How a simple question changed the way Ruyton Girls’ School thought about philanthropy and ushered in a new initiative that got to the core of education – sharing knowledge.

Most fundraising organisations are competitive with one another and very protective of their donors. And who can blame them? With donor fatigue and the number of new charities being established, the demand for the donor dollar is high.

The joy of working in a school is that your pool of prospects is defined. Now this can be a good thing or a bad thing, as it does mean you can’t really go out to the wider public. But your prospects are your current parents, past parents, grandparents and alumni, and they are yours and only yours forever.

Girls' schools have had this myth associated with them that they can't successfully fundraise like boys' schools. I never understood this supposed 'fact' until I'd investigated the situation more closely. I've just returned from the United States where I did a course at the Lilly School of Philanthropy at UIPUI titled 'Engaging Women as Donors', and I was intrigued to learn that Canada and the US have the same disparity between the amount of funds…

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