Timothy Sandoval recently published an article titled “Advice for Aspiring Major-Gifts Fundraisers” in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and the piece focuses on the characteristics of successful major gift professionals. Introducing the career path as one with unusual emphasis on relationship building and versatility, Sandoval breaks down advice from contributing experts into 5 steps for professionals interested in pursuing a major gifts track.
He begins by stressing the importance of honestly evaluating your suitability for an overwhelmingly interpersonal role. The article moves on to explain the value of finding effective mentorship in the field and identifying opportunities to take initiative while maintaining sensitivity and deference for coworkers’ relationships and portfolios. Sandoval wraps up the piece pointing out the learnability of many traits that make major gifts officers successful, such as listening skills and humility. Closing with a quote from Bill Weber, Sandoval reinforces the importance of qualifying not only your suitability for the career track, but your prospective organization’s health and purpose – “If you don’t connect to the mission, why do it?”
Read the article on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website with subscription.