Telling Your Charter School’s Financial Story

The Leviticus Fund’s commitment to improving access to quality education for low-income students includes financing charter public schools. Over our history, we have provided more than $6.2 million in loans to charter schools that have given almost 2,400 students the opportunity to receive the education they deserve to succeed academically.

Olivia Pipitone is Associate Director of Business Development for Nonprofit Finance Fund. Her post, How to Tell Your Charter School’s Financial Story, below offers three tips to help charter school leaders create compelling financial stories when seeking financing for operations and facility projects.

May 19, 2021

Every charter school has a story. Many school leaders believe in the power of storytelling as a compelling way to share their mission, highlight accomplishments, and inspire support. Although it may seem unusual to center a narrative around numbers, storytelling can be equally compelling in finance.  

A financial story uses your numbers to explain where you are today, how you got there, and where you want to go. It allows you to build trust and credibility and advocate for the resources you need to fulfill your mission.  

A financial story also protects against misinterpretation of your numbers. Without context, an operating deficit is a red flag. However, a planned deficit in one fiscal year to invest in additional social workers to support your mission of providing students with wraparound services provides an explanation that would not be apparent by reading your financial audit. 

As COVID-19 has exacerbated the complexity of the charter school operating environment, many charter school leaders find themselves in even more need of flexible financing to support operations and facility projects. They may have debt, be seeking debt, or embarking on new fundraising efforts. Here are three tips for telling a compelling financial story:  

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