When hiring a major gifts officer appearance can be everything. Since the chosen candidate will be in contact with your most influential supporters, you have to be sure you are bringing on someone who will represent your organization well. During the Association For Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) international conference in Boston, Mass., Holly Duncan, president and CEO of the Morton Plant Mease Health Care Foundation in Clearwater, Fla. outlined her own qualifications for a major gifts officer.
The four traits are:
- Look for candidates in unconventional areas. People with a focus in technology have the ability and inclination to fully leverage information services capacity. Other qualifications they might have are the ability to research, schedule, communicate and document gifts.
- Seek out someone who doesn’t just have traditional book smarts. Problem solvers and strategic thinkers can think quickly — that can help you out of a bind.
- In a position that talks to others frequently, it’s important to have someone who is both skilled verbally and in writing. A major gifts officer should know how to listen, ask open-ended questions and engage on all levels.
- Even though you will want someone who can work independently, a candidate should be able work with a team. There should be transparency and an attempt to engage allies. No one “owns a donor.”