful at bringing new students in with each year’s kindergarten class, but have difficulties retaining families if they fall behind on fulfilling their tuition obligations. It’s then discovered that if all five elements are not handled as a system, the processes are dysfunctional, many times to the detriment of the school’s future.
This section highlights tools that schools can use to offer today’s parents payment options, while maintaining control over the process, ensuring payment security and customer service.