Sunday, March 15, 2009

School Rankings

I'm taking a look at who ranks for a lot of schools and why. I just entered a random school (Somerset Elementary School) on Google and found, listing only the big players, who was in the top 30:

I should then figure out the business model and approach of each of these to see if one wants to partner, take investments, buy ads, or can be imitated. Note, I should do this for a few elementary schools to find out the major players. Then check to see if it's dramatically different for high schools or private schools. - 5th - 7th - 8th - 9th - 11th - 12 - 13th 14th - 15th - 16th - 17th - 18th - 19th - 20th 21 22 23 25 26 27 (again) 28 29th - Their content is a complex mashup of:
- public database of schools including public domain test scores, etc
- info pulled on the local real estate market which is provided by Sperlings Best Places.
- They partner with to raise money for the schools.
- They have oodles of articles.

The business model is advertising. The ads are handled by double-click ad and are solicited on the website. Current advertisers: MSN, K12, cafemom, sylvan, and FishHawkRanch.

Advertise on and get your message in front of our large audience of active, educated and affluent parents. GreatSchools can target your campaign by state or grade level; we offer all traditional ad units as well as newsletter sponsorships. Advertisers include Crayola, Century 21, Disney, Johnson & Johnson, K-12, Kaplan, Nissan, Quaker, SCORE! Educational Centers, Staples, Target, Zip Realty and many more. There are some plain google ads on specific pages.
GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a very professional management team and board of directors. It seems to be SF-based. Bill Jackson is the Founder, President and CEO. GreatSchools, an independent nonprofit initiative that empowers parents to support their children's educational success, has been awarded $20 million to use Internet and social media technologies to empower needy parents with the insights they need to prepare their kids for college and beyond. The funding was from: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robertson Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.
1. Can I see the financials for a 501C3. I'm very curious as to how much they bring in through advertising.

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