Financial Management

Effective financial management in schools is a function of balancing income and expense. Like pressure on a waterbed, pressing down on one source of income or stream of expense affects all other areas.

Most schools do not focus enough on “profit centers” such as after-school and summer programs, bussing, food service and school stores to name a few examples. If they are managed well, it is possible to generate much more income than expense from these sources.

The “sacred cows” are: tuition and fee income; gift income (of all kinds); class size; program costs; plant costs; total enrollment; staff compensation; and financial aid. The “sacred cows” refers to the desire of most schools to have a well-paid faculty and staff, outstanding plant, a strong endowment, high financial aid, moderate tuition and fees, strong fund raising, low class size, adequate total enrollment, enriched program, and profit centers to generate additional income. It is prioritizing and balancing these competing forces that challenge most schools. If this process is handled badly, it can alienate important groups within the school and undermine the school’s objectives.

Littleford & Associates helps schools build effective financial plans to meet the schools’ mission and strategic goals. For more information on this, see the article:

The Nine Sacred Cows Of Financial Management: How To Get A Handle On Controlling Expenses And Increasing Income In Difficult Economic Times.

The almost ongoing, high stress job of crisis management in schools has filled the space that was once full of organizational charts, contracts, training, legal protection, salaries and other the expectations and demands.The Head of School has needed to refocus and reframe to reflect the new reality. How do the head and the board partner together respond to and manage this uncharted territory? The job is now high stress nearly all the time.

The webinar will explore:

  • • How a head and board best manage constituent communications and expectations?
  • • Best practice for how the board can support the head of school?
  • • How a head should communicate what he/she needs in order to succeed in the role and have a balanced personal life as well?
  • • What are the immediate danger zones in the head/board relationship at this stressful time?
  • • What simple signals can the Board send that ensure board/school stability and confidence from the stakeholders?
  • • How should the head manage each stakeholder group?
  • • How can the Board support the head personally and with each stakeholder group?
  • • What are the new financial realities, the trade offs of income and expense that must now be addressed?
  • • How to market a school when the campus is closed?
  • • How to engage parents positively when they are full of anxieties?
  • • How does the Head remain positive, reflective and energetic in the midst of all this?


Reminder: Long terms boards with long term chairs lead to long term successful heads and stable and financially sound school.

Contact us today for more information or to sign up!