BSM’s capital campaign raises $8 million dollars


Flint Frohman

The Cube is one of the new spaces funded by the most recent capital campaign.

Flint Frohman, Editor

The most recent capital campaign responsible for raising the necessary funds for the Cube and the Atrium as well as many other projects was marked by a large degree of success. Around eight million dollars were raised in five years, and despite its long length the campaign achieved all of its major goals.

Independent schools such as Benilde-St. Margarets are not publicly funded and are entirely responsible for generating the necessary capital for their projects, all while keeping tuition manageable. “A comprehensive capital campaign is pretty common in an independent school; they’re designed to help the school push forward with its strategic plan to make sure that its students are prepared for the world, [and] put its students in a better position,” BSM president Dr. Adam Ehrmantraut said.

A large part of the most recent campaign was the sciences, and new facilities dedicated to learning and cooperation. “This most recent campaign; the imagine, innovate, and inspire campaign was a eight-million dollar campaign, and it was designed to focus in three areas: One was facility upgrades; thus the atrium, all those new science labs downstairs, and the new cube designed to push our sciences forwards from a curricular perspective,” Ehrmantraut said.

The capital campaign also was designed to provide funds for tuition assistance for students, so that more will have the ability to receive BSM’s education. “The other piece was continuing to build our resources for tuition assistance for families. Twenty percent of our students receive tuition assistance, and that is based on the generosity of donors who are interested in helping families have access to the education,” Ehrmantraut said.

Raising money can be difficult for schools; however, however there are two circumstances where fundraising tends to be especially successful. “Generally campaigns are effective in two worlds: One, when things are going really well, and people see, they want to be a part of that mission, but campaigns can also be successful when the circumstances are really, really dire, and if it’s not successful something goes away. I think we were in a position where things were going really, really well and people saw the vision that we had for the school matched with how they want to support students moving forward, so it resonated in that regard,” Ehrmantraut said.

When the capital campaign began, Dr. Ehrmantraut wasn’t with BSM and some of the administrative components that facilitate fundraising either weren’t there or weren’t totally set. “This one was longer than I would have liked. I really saw this as a three year campaign, but we had so much internal [change.] I mean, I wasn’t even here when the campaign started; there was no president when the campaign started. The Chief Advancement Officer is a person in an independent school that is responsible for advancing the schools mission, which means they are involved in fundraising, alumni relations, stakeholder engagement; well, that role wasn’t solidified either when we started,” Ehrmantraut said.

Despite the changes made to staff during the campaign, it was able to continue relatively smoothly with those in the administration having prepared the campaign well. “They had done a good job I’d say setting it up in the front end, doing all their due diligence, seeing what people were interested in. But I had zero relationships; you know that’s really important when you’re involved in a capital campaign. That took some time,” Ehrmantraut said.

In the end, the campaign was a success and saw all of the goals it set out to achieve accomplished. “We raised over eight million […] and all of the goals we set out in that campaign were achieved, which is awesome; that can be a rarity, frankly, in independent schools; often times we get really close and then they’ll kind of not be able to close the door, and we were able to close the door on all of the objectives which was great,” Ehrmantraut said.

The goals of the campaign were met because of the support of the BSM community and others who believe in the school, and the donations they made. “We’ve got so many families and friends who believe in the mission of this place, and believe in what we’re doing for students, and they know that the world needs Red Knights,” Ehrmantraut said.