A few months ago, I had a dream.
In my dream, we were doing some work with a school which had just received a £3 million legacy gift for their development campaign from the estate of a former pupil.
When the family lawyer was making the arrangements for the legacy to be paid over to the school, he mentioned the fact that, tidily arranged in the lady’s study, was a collection of books and magazines produced over the the years by the school. In pride of place was an old school hymn book, with dog-eared pages and some tiny cut flowers, neatly pressed in the index pages at the back.
Next to this was a collection of school magazines, and some invitations to alumni events dating back to the 1970s.
Legacy income in the UK charity sector reached its highest ever level in 2017 and is now estimated at £2.8-£2.9 billion p.a., and looks set to rise. This has been transformational for some of our major charities, but it shows quite how important it is to keep supporters engaged and inspired, year in, year out.
Last week I had another dream. I dreamt that my Godson was leaving school, and had been rebuked in the strongest possible terms by the Deputy Head for attempting to ‘steal’ his school hymn book after the last chapel service of term. Luckily, sense prevailed, and he was allowed to take the book, complete with an inscription from his favourite teacher.
I wonder whether my Godson will remember his school in his will, or – before that – respond to the inevitable calls from the Development Office over the coming decades. I wonder where his school hymn book is now?
Nurturing alumni is no longer an unwanted distraction from the business of running a school. It is an integral part of it. The two dreams I have just described weren’t dreams at all; they really happened.
Finding ways of sharing timeless values is now a full time job for many successful schools, and it is no surprise that bespoke publications that we used to sell to schools once per decade are now being requested on average every two or three years. Whether it is a leavers’ book, a school history, music folders, a collection of prayers or poems, a hymn book or a school almanac, ensuring that alumni have a tangible reminder of what the school is about has become the new norm.
So if you want to ensure your leavers, and those who left many generations ago, stay connected to their school, talk to us about our bespoke publishing services. We can help with a variety of projects, while making sure that your current pupils have what they need in school, helping them to build their memories.
CLICK HERE to find out about our bespoke publishing service