Reimagining Parent Volunteer Efforts for the Fund For Ravenscroft

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Reimagining Parent Volunteer Efforts for the Fund For Ravenscroft
Sarah Macey

An innovative team structure helps Fund For Ravenscroft volunteers channel their passion for the school into making connections and fundraising on behalf of Every Raven, Every Day.

While we most often think about innovation at Ravenscroft as something that occurs in our classrooms, studios and fields of competition, our dedicated parent volunteers also bring new insights and initiate new practices in the essential work they do on the school’s behalf.

 

Varsity basketball players Lindsey Carter ’22 and Dani Williams ’22 dominate in this photo from the 2020-21 season. Photo courtesy of Charles Winston

In the 2020-21 school year, parent leaders dug deep to find ways to engage their fellow Ravenscroft families during a time when most weren’t able to visit campus themselves. Fund For Ravenscroft co-chairs Courtney Brock and Dani Stansell — charged with supporting the school’s largest and most important annual fundraising effort through parent outreach — created an entirely new structure to help parent volunteers channel their passion for the school into making connections and fundraising on behalf of Every Raven, Every Day.

“We would often hear, ‘I’d love to help write thank-you notes, but I'm not comfortable asking for donations.’ During our years as Fund For Ravenscroft co-chairs, our biggest goal was to make sure donors and volunteers alike felt the gratitude we had for them. This feedback sparked a conversation about dividing the role into key aspects,” Stansell explained.

“The parents who give so generously to the fund help make Ravenscroft more than just a school,” Brock added. “We were excited to set up a pathway that would allow the Fund For Ravenscroft team to quickly and genuinely thank our parent donors.”

In collaboration with Donor Relations staff, Stansell and Brock created three new and distinct teams to provide opportunities for fund volunteers to focus as much on storytelling and gratitude as fundraising: Engage, Commit and Care.

The Fund For Ravenscroft supports all aspects of the student experience. Above, first-grader Shawn Yang works with math manipulatives in Kerri Wadsworth’s class. Below left, teacher Phil Kantaros confers with Mason Zervos ’21 in his Advanced Studies in Government & Politics course; below right, Sinclaire McGlown ’27 and Jessica Keim ’22 perform in last year’s production of “Frozen.”

LEARN MORE: What does the Fund For Ravenscroft support?

 

Engage

Stories inspire and shape our mission

Our Engage volunteers were charged with contacting donors to ask them to share their Ravenscroft story. It was moving to hear different stories throughout each division that explored why families support our school through their donations to the Fund For Ravenscroft. Through their storytelling, we are able to understand — and share — the interests, experiences and vitality that make our community what it is today. These stories inspire and shape our mission as part of the greater institution.

“Being a part of the Engage team gave me the opportunity to connect with other parents in the community during a time in which physical interaction with other parents on campus was limited,” Lower School parent Georganne Santacaterina explained. “Not only was it fun to catch up with old and new friends, but I loved being able to hear firsthand from other parents the different stories and reasons behind the ‘why we give.’  Working on the Engage team was a great reminder as to why the Ravenscroft community is such a fantastic place!”

Commit

“We got to our goal!”

Members of our Commit team enjoy talking with other parents about the importance of a gift to the Fund For Ravenscroft. Their goal is to have parents say yes to philanthropic support of the school, thereby providing the resources that ensure all students can grow and thrive throughout their Ravenscroft experience.

Lower School parent and frequent volunteer Luisa Campos joined the Commit team with enthusiasm. “It was great to feel I was doing something to help raise money for the school, especially after the investment school leadership made to help our kids to be back in person safe,” she said. “Also, it was great to see that by our efforts we got to our goal!”

Care

“A reminder of how grateful we are”

When we asked our most loyal and committed donors what kind of recognition was meaningful to them, many of them said they’d treasure a personal, heartfelt note of appreciation from someone in the school community. Our Care team was hard at work all year writing thank-you notes to donors near and far.

Lower School parent Megan Baldwin said her involvement with the Care team enhanced her relationship with the school in unexpected ways. “I was able to reach out and personally thank friends and strangers alike for partnering in that effort. In a year when we all felt so isolated, the Care team helped me to connect with other Ravenscroft families in a unique and meaningful way,” she said. “Each note I wrote was a reminder of how grateful we are to have our children learn at such a special school.”

We are gratified that these parents believed so strongly in the institution’s goals that they were willing to make them their own. As Baldwin said, “I’ve always loved volunteering at Ravenscroft and feeling like part of a closely knit community. Staying off campus during this past year tested the strength of those bonds, and I wasn’t surprised at all to see how so many families stepped up their involvement in creative or innovative ways. I loved working as part of the Fund For Ravenscroft team and seeing how our Engage, Commit and Care teams seamlessly came together toward a common goal: seeking the support of our community for the continued growth of our school.”


Want to get involved with our Fund For Ravenscroft teams for 2021-22? Learn more here!

Engage Team member Georganne Santacaterina

Commit Team member Luisa Campos

Care Team member Megan Baldwin