Donors ask hard questions before investing in colleges and universities: What am I supporting? What is the long-term plan? What will the results be?
And academic partners have the answers.
Yet integrating academic partners into donor visits is a tricky business—especially if it is a faculty member’s first donor interaction. Faculty may be anxious about saying something inappropriate. Donors can be unpredictable. So major gift officers (MGOs) are left to make sure that all sides are clearly communicating with one another—and then hope for a positive outcome.
To move beyond these awkward conversations, faculty members need to understand their role in the visit, and need to feel comfortable asking questions upfront, so that there are as few surprises as possible when the donor is present. Yet traditional pre-visit briefings are inconsistent, or worse, do not even occur due to time and scheduling constraints.
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The Donor Investor Imperative