today in black history

July 15, 2024

True Reformers Hall, the first building designed, financed and built by Blacks after Reconstruction is dedicated in 1903 in DC.

FUNdraising Good Times

POSTED: July 27, 2019, 12:00 pm

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No matter how successful an HBCU president is there will always be people who want them to do more and to do it better and faster. Sometimes it feels like a “no win” situation. With this column we offer food for thought for those who seek a presidential role, and those who are charged with recruiting and hiring the president.

Questions to ask yourself if you are considering a presidential position:
1. Are the expectations of the hiring board clear and achievable? Will I have access to the resources I need to meet those expectations?
2. Do I have – and I am willing to recruit or expand – a circle of advisors with the skill sets, experience, and relationships required to support my presidency?
3. Is my knowledge of fund development and fundraising deep enough and wide enough to secure the funds my institution will need? Do I know how to set and manage fundraising goals?
4. Do I understand the case for support for the institution I want to lead? Do I know and understand the full meaning of current and anticipated fundraising priorities?
5. What do I know of the community surrounding the college or university? Who can show me the “lay of the land” and help me develop working relationships with stakeholders, influencers, power brokers, and door openers in the community?
6. With all the demands that will be placed on me, can I make fundraising – and fund development –a priority?
7. Am I really willing to allocate fifty to eighty percent of my time to fundraising?
8. How am I prepared to negotiate with the board for the resources I need to be successful?

Questions to ask yourself if you are a member of the board who is hiring a president:
1. How realistic is the job description for the president? Is this a job for one person or for three people?
2. Have we allocated adequate compensation for the president and a highly qualified cabinet?
3. How am I – and how are we – prepared to support the new president?
4. How will we evaluate the president? Do we know the institution’s priorities, and can we communicate, define and measure these?
5. What is the current status of alumni relations, engagement, and giving? What are our expectations of ourselves and the president as it relates to alumni?
6. Do we meet frequently enough as a board? Are our meetings productive or more ceremonial?
7. How much do I give annually, and how much do we as a board give collectively on an annual basis? Is it meaningful or symbolic?
8. Do we have the right people on the board? Do we as a board have what it takes to advance the college?
9. Do we have active and engaged committees?
10. How politically astute are we? How are we engaged in the community?

These lists are a starting place that focuses on fundraising. We want you to be successful – we want our HBCUs to be successful. Thank you for your leadership.

Copyright 2019 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

When you are ready to build a fund development program, grow your fundraising, or increase board engagement we are here to help. (901) 522-8727.

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