Statement on the Office of Institutional Advancement, Fundraising Initiatives, Special Events, and the future of Hamp Fest
St. Augustine High School recently completed an analysis of the Office of Institutional Advancement that included a complete review of all fundraising initiatives, strategies, and special events. This analysis led to staff restructuring and reorganization, a shift of strategic development priorities that includes a greater focus on major gift and scholarship fundraising, enhanced grant writing and alumni participation efforts, as well as a streamlining of all school and alumni special events with a clear focus on ensuring maximum fundraising performance from each event.
Two immediate results of the review included the elimination of the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement staff position as well as the cancellation of the very popular Hamp Fest Music event. The areas of concern surrounding Hamp Fest included financial performance as measured by the expense to profit ratio, the financial risk and exposure incurred by the school, which each year requires the school to underwrite 100% of all Hamp Fest expenses, the operational impact and demands on school personnel, students, volunteers, and the surrounding neighborhood, a shift in sponsor and donor interests to non-event based support, event attendance and alumni support concerns, and the escalating expenses associated with concert set-up as well as securing national performing artists.
The analysis was conducted as part of the presidential transition that occurred in December 2016 when Dr. Kenneth St. Charles assumed the St. Augustine High School president and CEO role. The analysis noted that without question Hamp Fest was a great social and public relations opportunity that achieved its goal of honoring the memory and contributions of longtime music icon and band director Mr. Edwin Harrell Hampton, who is credited with training and inspiring generations of St. Augustine High School alumni.
To continue this tradition of honoring and recognizing legendary individuals who had an influential role on the continuing story of St. Augustine High School, the school recently unveiled plans to introduce a new signature event – St. Augustine Honors and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will occur annually during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend and will serve as a major fundraiser and development initiative aimed at highlighting the outstanding visionaries, alumni, donors, and supporters of the historic institution.