When the Advancement Forum asked major gift officers to list and evaluate the important factors that led them to join their current institution, nearly 80% ranked professional development as either important or very important edging out financial compensation (77%) and office culture (73%). This result begs the question: What strategies are you enacting to ensure that major gift officers continue to feel that professional development opportunities are available?
Peer-to-peer mentoring programs are low-cost opportunities to provide professional development. Junior or high-potential staff members receive crucial guidance while tenure, high-performing members develop leadership skills. Emphasizing mentorship also sends a message that your organization is willing to invest time and resources to help employees succeed in their careers. However, unclear mentoring expectations often result in a professional development relationship that devolves into a series of one-off conversations over coffee or a meal that are not effective and do not achieve their intended outcome.
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