Finance & Sustainability in Independent Schools: A Practical Approach to Management and Innovation

Oct 23, 2024 2:00PM—Apr 23, 2025 5:00PM



Cost Early Bird Pricing for Members (Available until Sept 30) $1,675 members; $1,415 group-rate 3+; $2,625 non-members

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Finance & Sustainability in Independent Schools: A Practical Approach to Management and Innovation

SESSION 1: October 23, 2024 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm

SESSION 2: December 4, 2024 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm

SESSION 3: January 15, 2025 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm

SESSION 4: March 5, 2025 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm

SESSION 5: April 23, 2025 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm


This 5-session program will help educators develop practical financial and risk management skills necessary for leadership roles in K12 schools, both day schools and boarding schools. Moving beyond the theoretical and foundational principles of finance, we will ground our work together in the practical tools that educators and schools can use to understand trends, articulate current and potential economic challenges, and develop strategic and action-oriented approaches to sound financial management and financial sustainability.

Throughout the five sessions, we will incorporate and build upon concepts like understanding financial statements and basic accounting and finance principles, to more complex concepts and inputs like the Consumer Price Index, inflation, household income data, and macro-economic trends to understand the real life impacts of independent school financial decisions. The format will be highly interactive with pre-work and post-work as well as case studies.

Strategic frameworks and competitive analysis tools (e.g.,  SWOT, Blue Ocean, Porter’s 5 Forces, etc.) will enable participants to better understand and plan for future challenges and opportunities their schools face. We will also explore the financial underpinnings of philanthropy and the issues that leaders should understand with regard to restricted and unrestricted funds, as well as endowment management (e.g., UPMIFA) and donor intent. Ultimately, participants will build real-world skills and a leadership-level understanding of running an institution.

Participants will:

  • Understand the K12 business model
  • Understand the benefits of diversified revenue streams and expense management
  • Explore basic accounting principles and financial management concepts
  • Review primary financial statements, including balance sheets and income statements
  • Develop an understanding of strategic approaches to evaluate initiatives and programs
  • Practice via case studies ways to evaluate financial decisions
  • Practice and understand ratios and ways to better understand and discuss financial data
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the K12 business model and education as a business
  • Examine their own relationship to money and finance


Do you work at an independent school outside of California? Click here for a discount on our non-member registration!


David Hanson, CATDC Facilitator

Dr. David Hanson is the Chief Financial and Operating Officer for The Branson School, located in Marin County, 20 minutes north of San Francisco, CA.  He is also a partner with Winthrop & Associates, LLC, a consultancy focused on financial and operational sustainability, as well as legal and risk management for non-profit organizations, colleges and independent schools. Prior to joining Branson, Hanson served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Boston office of a global non-profit foundation where he oversaw operations, finance, accounting, investment management, information technology, human resources, and facilities functions. Prior to joining that foundation, Dr. Hanson served Phillips Exeter Academy in dual roles as its Chief Financial Officer and Chief Risk Officer.

Cancellation Policy

Life happens. We understand that there will be times when you cannot attend a workshop that you have registered and paid for. We strive to be as helpful and flexible as possible when things out of your control happen. Please visit our FAQ page for detailed information about our cancellation policy and answers to frequently asked questions about enrollment and membership.