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Takeaways from CASE-NAIS 2020

Holman Gao | 3 min read

We traveled to Atlanta for an exciting three days of amazing speakers, engaging conversations, and delicious soul food! As with every CASE-NAIS, it was a great opportunity to reflect on how BoostMySchool can best serve the needs of independent schools. Below are our top three learnings from the conference.

1. Double Down on Organizational Values

To kick off the conference, we were blessed to have Roz Brewer, Starbucks COO, as the keynote speaker. Roz spoke about the challenges she faced while leading Starbucks during a time when a painful and unjust customer experience nationally questioned the integrity of their corporate values.

Image: Keynote speaker Roz Brewer from StarbucksKeynote speaker Roz Brewer from Starbucks

Instead of taking the easy way out and hoping that the situation would pass, Starbucks doubled down on their intrinsic company value of cultivating an inclusive company for both their employees and customers. They took full ownership of their mistake and implemented a new training designed to prevent it from happening again.

It was inspiring to hear a large company take short-term losses in order to prioritize their long-term holisitic impact on employees and customers. Roz set the example of impactful leadership that all of us in the advancement industry would like to follow.

2. Millennial Parents are Rising in Numbers

As with last year’s CASE-NAIS, a theme that came up over and over was how to engage with the newest generation of donors. However, this year the focus shifted from millennial alumni to the rising importance of millennial parents.

Image: Connor Forde, Director of Partnerships, speaking with folks at our boothConnor Forde, Director of Partnerships, speaking with folks at our booth

In 2020, millennials will be between the ages of 24 and 40, and more than half of today’s children have millennial parents. For development teams at independent schools, this means hearing more and more of the needs of millennial parents. Some topics that we heard a few times:

When a topic becomes top of mind within the industry, it becomes top of my mind for us too. Moving forward, we’ll make sure that BoostMySchool can provide our school partners what their new generation of parents crave.

3. Development Teams Make Hosting an Event Look Easy!

It’s no secret that development teams are experts at hosting a Happy Hour for their alumni and parent donors, so we thought we’d give them an opportunity to be a guest this time!

To cap off the conference, BoostMySchool hosted a joint happy hour with ThankView, where 66 folks gathered to mingle, share best practices, and enjoy drinks and snacks. All of our Happy Hour guests were entered into a raffle for Airpods. Congrats to our raffle winners - Mary from The Schenck School and Chris from St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School school and thanks to all for joining us!

Image: The BoostMySchool and ThankView teams with the Airpods winners!The BoostMySchool and ThankView teams with the Airpods winners!

Our take-away lesson from this one? Hosting an event is hard work and advancement teams make it look so easy! Luckily, we had help and a sense of humor to ensure that fun was had by all!

For those of you who attended the conference, we hope you brought home a host of actionable ideas and an energized perspective for your school in 2020. We certainly did and look forward to seeing everyone next year at CASE-NAIS 2021 in New Orleans!

Want to learn more about the Boost platform?

Schedule a call with our Sales Team today to learn how your team can hit your advancement goals easier!


Written By

Holman Gao

Holman is the founder and CEO of Boost My School. He actively helps his former high school with their fundraising and alumni outreach, which is how the idea for Boost My School came about. He is a strong believer in the power of education to change the world and volunteers with programs that support underrepresented students in math and science.