The Transition Committee wrote this three-part plan in March 2016. This blueprint will guide the college forward in the three phases:
Phase 1: Reengagement (March – August, 2016). Gutenberg will seek to reengage friends, alumni, and supporters. Gutenberg’s fierce independence during the last twenty-two years won us a devoted group of friends, alumni, and supporters. But some of these friends faded away—not because they quit supporting our approach, but because they feared Gutenberg might never gain traction. The Transition Committee will spend its first 100 days reengaging these friends.
During these 100 days, we will utilize a focused student-engagement strategy to pursue students for our incoming freshman class. We will also use this time to approach former donors and engage alumni and others through the 2016 Summer Institute, “How to Build a Bridge: Hearing and Being Heard.”
Phase 2: Stabilizing (September 2016 – August 2018). By September 2016, Gutenberg will seat a new board to bring stability to the college. From September 2016 through August 2018, we will build a solid foundation for future growth through five overlapping projects:
- Recruiting through a bandleader strategy. We’ve found that students are best able to engage with Gutenberg through advocates who know the value of our education. We intend to focus our efforts on working with such advocates. We call it our “bandleader” strategy. When a college conductor recruits a tuba or trombone player, the conductor does so through relationships with high school bandleaders. Likewise, we will energize Gutenberg’s bandleaders (alumni, parents, leaders of churches and nonprofits like YoungLife and the CiRCE Institute) to find and recruit students.
- Galvanizing our website. Our website is our most effective recruiting tool. Most of our current students first found Gutenberg by googling “great books” or “great books college.” We believe a modernized design will more concisely communicate the college to potential students. During Phase 2, we will redesign our website and optimize it for search engines.
- Engaging new donors. The Transition Committee believes that Gutenberg’s classrooms are (in our unbiased opinion) among the best in the country. We are convinced that if donors catch a vision of Gutenberg’s teaching, they will support us. Phase 2 of our plan calls for finding and engaging like-minded supporters.
- Branding. Branding helps an organization articulate its goals and values internally. Once articulated, this brand will be applied to all our outreach materials and thus focus our imprint in the public square. The goal is not better advertising but more honest communicating. We want people to know what Gutenberg is and what we do.
- Continuing to reengage friends, alumni, and supporters. As in Phase 1, Gutenberg will continue to reengage friends who want to play a role in Gutenberg’s future. We are keenly aware that these friends are our best allies, supporters, and encouragement.
Phase 3: Sustaining (beginning September 2018). During this phase, we will build atop the structure erected during Phase 2. We hope that by 2020 we will have expanded our student body to 75 students while increasing our administration, base of financial support, and faculty.
Donate to Gutenberg
Gutenberg has now entered the second phase of its plan. The sustainability of a college depends upon its ability to bring in students, to have name-recognition, and to have a solid base of support. Thus, during Phase 2, we will concentrate on recruiting, branding, and donor-relations. Show your support and join us in reaching our next fundraising goal of $20K by making a donation by August 31.
We made it! Thanks so much to all of you who helped us reach our goal.