ACAAP of New England is Alive With Purpose!

On Thursday, October 17, 2019, more than 100 individuals from Catholic elementary and secondary schools across New England attended the Fall ACAAP Conference. Attendees included school presidents and heads of school; school board members; and school admissions, advancement, and marketing and communications staff. Thank you so much to all of those individuals who attended. Attendees heard a moving talk from the day's keynote speaker, Artie Boyle, author of Six Months to Live: Three Guys on the Quest for the Ultimate Miracle, before spending the rest of the day engaged in breakout sessions and networking.  The following breakout sessions were offered:

Refreshing a Brand Image Across Multi-Media
Embarking on a brand image "refresh" is daunting. Fairfield Prep Communications will share their experience in deploying a new website re-design, plus creating and employing new video, digital and print marketing tactics. The objective was to build a synergistic approach to messaging, ultimately supporting the admissions season as well as Advancement initiatives.
Colleen Adams, Director of Communications, Fairfield College Preparatory School - CT
Ronald DeRosa, Digital Communications Manager, Fairfield College Preparatory School - CT

Grants: A Primer
Grants from foundations and corporate entities can be an integral part of school fundraising. In this session, we'll review at a very high-level, the different types of grants, things to know before applying for grants, and what a standard grant process looks like.
Bevin Kennedy, Cabinet Secretary, Development and Communications, Diocese of Manchester

Marketing, Relationship Management and The Path to Enrollment
The space between marketing, enrollment and admissions is no longer defined. This session will cover marketing for the path to enrollment, and the importance of a data-driven relationship management strategy.
Kara Redente, Director of Marketing & Enrollment Management, Sacred Heart Academy - CT

Marketing & Communications Roundtable
Hear and share from others working in Marketing and Communications.  Roundtable sessions are perfect for highly experienced individuals as well those who are brand new to their roles. 
Chuck Putney, Website Project & Content Manager, Central Catholic High School - Lawrence, MA

Creation & Implementation of a Prospective Donor Research Operation
The presenter will summarize the creation and implementation of a formal prospect research operation at Fairfield Prep. He will discuss how this new operation, now in its third year, has contributed to a transformation of how advancement is conducted at the school, and why modern advancement offices should have some form of prospect research as a component of their major-gift fundraising efforts.
Gregory Marshall, Special Assistant to the President, Fairfield College Preparatory School

Stay Alive & THRIVE! Innovative Strategies for Achieving Long-Term Operational Success in an Ever-Changing World
Discover how an integrated, collaborative process for conducting a Catholic School Campus Master Plan can help you achieve the support needed to: determine an achievable, phased plan for conducting facility improvements; identify funding sources for projects as well as an endowment; increase the general population's awareness and perception to positively affect school enrollment; and sustain the future of your school.
Steven Habeeb AIA, President, Habeeb & Associates Architects
Jack Shea M.Ed., Certified Educational Planner, Habeeb & Associates Architects

Admissions Roundtable
Hear and share from others working in Admissions.  Roundtable sessions are perfect for highly experienced individuals as well those who are brand new to their roles.  The Admissions Roundtable is facilitated by Kevin Altieri, Director of Admissions, Fairfield College Preparatory School, ACAAP Board Member

How to Run a Successful Fundraising Shop on a Shoestring Budget
The reality of many development offices is limited resources, including money and employees.  This presentation will focus on setting realistic goals (short term and long term), investing in the framework of the office (database and other tools), and celebrating success (making team feel valued).  Also to be discussed, how to keep the train moving when unfortunate situations arise.
Sabre Leek, CEO Sleek Consulting and Michelle Lynch, VP Special Programs Sleek Consulting

Advancement Roundtable
Hear and share from others working in Advancement.  Roundtable sessions are perfect for highly experienced individuals as well those who are brand new to their roles.  The Advancement Roundtable is facilitated by Jim Scholl, Director of the Fund for Xaverian and Leadership Giving, Xaverian Brothers High School - Westwood, MA

Cura Personalis: Use this 500 year old Jesuit Phrase to Make the Case for Enhancing and/or Expanding your Admissions Office to Achieve Success in the Modern Market
Cura Personalis - A Latin phrase meaning "Care for the individual person" is as old as the Society of Jesus. Hear about the pitch used at Fairfield Prep to enhance and expand the admissions office using this as our foundation.
Kevin Altieri, Director of Admissions, Fairfield College Preparatory School, ACAAP Board Member

Brand Positioning: How to Create a Strong Brand Strategy
Let’s be honest. We all know that there is more to your school’s brand than your logo and style guide. It is how you position your school in the minds of your school community, outside community, and prospective families. Explore the challenges and opportunities; along with a plan that begins to strategically position your school to succeed in an over-populated market of independent schools. You will return to campus knowing what you can do right now and what it will take to build a competitive school brand. Be prepared to think differently, interact with your colleagues, and most importantly be courageous and honest with how you feel about your school. Jim Healy; Owner, Photographer, and Brand Architect; Peapod Design 

Catholic Schools and the Media
This session will cover: why you and your your school should be working with the media, how to prepare for and give an interview, dos and don'ts of working with reporters, and the basics of communications during a crisis.
Tom Bebbington, Director of Communications, Diocese of Manchester NH

The Art of the Ask in this Digital Age
As technology plays a growing and important role in the solicitation of charitable gifts, it is important that we also remember the "art of the ask" through personal contact and direct mail solicitation. There is still no more effective way to communicate than in person, and therefore no more effective way to solicit support than to do so face-to-face. And in this age of social media, direct mail solicitation still plays an important role, if you offer an almost irresistible appeal.
Rick Blain, CFRE Owner, Richard R Blain & Associates, LLC 

Website and Digital Strategies for Catholic School Development and Admissions
See the best practices in website and digital communications that are working for Catholic schools helping them to achieve their institutional goals. Successful working examples and strategies will be discussed as well as common pitfalls to avoid.
Chuck Putney, Website Project & Content Manager, Central Catholic High School - Lawrence, MA
Anthony Tata, Senior Client Success Manager, Finalsite - Glastonbury, CT

Cultivating Volunteers as Donors
Using case studies relevant to both elementary and high schools, this presentation will explore the costs and benefits of cultivating volunteers as donors.
Maricele Riemann, Director of Institutional Advancement, Sacred Heart Academy - Hamden, CT

The ACAAP conference remains the only conference for admissions, advancement, and marketing and communications professionals from New England's Catholic elementary and secondary schools that is completely volunteer run.  We thank all those volunteers who help make the conferences happen as well as ACAAP Business Partners.  The Spring 2020 conference is happening on Thursday, March 19 at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

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