Development: It’s a team sport!

teamLet’s face it, there is a lot that goes into each and every gift that comes in to our organizations.  It takes a multitude of moving pieces to put the development puzzle together.  At least if you’re going to be successful!

In a perfect world we would understand how each member of the team contributes.  We would all be aware of the organization’s goals and work together to achieve them.  We would gladly share the spotlight with everyone on the team when successes come our way.

After all, there’s no I in TEAM!  Right?

Unfortunately, we don’t always live in that perfect world.  There is intense pressure to achieve personal goals and metrics that can turn on the ugly side of our competitive nature.  It’s easy to lose perspective and just be out for ourselves.

That tactic might seem to work in the short term, and even make us feel better about ourselves temporarily.  But it spells failure in the end because it shows everyone that you’re not a team player.  Instead, we should all be personally responsible for the success of each member of the team.

Here’s a few ways to accomplish that:

  • TALK to your team members! Really, it’s that simple. Communication should not be something that is scary or intimidating. When you take the time to really talk to people you can educate yourself on what they do, how they contribute, and acknowledge them for their contribution to the effort.
  • Share the wealth! If the TEAM is going to be successful then each team member has to have the tools they need to succeed. Each team member should have promising prospects and projects. Each person on the team needs to have successes early on. Generosity of self is a valuable asset!
  • When you successfully bring in a large gift, make sure that everyone knows it was a team effort. We don’t work in a vacuum. Each person contributed in some way and should be commended for their part. So when someone congratulates you on your success, your response should be “thank you, but I couldn’t have accomplished it without the hard work of my team”. Not only does that motivate the team, it means even more successes in the future!

This may seem like common sense to many of us.  But, for many others, it’s not.

Fundraising is a team sport for sure! The good news is that when this is successfully accomplished in your organization, it makes for a much more enjoyable work experience for everyone!

I’m looking forward to hearing your comments and thoughts.

Photo credit:  TEAM


About dknotek2015

I am a Development Director for the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Having worked in the Development and Alumni Relations Department for the past eight years, I have a unique background in development, philanthropy, and relationship building. I am a University of Nevada, Reno alum as well as a current MBA candidate. You could say I am silver and blue through and through! I am passionate about helping others. I understand how important education is to our local community, the nation, and the world. I remember struggling as a student to finish my own education, and how grateful I was when I received support through the generosity of others. As a professional, I excel at securing private donations which support the students, faculty, programs, and research of the College of Science. I am uniquely qualified to bring potential donors together with areas about which they are passionate and feel compelled to support.
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