January 2018–May 2018
Designed by ISPD in Coordination with The University of Dayton


In 2015, Frank Donaldson, president of the Institute of School and Parish Development, was invited by NCEA (National Catholic Education Association) to write a book on Catholic School Development/Advancement – 25 Lessons Learned in 25+ Years in Catholic School Development. The book was published by NCEA in the spring of 2016.

Since 1989, ISPD has worked with numerous dioceses in teaching Catholic school leaders how to implement successful Development/Advancement/Marketing/Enrollment Management processes. ISPD workshops have been successfully completed with hundreds of Catholic schools from the west coast to the east coast. Geared to both schools who are new to Development as well as those who have been at it a while, the workshops have been instrumental in establishing the correct infrastructure for Development to be successful.

With the completion of this new book on Catholic School Development, and with the first course being taught now in the fall semester, ISPD is now ready to offer our second five month course (January 2018 – May 2018), coordinated with The University of Dayton (UD). The book will serve as the text for the course, and, in addition, NCEA is publishing an accompanying workbook to go along with the text, which should be ready in November 2017. This course will be part of a Certificate Program with UD and CEU credits will be awarded to all individuals who qualify with attendance and work completed.

ISPD invites you to be an on-line student in this course on Catholic School Development which will begin in January 2018.

The outline and cost of the Spring 2018 course are indicated below. If you are interested, please e-mail fedonaldson@ispd.com so we can make sure your place in the class is guaranteed. The Fall 2017 class filled up quickly, and a number of students had to be turned away once the class started. Once The University of Dayton opens up the registration, we will send you the information, and you will be able to officially register.

Philosophy and Fundamentals of Catholic School Development/Advancement

  • Lesson 1: Promote the Involvement of People as the Common Denominator of Your Catholic School Development Efforts.
  • Lesson 2: Remember That Everything Begins with Your Mission, Vision and Core Values.
  • Lesson 3: The Life and Viability of Your Catholic School Continues with Leadership.
  • Lesson 4: Build Community through Communication.
  • Lesson 5: Move from Fund-Raising to True Catholic Development.
  • Lesson 6: Believe and Promote the Value of a “Customer Service” Culture in Your Catholic School.
  • Lesson 7: Build Relationships with Your School Families.
  • Lesson 8: Promote the Value of Faculty/Staff and Board Involvement in Catholic School Development.

Development Processes and Structures to Advance Catholic Schools

  • Lesson 9: Emphasize the Value of the Development Core Team.
  • Lesson 10: Seek Input from Your Constituents on a Consistent Basis.
  • Lesson 11: Assess Your Development Efforts.
  • Lesson 12: Create the Long-Range Strategic Plan for Your School.
  • Lesson 13: Set Your Development (Advancement) Director up to Succeed.
  • Lesson 14: Create a Master Plan for Your Fund-Raising Events.
  • Lesson 15: Promote the Belief That Enrollment Management Is Everyone’s Responsibility.
  • Lesson 16: Understand the Value of Your WOW!.
  • Lesson 17: Emphasize the Importance of the Annual Fund.
  • Lesson 18: Emphasize Win-Win with Your Alumni Base.
  • Lesson 19: Emphasize the Value and Use of Social Media.
  • Lesson 20: Create a Culture of Giving
  • Lesson 21: Create the Written Strategic Plan for Development.
  • Lesson 22: Implement the Proper Preparation and Organization for a Capital Campaign.
  • Lesson 23: Fuel Endowment Growth with Planned and Capital Gifts.
  • Lesson 24: Be Open to Change and Shifts in Thinking.
  • Lesson 25: Explore New Sources of Revenue with a Pro-Active Stance.

ISPD/UD On-Line Course: Key Information

Number of Classes: 10

Total Number of Hours: 10 + 10 hours of self-study and improvement

Length of Each Class: 50-55 minutes

CEU/Certificate of Completion: Each student will receive two Continuing Education Units along with a Certificate of Completion from The University of Dayton

Cost: $75.00 per student

Dates: The dates of the 10 classes are listed below.

  • Class # 1: Wednesday, January 10, 2018            1:00 PM (Central Time)
  • Class # 2: Monday, January 29, 2018                 1:00 PM (Central Time)
  • Class # 3: Thursday, February 8, 2018                1:00 PM (Central Time)
  • Class # 4: Thursday, February 22, 2018              1:00 PM (Central Time)
  • Class # 5: Tuesday, March 6, 2018                     1:00 PM (Central Time)
  • Class # 6: Friday, March 23, 2018                       1:00 PM (Central Time)
  • Class # 7: Monday, April 9, 2018                        1:00 PM (Central Time)
  • Class # 8: Thursday, April 19, 2018                     1:00 PM (Central Time)
  • Class # 9: Tuesday, May 1, 2018                         1:00 PM (Central Time)
  • Class # 10: Monday, May 14, 2018                     1:00 PM (Central Time)

Testimonials from Pilot Program Completed During the 2016-2017 School Year

  • This course was just the motivation I needed to keep our school moving forward. We have had a difficult year, consolidating grades and closing a center. It has been easier to get bogged down in the weeds than to keep our eye on our mission. Every time I attended this class I was reminded of what my true mission as a leader of a Catholic school was. Not only were there theoretical supports for why we are doing what we are doing, but practical actions suggested that can be applied to almost any school or situation. I didn’t want the course to end–that should be testimonial enough that a busy principal would make the time that just is not easy to find. (Maureen Berg, Pre-K – 8 Catholic School Principal)
  • I participated in ISPD’s Online Classroom. It has been an invaluable experience! I read 25 Lessons Learned before the class started from cover to cover and it seemed overwhelming. So much to do as I was starting up a development office at my school. Going through several chapters every month helped to break down the lessons into easy to understand and easy to implement pieces. Unfortunately, I was about four months ahead of the book and class and did not do some things the recommended way, the first time, but have been able to shift, adjust and get on track with the lessons I have learned. My biggest takeaway is that one of the most important things we can do in Development is to build relationships. To reach out, talk to people and invite them to participate. Development is a process asking everyone to invest in the vision and also in the school in one way or another and, lastly that Development is a long-term process, not just a short-term event. I plan to revisit the sessions in the future, to go back over certain areas. I would highly recommend this class to anyone involved in Development efforts – Development Directors, Presidents, Principals, Pastors and other Development Core Committee Members. For those not currently involved in Development, this is a class that covers it all from the beginning. If you are familiar with development concepts, this is a great refresher with discussions concerning practical applications. (Noreen A. Bickel, Catholic School President)
  • Our schools participated in the ISPD Development Academy and picked up plenty of actionable knowledge. It was very hands-on and facilitated a great amount of teamwork both within our schools and among different schools. We learned common vocabulary and tactics that will provide a foundation from which to engage a greater number of our current and future stakeholders in both advancement and enrollment management. Frank is a dynamic speaker and kept our delegation engaged throughout the sessions. I highly recommend this program to other schools and dioceses. (Michael Juhas, Superintendent)
  • As a new development/advancement director, I feel so blessed that I could take the 25 Lessons Learned in 25+ Years of Catholic School Development online course. Coming from a media background, I had some of the basic “instincts” on what I needed to accomplish. In my first year, I was thrust into a consultant-driven Capital Campaign, which helped me learn a ton on the fly. However, once the active campaign was completed, I was on my own. Frank’s course helped to be a focus on how I needed to evolve to lead an effective advancement office.
  • I was glad to learn we were doing a lot of things correct, but there’s still room for improvement. Lessons Learned breaks down the key components into achievable missions. I believe this course is a must for all new advancement/development staff in their journey to making their Catholic School successful in the 21st Century. (Jason Crundwell, Director of Development and Alumni Relations)
  • Frank Donaldson is a genuinely engaging speaker; pastors, principals, board members and diocesan administrators all enjoyed listening to and learning from Frank’s expertise and experiences shared from his decades in Catholic school development. The webinar series, based on his book 25 Lessons Learner in 25+ Years in Catholic School Development, was logical, easy to understand and provided new and interesting ways to engage alumni, increase volunteer and board involvement and boost enrollment. The homework assignments allowed participants to personalize the new knowledge and challenged us to consider modifications or additions to existing policies and procedures. But most importantly, the book and webinar series provides strategies and processes to strengthen the sustainability of Catholic schools. I am glad I was able to participate in the pilot webinar series. I recommended it to all the advancement directors in my diocese and will encourage those who were unable to participate this year to register in the future. Anyone involved in Catholic School Development will learn from the book and the webinar series. (Ginny Wallace, Community Relations Coordinator, Diocese of Buffalo)
  • After taking this class I have a new understanding of what Advancement/Development is and perhaps more importantly, how to implement it. This class started with the basics and walked us step by step to a fully developed Advancement/Development System including an Annual Fund. It combines both theory and practice and presents concrete actions combined with practical advice based on years of experience. The class was an incredibly valuable experience. (Dr. Janet Weaver, Development Coordinator)
  • I found your book and webinar series at the perfect time! In my new position at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, I’m working directly with our schools to help them grow and develop their advancement activities. The philosophy and processes I’ve learned through the class are wonderful tools I can share with our schools as they move to the next level in their development programs. If I can help our schools understand that relationships form the basis of successful development, they will be on the right path to energize their advancement program and their school. (Jenny Mendenhall, Catholic Schools Advancement Manager)
  • “Whether you are a veteran in the Advancement Office or if you are brand new, I would highly recommend this series of classes. As a veteran, we tend to get stuck in our own way of thinking and lose the ability to come up with new ideas, and as a new Advancement Director you can tend to feel left out in the cold fending for yourself and learning by baptism of fire. This series of classes helps to inspire new thoughts and ideas, as well as embrace what we do as professionals in this industry.” — Penny Baird; Director of Advancement; Trinity Catholic High School; Ocala, Florida
  • “As a Church we continuously say, ‘Go out to all nations and preach the Good News’ but hold the cards close to our chest when it comes to sharing information on what our Catholic parish/school is doing, especially when it pertains to raising money. Frank Donaldson and ISPD have demonstrated that the Good News will only multiply if we share. Wonderful sharing of good news, talent, and key questions to ponder. Thank you!” – Ana Maria De La Portilla; Vice-President; Providence Community Association; San Antonio, Texas
  • “Great practical guide to securing the future of your Catholic school and concrete steps on how to grow enrollment. Every Catholic school leader should take this course.” – Holly Goodwin; Superintendent; Diocese of Colorado Springs; Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • “This is a ‘must’ for any principal thinking about how or why to engage families in the school community. The leadership from ISPD through this book lends support for incremental growth, and action steps. I highly recommend this program for anyone who deeply cares about their Catholic institution and its future.” – Lizanne Ingram; Principal; St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School; Amelia, Ohio
  • “This is one of the best courses I have taken. Whether you are looking for enrollment tips, strategic planning steps, or how to build a capital campaign, this is the course for you. It speaks to all levels of management. The course material was spot on, and the instructor did a great job of communicating materials in an easy, organized manner.” – Carrie Lentz; Director of Marketing and Development; St. Charles School; Bloomington, Indiana
  • “This class has been wonderful. The information is invaluable. Using the step by step approach, incorporated in each lesson, can insure that any goal established can be achieved.” – Donald Nugent; Committee Chairperson for Marketing, Advancement, and Community Relations; Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament School; Depew, New York
  • “Great ideas and insight! This is my first year in the role of Director of Admissions and Development so when the classes began I didn’t know what to expect. I would love to take the class again because there is so much to learn from such a knowledgeable source.” – Beth Robertson; Director of Admissions and Development; Sacred Heart Cathedral School; Knoxville, Tennessee
  • “The opportunity to complete this extremely inclusive Development/Advancement training provided through the ISPD/UD partnership without leaving my school for a 3-4 day seminar with those associated costs, was a true gift to our school. Utilizing the book 25 Lesson Learned in 25+ Years in Catholic School Development as the foundation, provided a long-term connection to the material provided through the webinars.” – Hugh Smith; Advancement; Great Falls Central Catholic; Great Falls, Montana
  • “Mr. Donaldson does an excellent job presenting. I highly recommend this course to every member of your school’s Advancement/Development team, not just the Director. I would go as far as inviting Board members and administrators to participate as well. As a volunteer and parent at our small school, I am really impressed at how important and relevant all 25 lessons are to all Catholic schools, independent of size!” – Bridget Tartick; St. Aloysius Regional School; Springville, New York
  • “I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this series of on-line classes. Since I am currently in my second year serving as the Director of Admissions and Development at my school, I have truly benefitted from the detailed discussions. As a direct result of the lessons and homework assignments, our leadership team has incorporated several ideas and suggestions this year. Thank you for providing these classes for us!” – Sarah Trent; Director of Admissions and Development; St. Mary’s Catholic School; Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  • “As a person fairly new to an elementary school advancement office, I have found this process to be a tremendous help. In listening to the webinars, reading the book and doing the homework, I was able to go back to leadership with ideas for the welcoming at the school, the open house, the number of events that are held and many other areas. One of the most important lessons learned is the communication process and how it is integral to the success of the school. Developing a Core Team is in process.” – Susan Luhr Burns; Director of Stewardship and Development; St. Joseph University Parish; Buffalo, New York
  • “Being a part of this on-line seminar program has been one of the most effective and productive things I have ever been involved in in regards to school vitality. I have learned an incredible amount of knowledge and will use this not only at our school but my parish.” – Laura Valone; Parent Volunteer; St. Aloysius Regional School; Springville, New York

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Click Here to Register

For questions please contact:
Frank Donaldson, ISPD President
E-mail: fedonaldson@ispd.com
Cell: 504.491.2122