Sunday, March 15, 2009

Building a Fundraising Partnership

My next conference presentation will be in Denver, May 20-21. My topic will be "Building a Fundraising Partnership Between Development and Academic Leadership." For more details, please check:

This past week, I spoke to a conference of advancement professionals from schools of nursing. My topic was "Advancing Advancement: An Interdisciplinary Approach." I spoke to the need for advancement to embody the virtue that virtually every university touts these days -- interdisciplinary learning. The organizing concepts of the past -- alumni relations, communications, development -- threaten to become the limiting factors of the present and future if we don't learn how to break down the walls and, in some cases, the competition between them. They are all important functions but profoundly inter-related and inter-dependent. I believe that all these and related functions should be organized under the strategic umbrella of advancement. Those institutions that allow these functions to remain in silos under the direction of different vice presidents who do not collaborate will spend more with less impact than organizations with balanced, streamlined advancement operations. This is not about power or politics; it's about the best way to build common cause and to align purposes with those who would give our institutions their time, talent and treasure.

In subsequent blog posts, I'll speak to how these functions can best inter-relate and what each can learn from the other. It wasn't hard to sell advancement professionals from nursing schools on these ideas. They are deeply dedicated people who live in highly interdisciplinary worlds. They know the most successful nursing professionals of the future will be those that create the most commerce and collaboration between research, teaching and clinical care.

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