Wisconsin Lutheran High School (WLHS) is one of the most comprehensive private Christian co-ed high schools in the Greater Milwaukee area. Because WLHS has two boards—the WLHS Foundation, which governs and oversees its planned giving and investments, and the WLHS Board, which is more focused on high school operations and growth—the Mission Advancement team wanted to better define how to more effectively and cohesively support both boards while also growing overall philanthropy.
WLHS wanted to better position itself for long-term growth. To accomplish that, leadership decided it was time to assess the current state of Mission Advancement and use the findings of the assessment to clarify roles and responsibilities, identify key metrics to track, and create both a better structure for the team and stronger communications with the two boards. WLHS decided to retain outside counsel to conduct the advancement assessment and provide assistance in implementing recommendations. The assessment involved analyzing the Mission Advancement team’s structure as well as both boards’ roles in the fundraising effort.
“Our collaboration with BWF meant that Wisconsin Lutheran High School could take an objective look at our fundraising techniques, structure, and overall process, allowing our entire team to collaborate and evaluate what we are doing well and areas that needed improvement.”Anna MattoxSenior Director of Advancement Services • Wisconsin Lutheran High School
In the end, the Mission Advancement team received actionable and detailed recommendations on how to advance philanthropy. Additionally, the assessment helped both boards identify joint roles and functions that will better coordinate their efforts. The team also received new written policies and procedures for their operations and recommendations for database reporting.
By restructuring and adopting many of the recommended techniques, Mission Advancement affected positive change for the team, the board, and the school. The assessment resulted in charting a new path forward for future overall philanthropic growth and positioning WLHS for future campaign success.