Experienced administrators and board members recognize an outstanding advancement officer when they meet and work with one, even as they recognize a true philanthropic partner. One of the greatest gifts these leaders can make to their organizations is to act upon that recognition.
Our profession talks a lot about creating a “culture of philanthropy,” usually disguised as part of a conversation about how certain groups are not giving to expectations. Whatever your circumstances, there is a way for these groups to build a stronger culture of philanthropy. The first step is to recognize that it’s not specifically about giving, but about setting the conditions for giving.
After 25 years serving in higher ed advancement leadership, my life’s work is now focused on coaching nonprofit leaders, finding great talent for an organization, and partnering to solve a myriad of organizational issues. I am launching Coach’s Corner to complement this work, share what I am learning, and present strategic questions from leaders in the field and insights about how to address them.
There is no single decision-making process and structure that will work for every organization in every search. But laying out important considerations and making choices in advance will help hiring managers — and the search firm partners who assist them — achieve the best possible search outcomes.