How to Create Your Own Community Impact Statement

MANS&C strongly encourages members to create Community Impact Statements that outline the economic and social contributions their institutions make to their communities and to the state. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has done a wonderful job of explaining why these statements are important and giving you the tools to create your own. The following form (used with permission from NAIS) is a consolidated look at this issue. The hyperlinks will take you to the complete documents from the NAIS Web site.

Three current MANS&C members, Wellesley College, The College of the Holy Cross and Walnut Hill School for the Arts, have particularly good Community Impact Statements on their Web sites. We urge you to check them out:

Wellesley College Town Publication
Holy Cross - In the Community
Walnut Hill School Impact Statement

If your institution already has a Community Impact Statement, please forward a copy to MANS&C President Julaine McInnis at jmcinnis@UrsulineAcademy.net.

 

Community Relations

Part I: Making the Case for a Community Impact Report at Your Independent School
http://www.nais.org/resources/article.cfm?ItemNumber=147827

Jefferson Burnett, Vice President, NAIS Government Relations
Patricia Danver, Principle, Patricia Danver Marketing Communications

The following is a list of possible economic and social variables to consider in preparing an economic impact statement:

Economic Variables

  • School payroll in terms of faculty, staff and auxiliary salaries, broken down into town and state residency
  • School purchases from vendors at the state and local levels (including food services, plant, teaching materials, etc.)
  • Taxes, utilities and permit fees, again at the local and state level
  • Financial aid provided to students from the community
  • Interest paid to debt holder (if local)
  • Capital expenditures, such as construction
  • Private funding (gifts and grants from foundations, alumni, bequests, etc.) expended on behalf of the Institution (and, by extension, benefiting the community)
  • Sales tax from the school store, snack shop and related auxiliary services
  • Monies spent by students in town
  • Monies spent by employees in town
  • Visitor spending (usually, but not always limited to boarding schools)
  • Housing sales and/or rental expenditures (staff or school off-campus)
  • Cash donations made by students or faculty to needy causes
  • Number of alumni who reside and work in the community

Social Variables

  • Athletic facilities and their use by outside organizations
  • Arts centers and their use by the community
  • Service learning programs, numbers of students and the hours dedicated to community service projects
  • Environmental programs, such as water use, litter abatement and recycling
  • Donations of equipment and supplies to local organizations
  • Volunteer hours given by faculty and staff to community causes, including board and commission memberships
  • Participation by students, faculty and staff to support such causes as cancer, AIDS, diabetes homelessness, disaster relief or other causes described in hours, numbers of participants and funds raised
  • Advocacy on behalf of needy populations within the community
  • Speakers series where public is invited
  • Any awards received by the school or staff for community involvement
  • Partnerships and collaborations with other local organizations

© 2005 National Association of Independent Schools (used with permission from NAIS) (4/19/2007)

Part II: Creating a Community Impact Report at Your Independent School
http://www.nais.org/files/PartII%20Report-102505.pdf

Employment

  • How many faculty and staff does your school employ?
  • How many are contract workers for a custodial or food service company?
  • How many faculty and staff live in the same taxable community as your school?
  • How many faculty and staff live in the wider county and/or state?
  • What is the total payroll in salary and benefits that your school pays each year? (Those salaries you pay become revenue for local vendors and tax collectors)
    • Total employed residents in your immediate community?
    • Total employed residents in the state?
  • Where does your school rank in terms of employment in your community? (10th largest employer? Fifth? Largest?)

Spending

  • How much did your school spend with local vendors over the past year?
  • How much did your school spend with statewide vendors over the past year?
  • How much was spent on capital expenses such as construction and/or purchases?
  • How much did you pay in taxes, utilities, levies, etc.?

Describe your community service programs.

  • List each program and a short description of its goals.
  • How many students participated?
  • How many hours were dedicated to community service programs?
  • Any thank you quotes and/or photos from those projects that you can include?

Describe any use of your facilities (playing fields, indoor athletic facilities, arts facilities) by members of the community for free or for a fee.

  • List the organizations that have benefited from facility use.
  • Include any quotes from thank you letters and photos of the events.

List any programs you offer that are designed to help the environment, such as recycling programs, water use and litter abatement.

Record charitable gifts your school community has made.

  • Did your school take part in charity events to raise money for a social cause such as AIDS, cancer or homelessness? How many participated and how much was raised? Did you take any photographs?
  • Did your school sponsor any drives to collect food or clothing for the homeless or victims of a natural disaster such as the southern Asian tsunami, hurricanes or earthquakes?
  • Did your school donate used equipment such as computers or copiers or other supplies to local community organizations or even other schools?

Resources

1) The Advocacy Initiative, NAIS www.nais.org      www.nais.org/advocacy
2) “America’s Independent Schools: A Communications Handbook,” NAIS, 2003 www.nais.org http://www.nais.org/files/PDFs/AICommHandbook.pdf
3) Effective Community Relations: A Handbook for Independent Schools, © NAIS and AISGW, 2004 (at 800-793-6701 or www.NAIS.org) http://transact.nais.org/Purchase/ProductDetail.aspx?Product_code=B78
4) “Good Neighbor Guidebook: A Guide for Independent Schools in the Greater Washington Area” The Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, 2003 www.aisgw.org http://www.aisgw.org/documents/good_neighbor_guidebook.pdf

© 2005 National Association of Independent Schools (used with permission of NAIS) (4/19/2007)