Capital Campaigns

New Summer Retreat Opportunities...Register Now!

We are excited about our newest summer opportunity to help school trustees and administrative teams focus over the summer, prepare for the Fall and assess themselves as leaders of their community. The retreats are personalized based on the School’s needs, and each school will engage in a team leadership assessment experience, which will enhance the day-to-day working environment of any team. Our very own, Dr. Allison Agliata, will run the leadership aspect of the retreats and all of our talented consultants can be involved. Click here to learn the specifics and to register. Time is limited, so schedule your retreat now!

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New and Noteworthy




Gowan Group is so excited to announce the hiring of our newest Managing Director, Marisa Soulios Felt. Marisa is a long-time friend of Gowan Group and she has enjoyed a wonderful career as a school leader and program transformer.  Marisa brings 20 years’ professional experience in education and is a lifer in independent schools. She served as Assistant Head of School at The Hamlin School in San Francisco and previously the Middle School Head at Hamlin School, Viewpoint School in Calabasas, CA and Middle School Director at Albany Academies (NY), where she helped shepherd the merger of the Albany Academy and Albany Academy for Girls.  

She has teaching experience at Buckley School, a boys’ school in New York City, and at Albany Academies, teaching second through eighth grade boys and girls.  Marisa is a graduate of Miss Porter’s School and of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and holds Master’s degrees from Hunter College (NY) in Elementary Education and Teacher’s College Columbia University in Private School Leadership.  

With Marisa being located in Los Angeles, Gowan Group expands its reach to the West Coast. She will be actively involved in Head Searches, Enrollment Management projects, Strategic Thinking and Program Development.




When excellence is the goal, partnerships are important to create, especially when the partner is the best in the business. In order to offer a more comprehensive list of marketing services, Gowan Group has recently partnered with Bob Rytter and Jensen Design Studio. A full-service design firm, Jensen Design Studio works with independent schools on brand identity, video, print and web design. While they are based in Baltimore, their client list reaches far and wide across the country.

Partnering with Bob and his team, Gowan Group can now continue our renowned work in research, enrollment management, messaging and branding and ensure brand accuracy with beautiful graphic design, print and video design. Jensen Design Firm and Gowan Group have long been friends, but a partnership now is certainly good news for our existing and new clients. Please visit Jensen Design Studio web site and see their incredible work with independent schools and Institutions of Higher Education.



Recently, our work has become rather intense with many new comprehensive projects in marketing, branding, data collection and analysis, program evaluation, strategic planning, print work, graphic design and administrative searches. We are so grateful that Gowan Group has reached the success it has so far, and we thank so many of you and our clients. New hires, partnerships, clients hiring us for follow-up work and referral calls are all signs that we are doing good things for schools. I think Don Gowan would be proud.

Capital Campaign Feasibility Studies - And How They Engage a Community

Generally speaking, feasibility studies produce one of three main conclusions:

·      The community is not ready for a campaign

·      The community is ready for a campaign, but not at the level or on the time line anticipated/hoped for by the organization leadership, or,

·      The community is ready for a bold campaign

All three results bring positive growth potential to each organization.  How, you ask, can it be positive if the feasibility study produces a recommendation to postpone or forgo a campaign?  While obviously, that determination is not what any aspirational organization hopes for, each feasibility study produces one overarching result regardless of conclusion: ENGAGEMENT. 

Feasibility Studies, at their very core, build engagement within the community.   Each study works with various members of the school, university or non-profit organization’s inner circle, as well as folks not so closely engaged in the school.  The study will provide both groups of ‘supporters’ the opportunity to offer feedback, direction, and express their hopes and dreams for the organization’s future.  The individual conversations that take place in a study will provide the organization with an increased level of ‘donor intel’.  And, the study will provide the organization with needed outside perspective.  Participants will become more engaged in the future plans of the organization regardless of a campaign per se, and regardless of the immediacy of specific fundraising. 

Certainly, a feasibility study that ends with a positive, ambitious recommendation for an assertive, visionary capital campaign is preferred.  But regardless of study results, your community will be better informed about its present condition, better positioned for future growth and better off relative to donor/organization relationships for having asked for community involvement in a feasibility study. 

David Beecher

Managing Director