Our schools exist to raise up the next generation to love the true, the good, and the beautiful and to form hearts and minds and shape affections. Parents contribute financially through the tuition they pay, often at great sacrifice. And yet in almost all cases for non-profit schools, they still need additional funds to reach all their goals from operations to building campaigns. Are there ways for our schools and parents to partner and raise the needed funds in such a way that is winsome, welcome and effective in ultimately creating donors who are joyful, grateful and engaged partners? My guest today is a parent and founder of a classical Christian school and one of the top fundraising experts in the country. You will not want to miss this episode as we explore how to approach fundraising as a mutual win for both parents and academic leadership.
The Focus Group – https://thefocusgroup.com/
Biography: Brad Layland
Brad Layland, Chief Executive Officer & Senior Consultant, first learned how to raise money as a college student in 1993, while seeking to raise personal support as a part-time staff member for Young Life. Over the course of 20 years at Young Life, he developed his passion for and expertise in relational fundraising, to the point where he was asked to train other area directors around the country, and eventually became the Chief Development Officer for the entire organization.
Brad joined The FOCUS Group in 2012 as a Senior Consultant and became the owner and CEO in 2015. In 2013, he launched the Taking Donors Seriously® e-learning and coaching program to make the firm’s expertise accessible to individuals and smaller nonprofits.
Brad’s expertise providing high level fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations incorporates major donor strategies, training workshops, planned gift marketing, and capital campaign counsel. In recent years he has led capital campaigns for Dallas Theological Seminary ($160M), Intervarsity Christian Fellowship ($89 million), Union Rescue Mission ($83 million), The Bowery Mission ($27 million) and Veritas School ($5.3 million). He serves on the board of the Society for Classical Learning.
Brad received his B.A. in Communications from the University of Florida and his M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Wendy reside in St. Augustine, Florida and have four children. Brad enjoys running marathons, skiing, investing in real estate, entrepreneurship, and traveling with his family. Over the past 20 years, he has completed 50 marathons and recently completed two Ironman Triathlons.
Brad is the founder of Endless Summer Realty, the largest residential real estate brokerage in St. Augustine, closing over $240 million in transactions in 2021. He is a founder and board member of Veritas Classical School, and launched an annual “Giving Day” in St. Augustine, which has become a platform for local nonprofits to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and establish relationships with new donors. His entrepreneurial success has allowed Brad to experience the joy of generosity, and gain a special understanding of the mindset of a major donor.