Want your school board to embrace your new technology initiative? Preparing your pitch is key.
School boards play a critical role in approving district-wide initiatives including technology. Boards typically want to see your pitch as a puzzle piece that fits nicely into their budget, needs, and strategic plan. They have a responsibility to stakeholders. Good news is, you do too, and that responsibility can unify the board behind your vision.
We know that some boards can be tough when it comes to tech. There’s a good reason for that. U.S. school districts spend $13 billion annually on new technologies and a whopping $11 billion is wasted on “solutions” that are a poor fit or implemented incorrectly according to Jefferson Education Exchange.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you design a perfect pitch, practical plan, and implementation procedure that will pave the path to success.
- Align your pitch with the school board's strategic plan
- Create an elevator pitch that includes staff and parent benefits
- Present a list of feature highlights
- Explain the impact of success and the risk of inaction
- Present the time line
1. Align your pitch with the school district’s strategic plan
Study and understand the strategic aims of your school board. Your chance of success is much greater if you align your pitch with key points in the plan.
For example, if equity and inclusion are part of the plan, show how this technology boosts communication, messaging, and participation in inclusive activities or sports. If the technology can track trends and produce reports, even better!
2. Create an elevator pitch that includes both staff and parent benefits
The school’s 2 biggest assets are its staff and its community. If your vision satisfies the staff’s desire to fix inefficient processes, outdated technologies, or clunky communication methods, then you’re scoring points. If your vision can transform a parent experience such as enrollment, registration, or communication into a click rather than a complaint, then your points are adding up.
Here’s a tip! If you’re on this path, you probably have a colleague that has already been here. Ask for a few quotes from leaders, staffers, or parents about the new technology that will help boost your case.
3. Present a list of highlight features
You know exactly why you love this new technology. Your board might see it differently. So, list key features and benefits in terms that they’ll understand. Pick 5 to 7 features and create a bulleted list. Then, tell a story that weaves the majority of these features together.
For example, if you’re talking about student registration, then highlight the seamless flow of data from the parent to the registrar to the field-trip leader who will likely be managing more than one medical emergency this year.
4. Explain the impact of success and the cost of inaction
Eventually, the conversation will come to dollars and cents. This is where the tangibles are key and the intangibles must be persuasive. If your proposal prevents loss, reduces reordering, or tracks valuable assets then you’re on the right track. If your initiative addresses more abstract concepts like compliance, risk, or liability then you’re going to have to tie in potential insurance, legal, and public relations costs.
Success may mean increasing participation, access to broadband, or parent engagement while failure may mean continuing a trend of time-consuming, costly, and outdated processes which may expose the school district to risk.
Remember, not everything has to have a cost, but more so a value. Your board sees the value in responsibility when it comes to the district’s funds and public image.
5. Present the timeline
Even if they unanimously approve your initiative, they’re going to want to see your implementation plan. Remember, $11 million is wasted on ineffective school technologies every year.
Pro tip: Ask your technology provider if they have a plan (like the proven FinalForms ABCs step-by-step plan) that will help stakeholders understand the process and demonstrate how their proven methodology leads to success. If you can instill confidence in your plan, you’ve got a winner!
It's go time!
Successful technology initiatives are a result of a collaboration between administrators, staff, and board members. If you can create buy-in by emphasizing efficiencies, savings, and a clear reduction of risk, then you will not only gain approval, but you’ll likely gain their support behind every step of your plan.
Are you ready to pitch FinalForms to your board?
Our team has helped more than 2,500 schools approve FinalForms. How do we help? We provide a pre-packaged presentation, scripted communication, and testimonials that will create the buy-in you need from any decision maker in your district. And, heck, if you want a hand, our Sales Team has presented to school boards, superintendents, treasurers, and many others who hold the decision making power, or the purse strings.
Bottom line, we’re here to help when it comes to creating a culture of compliance that establishes accountability, reduces risk, and puts your students in a position to succeed!