A Guide for Auxiliary Program Leaders: How to Develop a Compelling End-of-Summer Report
Summer is winding down, and we know what you’re thinking. It’s the perfect time to finally re–port.
At the end of each season, Auxiliary Directors turn their attention from directing summer programs to the crucial task of reporting on the summer's activities, achievements, and challenges. As you plan your report, you’ll want to pay equal attention to what you report and how you present it.
1. Setting the Frame of Mind
Beginning with the right mindset is crucial for creating a comprehensive and impactful report.
Understand that reporting is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the successes of your program.
Accept what you can control and focus on your expertise.
Remember that strategic accomplishments are equally important as the specific program accomplishments.
This is not a small undertaking, so make time for this essential task. Recognize both the successes and challenges of the season. Hold space for questions.
2. Define Your Audience:
Understanding your audience is the foundation for a successful report.
Chief Financial Officer: They'll be primarily interested in the financial metrics of your program. Be prepared to delve deep into revenue, costs, and net profits.
Head of School: Highlight how the program aligns with the school’s mission and vision and its impact on the broader educational community.
Board of Trustees: They would value both high-level outcomes and granular details about student participation, community impact, and potential areas of improvement or expansion.
School Community: The emphasis might be on the experience of the students, participation, and community impact with a de-emphasis on revenue.
3. Impact of Your Program:
Painting a picture of your program’s impact throughout your school community can help stakeholders visualize its significance.
Story to Tell: Narrate transformative experiences, achievements, and unique selling points of your program.
Impact on School: Discuss how the program has added value to the school—whether it's through revenue, brand visibility, or student engagement.
Impact on Participants: Share anecdotes or success stories that demonstrate the program’s positive effects on individual participants.
Challenges and Justifications: Every program has its hurdles. Transparently discuss lessons learned, any challenges faced, and how they were addressed.
Future Needs: If you foresee the need for additional resources, staffing, or other support in the coming year, now is the time to lay the groundwork for those requests.
4. Report Format
Consider various formats based on your audience and the nature of the information. Whether you're presenting a paper report, a PowerPoint presentation, or a video, ensure it is digestible, engaging, and allows for discussion.
5. Tools and Graphics
Use the appropriate tools to create your report, such as PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Prezi. Graphics like pie charts can visually represent data in a way that's easy to understand. Highlight positive testimonials to underscore the program’s impact. And make sure to incorporate several of your best photographs of the season.
6. Metrics to Consider
Showcase metrics that demonstrate the value and impact of your program. These can range from admissions and enrollment numbers to financial data and community engagement figures.
7. Strategic Goals
Revisit your school’s and/or auxiliary program's strategic goals and demonstrate how you've achieved or progressed towards them. These can include non-tuition revenue, school visibility, community engagement, and more.
8. SPARC Scorecard and Value Matrix:
Evaluative tools like the SPARC Scorecard and matrix are pivotal in guiding future decisions.
Current Programs Assessment: Use the SPARC Scorecard to measure how existing programs align with strategic goals and their associated costs.
Potential Programs: When considering new initiatives, the Scorecard can help in assessing their viability and alignment with the institution's broader objectives.
Value Matrix: This provides a visual representation of the strategic value of programs versus their institutional cost, allowing stakeholders to see at a glance where resources are being allocated and their respective returns.
9. Financial Performance and Peer School Benchmarking
Provide a clear view of your program's financial health and compare it with similar programs in peer schools if possible. Some financial information from other schools’ 990 forms can be found on Guidestar. Otherwise, you may be able to compare data that is public: enrollment, fees, schedule, program offerings, etc. This will offer context and allow for a better understanding of your program's position in the broader landscape.
10. Survey Results:
Feedback from direct participants offers an unfiltered lens into the program's effectiveness and areas of improvement. Qualitative data and quotes from the surveys can be used not only for the report, but for marketing the following summer.
Parent Feedback: Understand the perspectives of parents, their satisfaction levels, and their suggestions for improvement.
Camper Feedback: The direct experiences of the campers can offer insights into the program's strengths and potential areas for enhancement.
Staff Feedback: The staff can provide feedback on the operational aspects, curriculum, and overall management of the program.
11. Extended Day & Enrichment and Other Auxiliary Elements
Even if the focus is on summer programs, don't forget to report on other programs like Extended Day, Enrichment, Facility Rentals, and the School Store.
12. Conclusion & Recommendations
End your report with a succinct summary and a clear path forward. This should include any specific requests for support for the upcoming school year. Be available for follow-up discussions after the meeting to address any concerns or questions.
An end-of-summer report is not just an administrative task; it's a chance to shine a light on your hard work, dedication, and the impact of your program. By following the guide above, Auxiliary Program leaders can create a compelling, data-driven report that tells a story and sets the stage for future successes.