Nothing much of significance happens in advancement through solitary effort.
That gift the development officer is credited for soliciting? One colleague worked on the design of the proposal. Another colleague provided valuable insights about the gift amount through research. And, yet another helped arrange the lunch meeting where the donor was invited to give.
That annual report that will be distributed later this year? One colleague helped identify and design a compelling theme. Another colleague conducted interviews with people who were positively impacted by giving. And, yet another constructed the mailing list for distribution.
That multi-segmented direct mail solicitation? One colleague wrote the content for each of the segments. Another colleague coordinated with the mail house. And, yet another created new content so that social media feeds would align with the distribution of the printed pieces.
In example after advancement example, there are multiple people serving multiple roles who help make success happen. For this reason, it is imperative that advancement teams strive for a “clean handoff” culture.
In a “clean handoff” culture, when colleagues hit “send” or pass their work on to others, they are certifying that their portion of the work is ready to ship. They are communicating that their work is accurate. That it is correct. That it has been checked for errors. That it is ready for the next stage of development or implementation.
A “clean handoff” culture says, “what I’m sending you is my best work, not just my completed work.”
It’s easy to check off to-do list items and feel a sense of accomplishment. But a “clean handoff” culture says that tasks completed by any one individual on the team are only part of advancement success.
The other part – and the most important part – is giving your colleagues the very best work you can. Without that, not much of significance happens in advancement.