(Arch) Dioceses

Through the years, ISPD has had the opportunity to work with a number of dioceses –mainly in the areas of strategic planning and in helping Offices of Catholic Schools set up formats, processes and structures for Development/Advancement, Marketing, and Enrollment Management to be successful in schools throughout the diocese. Much of the work begins with bishops, superintendents, associate superintendents, OCS staff, principals, and pastors — making sure that the foundation and principles are understood. Representative Steering Committees are formed; collaborative plans are created, and all processes are built around the themes of communication and people engagement.

ISPD has worked with a number of dioceses in facilitating a Strategic Growth Plan for all Catholic schools in a diocese. Recently completed in the Diocese of Charleston, SC, the Diocesan Strategic Growth Plan is built around the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Mission and Catholic Identity, Governance and Leadership, Academic Excellence, and Operational Vitality are the four main Planning Areas that are used to create the Strategic Growth Plan for all Catholic schools in a diocese.

The process begins with the formation of a representative Steering Committee and the gathering of quantitative and qualitative data. The next step is to form individual Core Teams for each Planning Area with members coming from representative schools and parishes throughout the diocese. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are identified in all four Planning Areas; Challenges are formed based upon the data and the discussions, and Strategic Solutions are created for each Challenge in each Planning Area. The process culminates with a diocesan-wide Congress. Shortly thereafter the Final Plan is written and submitted to the Bishop, the superintendent, and diocesan leaders for approval, and the implementation immediately begins.

Beginning with the Bishop, the Superintendent, Associate Superintendents, and involving the principals, the pastors, the Steering Committee, the Core Teams, and the Congress, this ISPD-led process involves hundreds of people in building a unified and collaborative Strategic Growth Plan for the future of Catholic education.

Working with the Superintendent and Associate Superintendents, ISPD facilitates an internal planning process that helps organize and focus the personnel in the Office of Catholic Schools. Beginning with a one day retreat, this process creates and affirms the Mission and Core Values of the OCS, the specific positions and titles, the main roles and responsibilities of each position, and the main priorities for the Office of Catholic Schools for a specific school year. The process ends with the creation of the Top 10 Selling Points that every member of the OCS team should be promoting throughout the diocese within every Catholic school.

Based upon this work, a booklet is published, printed and distributed to all Catholic school leaders in the diocese clearly articulating all of the above areas.

ISPD works with the Superintendent and others in the Office of Catholic Schools to create processes and templates for all Catholic schools in the diocese to use in implementing Development/Advancement and Enrollment Management processes.

The processes and templates that are created are for use with all Catholic schools in the diocese. Some are listed here:

  • Creating, organizing and implementing the Annual Fund;
  • Hosting a successful Open House in your Catholic school;
  • Setting up and implementing an engaging alumni process;
  • Creating a Strategic Plan for Development/Advancement;
  • Establishing a vibrant marketing plan for your Catholic school;
  • How to write press releases;
  • How to create promotional materials for your Catholic school;
  • How to search, hire and train a development director for your Catholic school.

While ISPD does not conduct diocesan-wide capital campaigns involving all parishes and all schools in a diocese, we do work with a diocese in conducting a capital campaign to build a new diocesan-owned Catholic school. We also work with a diocese when they want to build a new Catholic church in order to establish a new parish in the diocese.

Beginning with the demographic study and continuing with the Financial Feasibility Study, ISPD works with a Steering Committee of representative Catholic leaders in order to organize and implement the Campaign.

ISPD’s most recent success was in working with the Archdiocese of Mobile and guiding the Feasibility and Campaign processes to raise the money to build a new Catholic high school in Baldwin County. St. Michael Catholic High School will open for the 2016 – 2017 school year.