Penny Abrahams, IAP-L

Penny Abrahams, IAP-L | ISM Consultant | Advancement Academy Co-Convener | Bio
Penny Abrahams, IAP-L | ISM Consultant | Advancement Academy Co-Convener | Bio

ISM Senior Consultant | Advancement Department Head | Advancement Academy Convener

Penny Abrahams first joined Independent School Management in 2010 as a member of the Advancement Academy’s founding faculty. As a Senior Consultant, she specializes in marketing communications, enrollment management, and development. Her experience in these areas comes from working in private-independent schools and other non-profits for more than 20 years.

Her areas of expertise and passion include:

  • conducting assessments for enrollment management and marketing communications programs;
  • completing volunteer group audits, including parent and alumni associations;
  • building and implementing strategic enrollment management, marketing communications, and advancement plans;
  • developing and executing digital and inbound marketing strategies;
  • crafting marketing message frameworks and fundraising case statements;
  • providing advice and coaching for media relations and crisis communication planning; and
  • constructing creative staffing structure solutions to optimize function.

As Advancement Department Head, Penny ensures effective content development and service delivery for ISM’s enrollment, marketing communications, and development consulting. This includes leading ISM’s Advancement Academy, an annual premier professional development conference that educates and mentors School Heads, Board members, and development, enrollment management, and marketing communications professionals.

Penny leads multiple in-person and online workshops for ISM related to marketing communications and enrollment management, and she frequently speaks at regional and national education conferences. She also is a regular contributor to ISM’s flagship publication, Ideas & Perspectives.

Penny began her career in schools in 2001 at Ravenscroft, a Pre-K through grade 12 school in Raleigh, N.C. As the Annual Fund Director, she managed all aspects of the school’s annual giving program, overseeing a team of volunteers responsible for raising nearly $600,000. Penny later became Ravenscroft’s Director of Communications and was charged with building the school’s communications program from the ground up. From 2013-17, Penny served as the Director of Admissions & Marketing at Academy at the Lakes, a Pre-K 3 through grade 12 school located in Florida, where she helped the school reach record application and enrollment numbers.

Penny graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a Digital Marketing Certificate from the University of Vermont. She attained ISM's International Advancement Program—Leader (IAP-L) certification in 2012.