Whether you’re a school administrator or director for after-school or auxiliary programs, increasing your school’s income is likely top of mind, perhaps more frequently than you’d prefer it to be.
In this article, we’ll cover 5 creative ways to increase your school’s revenue, including raising enrollment, offering additional services, holding fundraisers, renting out school grounds, and leveraging software to save precious time.
By the end of reading this, you’ll surely have some original ideas for generating large sums of cash for your school.
- Increase Student Enrollment
- Offer Additional Educational Services
- Hold a School Fundraiser
- Rent Out Your School Grounds
- Invest in Useful Digital Tools
Increase Student Enrollment
Students are most likely the primary source of your school’s income.
It makes sense, then, that the best way to increase your school’s income is by creating and executing initiatives that increase student enrollment at the school.
To do this, you should begin building a great reputation for your school in your local community.
Word of mouth helps, but you can’t rely on it as your only lead-generation tactic, so you should focus on developing quality marketing campaigns.
You have to get the word out to parents that your school is tremendously valuable to their child’s education, well-being, and social life.
And you have to show them why it’s better than the competition.
Start by getting on social media and creating an account for your school.
Post regularly, especially to your town’s Facebook page, highlighting events that were big hits and sharing student success stories.
For example, an after-school Spanish program might share an article about how one of their students won an essay contest in Spanish, or went to volunteer in Argentina.
As you market your school, be sure to target the parents. They’re going to be the ones paying for the program and deciding if they want to send their kids to your school.
Below are some other marketing strategies to increase student enrollment at your school:
|Use content marketing||Create a blog on your school’s website and write posts answering relevant questions that your target audience is asking.|
|Post videos||For example, if you hosted a great fall school event, share a video on social media of kids bobbing for apples or carving pumpkins.|
|Market your differentiating factor||Emphasize what makes your school different from the competition. Is it the teaching approach? Access to top-notch equipment? More attention to each individual student?|
To ensure that your digital marketing assets produce results, you need to capitalize on the parent’s excitement while they’re online interacting with your marketing materials and reading about how awesome your school is.
To do so, use some sort of registration software that allows parents to sign their kids up for your program effortlessly, from their own computer.
In your emails, blog posts, and social media posts, include a link to the online registration form and write a convincing call-to-action that encourages parents to click the link.
This simple addition should enable you to convert a greater number of interested parents.
In sum, marketing your school program to your community’s parents in an effort to raise attendance is an effective way to improve your school’s income year after year.
Offer Additional Educational Services
Offering additional educational services that parents deem valuable for their kids is a savvy technique for increasing your school’s income.
These educational services can be held on school grounds or online.
For instance, schools can offer after-school activities, summer classes, additional educational courses, and tutoring.
In such a competitive economy, parents want their children to have a leg up in the world and are often willing to pay extra for a stronger education that makes their child unique and valuable in the eyes of colleges or companies.
For example, an after-school robotics program is a great way to develop a child’s love of STEM, and teach them skills that are likely to improve their chances of getting into a good college and securing a scholarship later in life.
If your school is able to offer a program like that, make sure to advertise it.
Parents are also interested in schools that prioritize the health of their children by, among other things, providing physical exercise opportunities, so take that into account when thinking up program offerings:
Source: Afterschool Alliance
Aside from after-school activities during the school year, another perfect time to offer additional services is during the summer months, when your cash flow is slowing down, and your students have plenty of free time your school can fill.
Consider offering tutoring services or summer classes that will help students struggling with certain subjects, be it mathematics or languages.
You might also offer a special music program that will appeal to children with an affinity for that form of art.
Or perhaps you could run a week-long intensive reading program for students behind on their reading level.
To ensure that parents know about these summer programs, market them in late spring.
This tactic ensures not only that your school continues gaining revenue even in its off-season, but also that your teachers and staff have the chance to earn some income as well.
In short, you can seriously boost your school’s earnings if you get creative and think of some additional educational programs parents would want to send their kids to.
Hold a School Fundraiser
Holding a school fundraiser is an effective way to generate a lot of income for your school in a short period of time.
During school fundraisers, schools can sell their merchandise. For example, you could offer t-shirts with the school’s logo or blankets with school colors.
Or maybe run a raffle for different baked goods, coupons for school supplies or even children’s toys sold by local businesses you partner with, and other treats younger kids, and their parents, would love to win.
At these events, parents are more likely to buy from you than from some random shopkeeper at a market because they know their money is going towards a good cause: their child’s education.
However, it never hurts to pump the attendees up and remind them why their support is important.
Therefore, school fundraisers should be fun events that keep people in high spirits throughout the event.
Keep the energy up with live music, and get everyone involved in games or contests (that are cost-effective to run, of course).
Despite your skills at appealing to your attendees’ generosity, if you hold fundraisers too frequently, you’ll start to experience diminishing returns.
Worse, parents may become skeptical of whether you’re efficiently using the money they’ve given you.
For that reason, it’s best to hold a big annual fundraiser instead of multiple smaller ones throughout the school year.
For example, many schools hold annual bake sales, where parents and children bake goods like cakes, brownies, or lemon squares (yum!), and bring them to the event to be sold, with all the proceeds going to the school.
You can advertise the bake sale online or with posters using the template below:
Source: Poster My Wall
Students and parents alike will love attending the event and leaving with delicious treats, and you’ll be happy with the money you raised for your school.
For ideas beyond the classic bake sale, check out our article on 7 awesome fundraiser ideas for your school.
Rent Out Your School Grounds
To earn some ongoing passive income, consider renting out your school grounds when they’re not in use.
For example, you could rent out your school-owned parking spaces during holidays.
If your school is in a busy area, surrounded by businesses that would love some extra parking, you could offer it to them at a reasonable price.
You could also rent out your hallways and classrooms as event spaces. For instance, you might let an SAT test prep company use your classrooms in the evenings to hold its classes.
The same could be done for large parking lots. If a local business wants space to host a networking event or conference outdoors, you can offer them a deal.
Summer months are also perfect for renting out your space to summer camps, which require somewhere to host their activities every weekday.
Schools often make the perfect location because they have close access to a gymnasium and fields where kids can play.
Another option is to rent out your sporting facilities during evenings and school holiday seasons.
Whenever you rent out a space in your school, be sure to properly vet the customer.
Don’t just let anyone rent the space, as damages can become quite costly and even get in the way of student activities.
If someone destroys the soccer field you rented out, the after-school soccer program might have to find somewhere else to practice, hence inconveniencing the kids and driving up costs for transportation to and from the new field.
To protect your school financially, have the client sign a contract that states they’re responsible for paying for any damages to your school grounds.
Lastly, consider allowing businesses, for a fair price, to advertise on your public-facing spaces, such as fences along main roads.
Another great spot to allow businesses to place their advertisements is on your scoreboard, like this one on a football field:
Source: Elkhorn Foundation
As you can see above, the companies Ortho Nebraska and US Bank are both using the scoreboard as advertising space.
Businesses with a target audience that includes parents and sports fans in your community will surely pay a good price for this product or service positioning.
You could even let businesses advertise on your school website, provided that the business is relevant to education or childhood well-being.
For example, letting a gutter cleaning company advertise on your school website would seem a bit odd, but advertisements for a summer camp make a lot more sense, as they’re in the children’s best interests.
In sum, a great way to make some passive income for your school is to rent it out to businesses, clubs, and other trustworthy organizations that need classrooms, parking lots, or sporting facilities to host their events.
Invest in Useful Digital Tools
Instead of focusing on improving income, you could try to reduce your school’s operating costs, specifically by investing in impactful digital tools that help you reduce your paper usage.
According to one survey, the average US teacher uses about 26 pieces of paper every day.
Considering how many teachers there are in your school, and how many days there are in a school year, these paper costs add up to a significant amount.
Furthermore, some registration and event management software, like Regpack, can be used to efficiently manage all revenue-generating activities for your schools, from after-school program registration to fundraiser event hosting.
Regpack can also help you automate the process of student enrollment.
With automation features like online registration forms, a parent can sign their kids up online from the comfort of their homes.
And these forms are super easy to create with drag-and-drop tech:
Convenience aside, online registration forms also enable your team members to focus their energy on activities that will impact revenue rather than on busywork like manually registering each student via a phone call or inputting data into your system.
This all happens automatically behind the scenes, saving you precious time:
You can even set up automated emails that automatically go out to parents when they sign up for the program.
These emails can relay important information and provide instructions on the next steps.
It’s important to regularly evaluate your current processes and see if there are any inefficiencies you can eliminate through the addition of technology.
The costs of investment and the implementation timeline might seem like a lot at first, but in a matter of months, you’ll have made your money back many times over as long as you’ve chosen intelligently.
Some of the best ways to raise your school’s revenue seem pretty simple and obvious. You can increase student enrollment, offer more services, or host a fundraiser.
Other strategies, like renting out your school grounds and investing in new technology, are slightly more challenging and require a bit more tact to execute effectively.
But that shouldn’t dissuade you from taking calculated risks to improve your school’s income.
Often, it’s the ideas that seem most foreign that pay off the most. Not to mention, tackling them will help you grow as a professional in your field.