Publications & Products
Volume 2, Issue 8

Advice for New Chief Fundraisers

To achieve fundraising success, chief development officers need to establish a good working relationship with their college president, says a CASE presenter.

When Sharon Beales became vice president of development and external affairs at Montgomery County Community College in 2011, President Karen A. Stout had been in her position for more than 10 years. Given this gap in institutional experience, Beales acknowledges that it took time for her and Stout to learn how to effectively work together.

"I think we were initially trying to figure out the level and frequency of communication but soon found a rhythm and different methods to communicate different things," she says.

Beales suggests the following for new chief development officers who are looking to establish a good rapport with their president:

  • Have a frank discussion with the president about what kinds of institutional business he or she would like to be informed about. For example, Beales notes that Stout and she always discuss interactions with donors and prospects.
  • Determine what method of communication—email, telephone or face-to-face meetings—and what time of day are best to discuss important business. Beale says she and Stout exchange a lot of information via "early morning email."
  • From day one, ensure there is a clear direction for the institution's advancement efforts. Beale notes that, before she arrived at Montgomery, Stout had a consultant complete a development assessment. Beale notes that she, Stout and the consultant openly discussed various opportunities for the college to grow and areas of weakness that needed to be addressed.

On Feb. 13, Beales and Stout will co-host a webinar with Rae Goldsmith, CASE vice president for advancement resources, exploring the results of a 2012 survey of community college chief executive officers and their chief fundraisers and ways to use the data to evaluate and improve their professional relationships.

Please share your questions and comments with Marc Westenburg via email at or +1 202 478 5570.

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This article is from the February 2013 issue of the Community College Advancement News.


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Enhancing Internal Relations for Community College Fundraising Success
Feb. 19, 2013
2 p.m., Eastern

Use the VSE to Benchmark Your Community College Fundraising
March 6, 2013
2 p.m., Eastern
Free webinar

Bringing Order and Sanity to Your Community College Website
March 19, 2013
2 p.m., Eastern

Making the Most of Your First Donor Visit
May 7, 2013
2 p.m., Eastern

Conference for Community College Advancement
Oct. 2 - 4, 2013
San Diego, Calif.

See the full list of CASE resources for community colleges