Research Report Reveals Success Factors for the High-Performing Development Officer

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Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm for the education industry, unveiled today the key factors that have the greatest impact on development/gift officer performance at higher education institutions.

Higher performance stems from the individual-level attitudes and experiences gift officers bring to their roles and from the institutional structures that impact gift officer productivity

Eduventures (http://www.eduventures.com), the leading research and consulting firm for the education industry, unveiled today the key factors that have the greatest impact on development/gift officer performance at higher education institutions. The firm's recently released report, Success Factors for the High-Performing Gift Officer, identifies the number of visits, solicitations, and successful solicitations as the metrics tied to high performance outcomes.

High performers, those identified in the top 25% of their profession, outperformed their colleagues in all three metrics across the three fiscal years examined (2004-2006). Research shows that high performers conducted one-third more visits, submitted 120% more solicitations, and achieved 107% more successful solicitations than other officers, despite having the same average percentage of accepted proposals.

"Higher performance stems from the individual-level attitudes and experiences gift officers bring to their roles and from the institutional structures that impact gift officer productivity," says Jennifer Zaslow, senior research analyst for Eduventures.

The study investigated seven individual and organizational factors that are often thought to be associated with higher levels of performance. These included:

  • Prior work experience, including fundraising, sales, educational administration, marketing, and legal/financial fields
  • Education, including area of concentration and level of education achieved
  • Attitude, focusing on degree of sales orientation, teaming and collaboration, and personal motivations
  • Training, including formal and informal professional development
  • Career path planning, focusing on near-term career aspirations
  • Goal-setting and rewards, including the goal-setting processes and opportunities for incentive pay
  • Job design, specifically how gift officers spend their time on key job responsibilities

"Previous work experience, gift officer attitudes, and job design emerged from this list as the most salient factors associated with higher performance outcomes," said Zaslow. "To succeed, development organizations need to recruit from the right talent pools, screen for the right attitudes, and organize work in ways that allow gift officers to maximize time on task."

This Eduventures report, Success Factors for the High-Performing Gift Officer, the result of a Web-based survey of more than 600 gift officers from higher education institutions across the United States, was designed to provide a framework for understanding the factors that have the greatest impact on gift officer performance in order to help development organizations target their recruitment and professional development investments. The research is a product of Eduventures' Development Learning Collaborative, a member-based research program designed to help college and university leadership and development departments address critical strategic and operational challenges.

About Eduventures
For more than a decade, Eduventures has been the most trusted name in the education market for research, consulting services, and peer networking. Its clients include senior administrators and executives from leading educational institutions and companies serving K-12, higher education, and corporate learning markets, as well as decision-makers in government agencies and the investment community. For more information, visit http://www.eduventures.com.

Contact:
Steven Shapiro
303.866.6342
sshapiro(at)commstratgroup.com

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