Anne Jimenez

Vice President, Sacred Heart School HSA
Dover, N.J.


Best known for: Coordinating an extensive awareness and fundraising campaign and rallying support for her daughter’s cash-strapped school after parish officials announced that enrollment and budget numbers warranted its closure. Thanks to Jimenez’s efforts, it’s open today.

Check’s in the mail: Jimenez began her campaign by sending letters tapping community members and businesses for donations; she stuffed and labeled 5,000 envelopes. “The donations started pouring in, and they reached $100,000 within one month,” Jimenez reports.

Dollars and sense: Managing people as well as money is second nature to Jimenez; she’s worked in the finance industry for more than 30 years. “I used to cold-call to obtain clients and gather assets. That is how we opened accounts and built our client book,” she says. Jimenez, a single mom who currently has both a full-time job and a part-time one, is also pursuing dual degrees in marketing and early childhood education.

Strategic marketing: Jimenez enlisted parents, teachers, and even students to stand outside supermarkets and walk neighborhoods to pass out brochures and information about Sacred Heart. She also set up a booth at a local flea market and held nightly open houses at school to connect with prospective families. “The people started showing up, touring the school and registering their children for the fall term,” she recalls. “Enrollment numbers rose from 109 to 150.”

Hot tips: Jimenez recommends asking donors to fund a specific area at school, such as computers and technology, or even building repairs. “I try to target-market,” she says.

Showing them the money: News of her moneymaking success somehow reached the East Orange (N.J.) Police Athletic League as well as a church in Maryland; Jimenez has offered to share her fundraising expertise with both.

Going public: At Sacred Heart, she’s working on grantwriting and learning website design to boost the school’s online presence. “This year we are focusing more on students, and getting more students in the door and marketing our school,” says Jimenez. “We aren’t a very big school right now; we are working on that.”