If the only people who are involved in major gifts discussions are the major gifts officers, silos will be built.
If the only people who pay attention to advancement budgets are the accounting and finance professionals, disconnections and confusion will emerge.
If the only people with a focus on recruiting attendees to an event are the event planners, mediocre attendance will occur.
An example: A president, a chief financial officer, and a vice president for advancement met to discuss funding strategies for a new capital project. They reviewed cash flow projections over the next few years and discussed financing options as prepared by the finance officer. Then, they began discussing specific strategies for major donors that the president and advancement leader would employ.
After the meeting, it become clear that these types of cross-function strategy meetings had not previously occurred when the president pulled the chief financial officer aside and said apologetically,
“I don’t want you to think that these donor discussions are manipulative or devious in any way. It’s just what we have to do to get money from people.”
Advancement success occurs when there is a culture of individuals embracing their specific roles while also understanding and welcoming the interconnectedness of their roles within the larger whole.
It’s never my or their success. It’s authentically our success.
We grow this type of advancement culture by systematically inviting people from various functional areas into integral and integrative discussions focused on planning and implementation.
And we grow this type of advancement culture by believing in (not apologizing for) the goodness of all the work.