I'd like to share the story of Mike Roche from Bellingham Public School District. The reason Mike's story stands out to me is because of the enormous impact he's seen after making a few small changes at his school. Let's take a look.
Ten years into his tenure as the district's Facility Use Coordinator, Mike finally found an opportunity to make a much needed and long-awaited change to the school's after-hours events. What happened?
He was asked how much the events were costing the school. Armed with the data from his SchoolDude KPIs, Mike figured the annual costs to be about $110,000.
At the time, rental revenue totaled approximately $57,000, leaving the district with a net loss of $53,000. Take a second and think about how your board would react if you helped uncover a $53,000 deficit. Mike was prepared for this moment and presented a plan to charge external groups for using school facilities.
A few notes about how Mike successfully implemented a cost recovery program at his school. First, he used the wealth of data about event costs and the average number of events per month to project the number of events expected in the coming school year. Mike then used these projections to calculate an average fee that would be acceptable to users and adequately cover the budget shortfall.
Knowing he'd done his homework, Mike made sure that proceeds from the cost recovery program were used to supplement custodial salaries. Finally, he made sure to clearly communicate with the public that fees were not being used to generate revenue, but cover costs to the school district. It's always smart to be proactive in communicating with the public!
Bellingham Public Schools is projected to raise facility usage revenue by 41% in 2015. How's that for success?
Here's the entire case study if you want to read a little bit more about how Mike is working to sustain that success using the KPI dashboard.
Question: Have you seen success in starting a cost recovery program at your school? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!