Snapchat’s $24M Lesson,
You may well have read about Snapchat’s IPO last week that raised billions of dollars.
What you may have missed in the news is a fascinating story on how Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California, made $24 million from the Snapchat IPO.
About 5 years ago, a parent of two students at the school, provided the school’s growth fund with an opportunity to invest $15,000 in Snapchat. That $15,000 investment is now worth a staggering $24 million.
It is worth reading in full the beautiful letter that the school wrote to their supporters announcing the amazing news and their plans on how to sensibly use the proceeds to advance their strategic goals.
So what can we learn from Saint Francis High School’s heart-warming story for supporter relations in general, and alumni relations best practices in particular? Let me suggest two:
1. Assess the true value of your community of supporters
All schools are trying to build a community of supporters. But how many can say they are maximizing the true value of their alumni, parents and indeed grandparents?
Has your institution properly assessed all of the potential time, creativity, expertise and philanthropy that each of your alumni and supporters have to offer?
Understanding the true size of the prize of these critical relationships may be an important first step in resourcing appropriately this opportunity.
2. Invest in building your community of supporters
Building a community of supporters may well take time but it is a strategic necessity.
To unlock that true value of your alumni and parent relationships requires time and financial investment by your school.
I think there is also a subtle but crucial point with the example of Saint Francis High School about the order of alumni and supporter relations.
They invested first in their community, before they got anything back in return. And the return took many years and turned out to be massively disproportionate to the investment!
Engage first. Ask second.
With this in mind, what can make the community more valuable for your supporters? How should you best engage them?
To summarize, I hope the amazing story of Saint Francis becomes the inspiration for your institution to truly maximize the value of its alumni and supporters.
What did you learn from this amazing story?
I would welcome your thoughts.