4 Tips for Success in Your Annual Giving Career

Posted on 06/17/2015

Don’t settle for mediocrity.

You owe it to your institution to run the best annual fund possible. But that’s no easy task in an industry that’s complicated, constantly changing, and filled with competition.

Here’s some advice to help you accomplish your goals and become the best annual giving professional you can be.

1. Study – Get to know everything you can about your institution. Click through its website, read the alumni magazine, take a campus tour, check out a book on its history. Ask a faculty member to lunch or coffee. They’ll have plenty to tell you, not just about the institution, but about the teaching and research they’re doing through the institution.

2. Participate – Become an active member in the life of your institution. Attend lectures, join the fitness center, go to games, audit a class, volunteer to help during an event. Have you liked the alumni Facebook page? Joined its LinkedIn group? Are you following on Twitter? Participating in the life of the institution not only gives perspective, but it equips you with stories and examples that you can share with others.

3. Benchmark – Get to know what’s going on at other institutions. This will not only help you understand what makes your institution unique, but it will show you where your institution has opportunities to grow. Attend conferences, subscribe to newsletters, and read magazines, blogs, and other publications. Network!

4. Give – Support your institution. It’ll not only help you appreciate things like how long it takes for a gift receipt to arrive or how your name appears on a donor roster, but it will give you the moral authority to ask others for their support. There’s nothing more empowering than being able to say “join me.”

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