Our campaign readiness study for the Notre Dame Junior-Senior High School triggered a host of revelations.
Most significantly, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse’s aim to consolidate its K – 12 schools in the city of Utica garners strong support, but no major supporters appeared ready to ask for or give lead gifts toward the $10 to $12 million renovation and expansion price tag.
Our candid study drew into clarity a number of challenges that lie ahead for the Notre Dame Schools campaign planning committee, mainly in the form of absences: of a sound business plan, of clearly articulated values (that sets Notre Dame apart from surrounding schools), and of a history of alumni support cultivation.
It also presented, in turn, a silver plate of promising recommendations, beginning with a call to reframe Catholic education as more ecumenical and forward-leaning. This and a few other bold moves, if taken, would address the needs of Utica’s diverse and shifting population, strengthen Notre Dame’s historic stakeholders, and allow a private, faith-based school option to thrive in the Mohawk Valley.