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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

The 3 Hats of a Chief Advancement Officer


Just skimmed March 22, 2012 Chronicle of Philanthropy. Front page article on: Failure of Chief Fundraiser’s Puts Charities at Risk.

Basic premise of article is that the top fundraising jobs at colleges, universities and the larger ‘nonprofits’ are growing “more complex and demanding” and that “too few people in that position possess the skills they need…”

Definitely worth the read, especially the ‘box’ around the differences between the Director of Development and the Chief Development Officer.

I have been promoting/coaching a 3 HAT model for Chief Development/Advancement Officers for years. The CDO must be able to wear, and change, these 3 Hats:

    1. Member of the Senior Team. Work with President and other Officers on Vision, Strategy, etc., not just on fundraising.
    2. Advancement/Development Team Leader. Responsible to lead (not manage) the entire Advancement Operation. In my world, this also means being the Sales Team Leader, in many cases.
    3. A High-Level Relationship Manager, with a Portfolio. If the CDO can’t maximize relationships, doesn’t make visits, can’t close large commitments… it doesn’t bode well for the organization (must lead by example).

I’d thought you’d enjoy this ‘picture‘ that I drew for Steve Elder (Vice President of Colorado College) 8 years ago, along with the accompanying note.

***I want to welcome Steve Elder to the For Impact Team as a Partner heading up our For Impact ‘West’ operation (out of Manitou Springs/Colorado Springs) and our College/University Sector!!! More to come.