Advancement Resources and Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) have partnered to conduct an in-depth study into the relationships between development leaders and healthcare executives that lead to success in fundraising. In conjunction with the release of the full report on February 20, 2018, we are highlighting several of the key findings from the research.
Theme IV: Trust-Based Engagement
Development officers have a tendency to avoid telling the bad news. That is a big mistake. You’ve got to get out in front of it. If you see the train wreck coming, you’ve got to let the CEO know. It’ll pay off in the long run.
— Chief Development Officer
Perhaps unsurprisingly, research confirmed that trust, honesty, and respect are a trio of qualities that must be intentionally displayed during executive suite engagement in order for working relationships to thrive. When faced with difficult situations, disappointments, or conflicts, the way the CDO handles these sensitive issues can create a lasting impression that either establishes a foundation of trust, or erodes it.
This concept has a broader scope than merely focusing on engagement as a concept. For example, it is possible you can involve the CEO in philanthropy, or act transparently so all executives are looped in, but what really elevates trust-based engagement to a vital key is the conscious commitment to act in a manner that promotes mutual trust. For instance, in a comprehensive review of the state of CDO-CEO relationships, “no surprises” was one of the most frequently heard phrases throughout our research interviews with both CDOs and CEOs.
I think that development officers can make a mistake by kind of putting their CEO out on a limb somewhere where they didn’t expect to be in terms of a potential donor.
— Chief Executive Officer
The full Healthcare Philanthropy Leadership Essentials report has a detailed section devoted to the topic of Trust-Based Engagement featuring more quotes, recommendations for best practices, and enlightening statistics that will provide you with the best possible information you need to improve your own relationships with healthcare executives.
If you are one of the leaders who contributed your expertise and experiences to this research, thank you once again for assisting in this vital study that will benefit the entire healthcare philanthropy industry.