Colorado Rocky Mountain School  - Client Spotlight

Colorado Rocky Mountain School

Colorado Rocky Mountain School

Client Spotlight

Strengthening a department, increasing annual funds and embarking on a capital campaign, in less than 12 months.

In 2010, Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) began working with The Compass Group by undertaking a readiness assessment to evaluate its development infrastructure and determine strengths and opportunities to enhance its development program. In addition, the readiness assessment provided the school the opportunity to test its plans to undertake a capital campaign focused on strengthening its physical plant. Now, one year later, CRMS and Compass look back on the most successful fundraising efforts in the school’s history.

CRMS closed out its fiscal year to the tune of $577,000 raised in support of the annual fund and special events, and two of the largest individual major gifts in the school’s history ($2 million and $1 million). The Director of Advancement and Compass agreed it was time to create a venue for the development staff to reflect on the work they accomplished through a year of transition, as well as strategize how to move fundraising efforts forward in the coming year.

The CRMS development retreat started with a Steven Covey quote “begin with the end in mind.” Having clarity about the goals and objectives of the retreat helped ensure that the time and investment in the process delivered outcomes that would be helpful and produce results. While all leaders have ideas about their goals and outcomes for the work of their teams, it is valuable to engage teams in helping to define goals and objectives to enhance those of the leaders. For CRMS, those goals were:

  • Defining priorities for the coming year – creating a strategy and structure to operate more proactively than reactively;
  • Thinking through plans for the coming year;
  • Working together more efficiently and effectively; and
  • Determining how to improve our abilities to balance school involvement with our job descriptions, as well as work with
    personal lives.

Compass fundraising consultants facilitated the development retreat where members of the CRMS development team were able to think through how to better reach personal goals, and work as part of a team supporting each other toward the achievement of the department goals. Members of the CRMS development team walked away from the retreat with a clear sense of priorities, how to decide to take on new initiatives, and clear goals for ongoing communication and updating the overall activities of the department.

Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, just 30 miles from Aspen, Colorado Rocky Mountain School is a small school where students graduate with big ambition. CRMS combines rigorous academics, outdoor and work experiences, arts, community service, and campus life. This comprehensive approach to education develops not only strong students but also engaged young adults with a global awareness and a local spirit.

For more information: Colorado Rocky Mountain School


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