Easily, one of the most unhelpful questions to ask someone in development, especially during a position interview.
In many instances:
- The money received today was actually raised months, years, even decades ago;
- Even if the money received today was raised today, there were, most likely, other people and diverse motivations encouraging the donor to give;
- Simply because gifts were given during the development leader’s tenure does not mean that he or she influenced those achievements.
Two far better questions to ask a development leader during an interview:
“Describe for me your involvement in engaging major gifts donors?”
“How did your role most impact the fantastic development results experienced at your current/last institution?”
Behavior, not results, is what we should be seeking to better understand when we contemplate bringing on a new development leader.