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Examining the effects of K-8 mergers on brand awareness and fundraising using a mixed-method research design
A research study was conducted to examine the effects on brand awareness and fundraising for a K-8 private urban school system known as CUES. A substantial number of private schools across the country have suffered financially, with many closing. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to evaluate stakeholder assessment of values, choice and opportunities as well as stakeholder engagement and philanthropic support. Purposive sampling was used to electronically collect data from a sample of n = 139. Quantitative findings illuminate success with more than 60 per cent of participants identifying performance as either ‘above average’ (39.57 per cent) or ‘excellent’ (23.74 per cent). Donors and Board Members described ease of donating to the school with 85.48 per cent indicating ‘very easy’ making it a significant finding relating to other K-8 private schools. Qualitative findings indicate the private school is providing an excellent education for children, diversity, small class sizes and a strong graduation rate where students succeed in high school and beyond. Findings indicate opportunity for community engagement through outreach and service to share successes and tell the story. Recommendations related to teacher support, community engagement, service to others, marketing and showing how donations support the mission are also provided. These findings are transferrable to other private K-8 schools.
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Julia Cronin-Gilmore has earned the rank of full Professor at Bellevue University, where she teaches full time and is the Director of the Doctorate of Business Administration Program and Director of Marketing degrees. In 2017, Dr. Cronin-Gilmore received the ‘Excellence in Teaching/Training Award’ for higher education from the United States Distance Learning Association; in 2016, the ‘John R. Maenner Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching’ from Bellevue University and in 2015, ‘Marketer of the Year’ from the American Marketing Association, Nebraska chapter, and a Pinnacle Award (perfect score) for a research project conducted for the Women’s Fund organisation. She received an ‘Excellence in Innovation’ award (2015) for creating an MS in Strategic Marketing degree at Bellevue University. In 2010, Dr. Cronin-Gilmore published a book titled Small Business Marketing Strategy. She holds a PhD in Business Administration, specialising in marketing; an MA in Management and a BS in Marketing.
Helen G. Hammond PhD is Senior Program Manager and Assistant Professor in the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University. In addition to mentoring faculty and staff in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research initiatives, she teaches undergraduate and graduate business courses including management, organisational behaviour, servant leadership, marketing and leadership in organisations. Her research interests include servant leadership, management, teaching and learning and online teaching best practices. Dr Hammond holds a PhD in Industrial and Organisational Psychology.