Ch-Ch-Changes, and how Prospect Management can bring consistency through them

by Tom Fenner

One of the few unwavering realities of higher education is that we work in a world of constant change. In fact, two things nearly every institution have in common are a student body that grows increasingly diverse, and a campus with at least one ongoing construction project (lack of parking is another, but we won’t go there).

Be it changes in process, technology, or of course, staff, we are constantly being asked to adapt in our jobs. But let’s not forget, change can be a great thing! As for DAR, our change lies in the steady growth and strengthening of the division. And Prospect Management is no exception.

In less than a year, we’ve added three new Prospect Management Specialists, we’ve welcomed a new Executive Director to lead our team and the Advancement Research team, and we are set to welcome a new Senior Director of Prospect Management. We’ve updated our practice to prepare for the Reeher platform and broadened our services by offering Tune Up appointments and other on-demand types of meetings.

The biggest change, however, will be a new liaison structure aimed at strengthening our partnerships with Development Officers across the division. And what, some may wonder, are the intended outcomes of this change in structure? First and foremost, it is intended to help bring as much consistency as possible amidst the constant change.

Each Development team across the Schools, Colleges, and Units will have an assigned Prospect Manager and Researcher to serve as their primary contacts, lead the Prospect Management meetings, and work collectively to facilitate ongoing strategic conversations.

Not only will Prospect Management be able to focus on the same Development Officers and learn how to best support each of them – and vice versa – the Advancement Research team’s inclusion, will, we hope, promote a streamlined process in which Development Officers, Prospect Management, and Advancement Research can collaborate more effectively, and improve our overall practice.

Given the resurgence of prospect referrals, the launch of Reeher, and other ongoing innovations, it is a critical time to have some semblance of consistency in our work, and more importantly, our working relationships. With liaison groups in place, we plan on building this consistency strategically, in order to meet and exceed our goals, and embody the “SIC ‘Em” values of our division.