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Interrogatories for Vice President of Philanthropy

Interrogatories for Vice President of Philanthropy

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Published by Marquis Miller

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Published by: Marquis Miller on Nov 14, 2010
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Interrogatories for Vice President of Philanthropy In the likely event that you are chosen as a finalist, may we please

ask that you offer answers to the following questions, within 1 day of receiving this document? Thank you. 1. Considering the job at hand, what is the career experience you have had, which most closely resembles it? Two experiences: >Building and developing the institutional advancement program at Chicago State University >Managing and growing the campaign giving for the Midwest region of UNCF 2. If you had this position today, and knew only what you have read and discussed so far, what are the first 5 things you would do or actions you would take? The first 5 things I would do are: >review the last 5 years of goal to actual fundraising to determine the alignment of current goals and the prospect pool needed >meet one-on-one with all direct reports to do a quick personnel assessment and profile >meet with key donors and assess stewardship activities and opportunities for continuous cultivation >draft preliminary advancement plan in concert with marketing/communications team >meet with president and CEO to present ideas for new market outreach toward reaching or exceeding established goals 3. During your career, what is the experience which taught you the most? The experience which taught me the most was my UNCF experience. I had participated in high-level development work with Ohio State, especially when the Affirm Thy Friendship Comprehensive Campaign was underway, but I had not been expected to perform at a high-level each moment of each day until working for Bill Gray and on behalf of the mission of the organization.

underrepresented students from colleges across the country. including those whose title may not include senior or executive in it. 6. Several of them are still in place and my team principles are still in use in each organization. for which you are solely responsible? The most important career achievement I have had. and it created a very painful but necessary set of circumstances. in part on my collaboration with key team members. My success is base. for which I am solely responsible is the establishment of a scholarship/internship program for UNCF which became a model for corporations looking to use diversity as a business objective. who were looking not just for black students. focused on building and growing the organization’s resource base and helping identify top talent for companies. The organization got stronger because of the situation because each team member saw and understood that we were only as good as the person next to us. 5. but for deserving. became a separate division of UNCF headquarters. What is the most difficult HR problem you faced and how did you handle it? The most difficult HR problem I faced was having to fire an Area Director whose wife was also a direct report. 7. the termination ameliorated a longstanding problem I inherited. I had to reprimand the Director and use progressive discipline to move to termination. vision-focused environment. . In what management environment are you most productive/successful? I am most productive in a mission-driven. What is the most important career achievement you have had. What is the greatest evidence of your ability as a team leader? The greatest evidence of my ability as a team leader is the professionals I coached and led through new situations as advancement professionals and leaders in their own right.Page 2: 4. What started as a way to get unrestricted support for UNCF’s member colleges through offering scholarships to talented students also.

There were a group of individuals who refused to let the staff help them and would subvert our opportunities to increase giving from the market(s) because they had been the primary representatives for UNCF among their peers and civic leaders. What is an example of the largest conflict you had with executive management and how was it resolved? The largest conflict I had with executive management was over our approach with a large corporate donor and my knowledge about the company’s position on philanthropy.8. as a Principle or the largest risk you personally shouldered. A heated argument ensued and I was told I was dead wrong in very coarse and volatile language. and did your actions fail or succeed? The largest risk I personally shouldered was firing all of the volunteers for the St. A slight modification was made to acknowledge my point of view. What is the most important change you introduced. so I called each one in for a one-on-one visit. My actions succeeded since we hired an Area Director who was able to come in and establish herself with a clean slate and most importantly. with a renewed set of volunteer leaders (The campaign revenue increased 15% in the first year). met with them as a collective group. but was over ruled. I stood my ground and stuck to the facts. 9. I was called to a meeting where another executive was being “dressed down” by the CEO and asked what my feelings were re: the donor and a presentation we were preparing. NB: I was asked to accompany the CEO on the call and ultimately a $20 million gift was made to fund the proposed program. They were not willing to come together and review the capacity. then asked them to politely resign from the advisory committee they formed before there was an office (I did have two people reinstated after a market review and a determination that they would be helpful to us once we could give them a new orientation). Louis/Kansas City campaign in the Midwest Region for UNCF. . until the CEO realized I have inside information shared from a previous encounter with the company. capability and propensity of the donor and prospect pool we identified. but I never received more than a grudging respect for standing my ground for the betterment of our proposal.

Some examples of my entrepreneurial spirit and how I encouraged and introduced change include my establishment of constituent units within the structure of a commuter campus. a holdover of my predecessor and the previous athletic director. It involved getting seniors who were campus volunteers to serve as docents. Please give examples of your entrepreneurial spirit: how you encouraged and introduced change in your department or non-profit organization. Another example is the planning for a comprehensive campaign where no campaign had ever been done. most of who only maintained a relationship with their professor or department chair. My idea failed because the individuals we selected to spearhead the effort were not interested at all in athletics but were more interested in keeping their gym and library privileges. We would outfit them with Green Jackets and enlist them and their recruits in a mini booster club. It gave up “control and autonomy“ to maximize development growth over time. Attachments . rather than have a centralized office. or ushers.Page 3: 10. at the new convocation center. by using the best resource the colleges had: their alumni. What did you learn from the failure? An example of a new and different fundraising strategy I conceived was a campaign for Chicago State’s athletic department which had not been financially self-sufficient in the institution’s history. Please give an example of a new and different fundraising strategy you conceived or chose. I learned from the failure that people do not always tell you their interests or their agenda until they get what they want or need. with the theory being. and which failed. since they lived in the area they had a vested interest in seeing the athletics program grow and flourish. (see attached) 11.

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