Top Takeaways from CASE-NAIS 2017: The National Conference for Independent Schools

This was my fourth CASE-NAIS conference, but my first as an EverTrue team member. It’s always been one of my favorite conferences because there are so many opportunities to connect with great people from independent schools. We face the same challenges and when we get together, we’re always willing to share creative solutions to our common problems.

EverTrue at CASE NAISFun with our Snapchat filter at CASE-NAIS

After coming home from Austin, I reached out to a few folks who’d been in the sessions and came away fired up to get back to work. Here are the top takeaways from the 2017 CASE-NAIS conference.

Katie Gunzelman“I so enjoyed all three CASE-NAIS keynote speakers. They reminded me that it’s important to be powerfully present in all circumstances and that every conversation—personal and professional—counts and can change your life.”

— Katie Hatfield Gunzelman, Assistant Director of Development and Communication, Wichita Collegiate School


Katie Blaha“It’s never too early to start educating students. Our almost-alumni programs start with seniors, but now I would like to begin with freshman (i.e. thanking and calling them and using them as volunteers).”

Katie Blaha, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, McDonogh School


Stacy Jagodowski“Rethink your annual fund. It’s actually two funds: participation and high dollar.”

Stacy Jagodowski, Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications, Cheshire Academy


christina jarke“As major gift officers, we listen to understand. Also, the best decision-makers make a decision without having all the answers. This is strategic ability.”

Christina Jarke, Director of the St. Mark’s Fund, St. Mark’s School of Texas


Jenn Bradley“It’s important to partner with Admissions. As wealth shifts over the generations, millennials are looking closely at the cost of our schools and the value associated with that cost. [We need to consider] what that looks like long-term for philanthropy at schools.”

Jenn Flanagan Bradley, Director of the Annual Fund, Mercersburg Academy


Katie Young“Consider repurposing already-created material to engage grandparents. I loved the idea of sending grandparents a calendar of their grandchild’s athletic schedule or including grandparents in the annual gala invitation list. I learned about the rising number of grandparents who are paying tuition for their grandchildren now.

Katie Young, Director of Alumni Relations, Greenhill School


We’re just at the start of conference season, which is a great time to take advantage of all the learning opportunities CASE and other organizations put together. EverTrue will be at many of the upcoming divisional conferences, looking to connect and learn alongside you, so swing by the booth or stop in one of our sessions to say hi.

And save the date for Raise 2017, our own conference that brings the best of the for-profit world with innovators from schools and nonprofits, this July 27-28 in Boston.

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