Recently, a chief development officer shared an anecdote from a national meeting of academic leaders, during which she asked the representative of a leadership consulting group how his team prepares presidents and chancellors to be effective fundraisers. “Oh we don’t need to do that,” he said, “because, you know, the development people have it all teed up and all the president does is come in for the close.”
The CDO was taken aback. “With this attitude, is it any wonder many academic leaders aren’t leveraging the power of their influence in philanthropic engagement?” she said. “This kind of thinking,” she added, “can result in many institutions falling far short of their potential for philanthropic support.”
Last week, your institution’s president or chancellor may have received an infographic entitled “The Mindset of a President” from The Chronicle of Higher Education. Among the top four issues presidents were thinking about in 2015 were declining state financial support and competing for students, two key areas that are increasingly addressed through philanthropy.
Engaging donors in funding your institutional priorities presents great opportunities and challenges. How can you leverage the power of a shared vision to secure more contributions and raise more money?
Professional Fundraising for Deans and Academic Leaders, a two-day public seminar, is a unique educational and networking opportunity to develop and refine an inspiring and succinct vision for future success. The setting includes academic and development leaders representing institutions small and large, public and private, and disciplines ranging from music to math to medicine.
The opportunity to learn from and with colleagues that are dealing with the same kinds of challenges can be especially valuable for all leaders. For many development executives, now is the ideal time to proactively engage your president or chancellor in philanthropy education that can transform your ability to work together to overcome challenges and meet goals.
College and university CEOs whose records of accomplishment have been built primarily on grants and sponsored research often find themselves navigating new waters when they ascend to executive leadership roles that require them to fundraise from individuals. Understanding how to engage donors more broadly in providing financial support to an institution is an increasingly important benchmark for all successful presidents and chancellors, regardless of their backgrounds and experiences.
Click below to learn more about the Professional Fundraising for Deans and Academic Leaders workshop.