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Job Descriptions
Sample CollectionThe Library maintains this collection of job descriptions for a variety of advancement positions.

CASE Seeks Advancement Job Descriptions
Article,  BriefCASE ArticleCASE is updating its collection of job descriptions for all disciplines—advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing. Members are encouraged to share their job descriptions by emailing them to

CASE Statements on Compensation for Fundraising Performance
In 1991, CASE's Commission on Educational Fundraising (now the Commission on Philanthropy) released a statement on commission-based compensation for fundraisers. That statement was reaffirmed in 2005. In 2010, the Commission approved an additional statement on supplemental compensation (often described as a bonus). This page presents in one place all of CASE's statements on compensation for fundraising.

Sexual Harassment
Good QuestionDo you have resources on sexual harassment in the education or nonprofit sector?

ConferenceAPAC is the annual signature event in Asia-Pacific for advancement professionals from educational institutions working in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing and communications.

Conference on Diverse Philanthropy and Leadership
ConferenceThis conference will review the emerging philanthropic markets (ethnicity, GLBT, young alumni, etc.) in advancement while exploring minority buying power, giving behaviors and donor expectations. In addition the program will focus on management leadership and mentoring of advancement professionals of diverse backgrounds.

The Art of Working Strategically
CURRENTS ArticleFrom 2012 to 2016, Reggie Bustinza and Joe Volin were tasked with tracking engagement for the nearly 37,000 alumni at Lewis University in Illinois. They got big results, and their system continues to live on after their time at the institution. Here they share their secrets for taking alumni metrics to the next level.

Are You Managing?
CURRENTS ArticlePromoting superstar talent to management positions sounds logical. Yet a master fundraiser, visionary communicator, or alumni relations genius won’t necessarily possess the skills to lead and inspire a team. A bad manager can fuel turnover, cause low staff morale, decreased engagement—and prevent qualified people from joining your organization. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Devil Wears Prada and thought, “Nah, the devil wears pride gear,” you’ll want to learn how managers—and the people who hire them—can improve.

CURRENTS ArticleAdvice on removing a donor name from a building; and why a deck of cards helps one development pro stay focused on making the impossible possible.

Talking Shop: The Upside of Chaos
CURRENTS ArticleJoan Garry, principal of Joan Garry Consulting, believes the best nonprofits are like twin-engine jets. In advancement, the board chair and institution president are co-pilots. The staff and lead volunteer engines need to be strong, effective, and efficient. But, of course, there will always be turbulence. "If you haven't had a crisis at an institution, it's not because you're good—it's because you're lucky," she warns. The author of Joan Garry's Guide to Nonprofit Leadership, Garry shares advice on dealing with disorder.

Late Emails are OK – Trust Us
Advancement Weekly ArticleStudies show that most emails don’t require an instant response―so we don’t need to apologize for every late reply.

Think Happy Thoughts
Advancement Weekly ArticleFeeling stressed at work? New research suggests that just thinking positive thoughts can help improve your mood after stressful situations.

Recover From that Failed Email
Advancement Weekly ArticleLearn how to bounce back after sending an embarrassing email with advice from several communicators.

Are You Prepared for Corporate Disasters?
Advancement Weekly ArticleA corporate crisis can happen suddenly and without warning. How you manage and work your way through the crisis can make or break your organization, according to two crisis management experts.

Are You a Job Candidate's Nightmare?
Advancement Weekly ArticleDoes your organization offer a first-class hiring experience? Or are you treating your best candidates like a stack of resumes?

Stop Complaining at Work
Advancement Weekly ArticleA recent study suggests complaining to your colleagues can do more harm than good.

Just Say Yes to Innovation
Advancement Weekly ArticleWhen in meetings, do you look for ways to say no or do you open yourself up to an institutional yes?

Phrases that Pump Up Your Team
Advancement Weekly ArticleThere are six easy phrases that leaders can use to improve their employees’ performance, writes one leadership expert.

CURRENTS ArticleAdvice on handling an advancement colleague's inappropriate relationship with a donor; Colorado State's lessons on making a recipe video; and how to avoid errors in your database's list of deceased alumni.

Outlook: Observations from the Other Side
CURRENTS ArticleThe job market is tough, but not for the reasons you may think. For several months in 2016, I looked for a senior-level job in development. During my 20-plus years working in nonprofit and higher education fundraising, I've developed several skills, including the ability to scout and hire great talent. Being on the other side of the table was an eye-opener. After perusing hundreds of openings, I thoughtfully submitted more than 30 job applications to Ivy League schools, huge state university foundations, and everything in between. Throughout the process of working with recruiters and HR personnel, I found variable levels of professionalism, including wince-worthy displays of incompetence in how nonprofits (especially ones in higher ed) hire. Here are some highlights and recommendations for improving your own process.

The Power of Being a Vulnerable Leader
Advancement Weekly ArticleVulnerability is an effective though often overlooked tool that leaders can use to make connections with and motivate employees, according to one leadership expert.

How to Make Impactful and Memorable Presentations
Advancement Weekly ArticleCan you remember the details of the last presentation you attended? If not, there's a chance that it lacked a strong and memorable message, writes one content strategist.

The Caring Leader
Advancement Weekly ArticleAre you known as a tough-as-nails leader? It might be time to introduce a more caring attitude into your repertoire.

How to Build an Amazing Marketing Team
Advancement Weekly ArticleWhen expanding a small marketing team, making a smart hire can be a game-changing decision for managers, according to one marketing expert.

Um, Like, Watch Your Verbal Fillers
Advancement Weekly ArticleIf you use verbal fillers such as “like” and “um,” you may be sending a signal that you are nervous or unsure in your conversation.

CURRENTS ArticleAdvice on how to respond to inappropriate comments from donors; and tricks to digitally unplug.

Outlook: Don't Discount Diverse Donors
CURRENTS ArticleIf you assess the philanthropic landscape today, you'd be challenged to find Latinos in major staff roles, on nonprofit boards, or as major donors. As a Latino and development officer for 32 years, I've observed a range of reasons nonprofits overlook Latino communities. The main one: Because our communities have struggled with poverty and have indeed been recipients of charity, the assumption that we cannot give prevails. This is simply not true, and most people outside of Latino communities don't realize our propensity and capacity to give.

Are You Asking the Right Questions?
Advancement Weekly ArticleDo you examine your intentions when you ask questions of your employees? Are you being nosy? Or are you genuinely trying to learn a thing or two?

Eliminate Your Meeting Distractions
Advancement Weekly ArticleMeetings: you can’t avoid them, but how can you make them more worthwhile? Try eliminating distractions during the gathering, writes one workplace expert.

Deflate Your Leadership Ego
Advancement Weekly ArticleIt might be time to let a little air out of your ego, writes one leadership expert.

How to Convince Your Co-workers to Like You Better
Advancement Weekly ArticleNo one expects to be universally loved at work. But what do you do when you find yourself at odds with the company culture, given the cold shoulder by colleagues or caught in frequent conflicts?

Relationship Status
CURRENTS ArticleTurnover can be costly. When a donor’s key contact leaves—whether it’s the president or development officer—the donor’s relationship with the institution is disrupted. The result? Delayed or decreased giving. So how can you reduce the negative impact of presidential and gift officer turnover? By expanding the number of indi-viduals involved in donor-institution relationships and including people with greater tenure in those relationships.

Family Matters
CURRENTS ArticleFor busy advancement officers, the line between their professional and personal lives blurs easily and often. Alumni relations staff frequently work evenings and weekends; development officers can travel several times a month to visit donors; social media directors monitor, respond, and post content 24/7. In a recent work-life balance survey, 68 percent of advancement professionals reported working 45 hours or more per week, and 30 percent said that work often interferes with their personal lives. These unpredictable schedules can take a toll on families. So how can you align your personal and professional relationships in a healthy way? Here's how to stay married to your partner and not wedded to your job.

CURRENTS ArticlePersuading faculty to work with media and coaching them on it; and what the stuff in your workspace says about you.

Listen Up
CURRENTS ArticleCFO means business with New Year’s resolution to consume audio books

Talking Shop: We’re All Ducks
CURRENTS ArticleVu Le is the brains and comedic voice behind the Nonprofit with Balls blog. As an executive director of a nonprofit, Le often writes from the perspective of a grantee, producing no-nonsense articles such as “9 annoying nonprofit trends that need to die.” His Seattle-based organization, Rainier Valley Corps, trains people of color for nonprofit leadership positions, so he has lots to say about improving diversity.

Turn Your Downtime into Motivation
Advancement Weekly ArticleIn addition to spending time with family and friends, the holidays can provide you an opportunity to tap into your inner enthusiasm, writes one motivation expert.

3 Signs You Can’t Communicate
Advancement Weekly ArticleIf you aren’t actively working on improving your communication skills, you are preventing yourself from being a better coworker and employee, according to one communications expert.

Are You Falling for the Generational Trap?
Advancement Weekly ArticleLeaders who use generational stereotypes to characterize employees can actually do more harm than good in the workplace, according to one talent strategist.

Different Office Personalities Bring Balance
Advancement Weekly ArticleA workplace with individuals who have diverse personalities and backgrounds is necessary for the equilibrium of your company, writes one business author.

The Difference Between Venting and Gossip
Advancement Weekly ArticleGossip in the workplace can drive a wedge between employees, but tattling to your manager can create more issues, writes one leadership expert.

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS ArticleGet inspired with these Circle of Excellence winners: Red River College finds success with its "Our Grads Get Hired" advertising campaign; University College London's Develpment and Alumni Relations Office initiates a unique and effective onboarding program; and Colgate University's video The Journey Begins helps garner alumni gifts.

Outlook: Build a Better Bonus System
CURRENTS ArticleWhether at a CASE conference or other gathering of senior advancement executives, the topic of turnover always arises: How do we attract and keep talented staff? Could offering bonus pay help? Incentive compensation is not prevalent in advancement; some liken it to paying gift officers a commission. Another complaint: Such programs often only apply to fundraisers, excluding other staff who are pivotal to advancement. No part of a donor's gift should be paid to a fundraiser as commission. But a well-crafted incentive compensation program that includes all staff members can boost performance and lead to longer tenures—and stronger relationships with donors.

CURRENTS ArticleAdvice for when a colleague acts too casual and friendly with donors; how to be preapred for last-minute end-of-the-year gifts; and thougths on preparing Native American high school students for college.

Use Your Leadership Megaphone Wisely
Advancement Weekly ArticleWhen a leader speaks, employees listen. That’s why it’s important for those in leadership positions to clearly communicate their objectives to avoid misunderstandings, writes one leadership coach.

Is It Time to Stop Performance Reviews?
Advancement Weekly ArticleEliminating performance reviews in favor of another type of evaluation may actually help employees grow and develop, writes one leadership expert.

Are You Unapproachable at Work?
Advancement Weekly ArticleSkipping that happy hour after work? You may be passing up an opportunity to forge positive bonds with your coworkers, writes one workplace expert.

Shared Experiences are Important for the Workplace
Advancement Weekly ArticleNever underestimate the value of your company picnic. One business consultant writes that shared experiences can be a powerful tool for building strong and effective teams.

4 Issues Caused by Poor Communication
Advancement Weekly ArticleProviding clear and relevant communications to staff can lead to less stress and fewer issues in the workplace, according to one communications expert.

Learn the Habits of Good Employees
Advancement Weekly ArticleWondering how well you are performing at work? According to one management author, there are a few telltale signs that show you are an indispensable employee.

7 Lessons Leaders Can Learn from Basketball
Advancement Weekly ArticleTeamwork is essential to the success of most organizations. According to one marketing specialist, the knowledge you need strengthen your team can come from an unlikely place.

4 Ways to Handle a Condescending Coworker
Advancement Weekly ArticleEmployees must learn to deal with colleagues who are condescending without stooping to their level. Not addressing this behavior can take an emotional toll on your work and confidence, writes one workplace expert.

Communications and Marketing Significant for Institutions
Article,  BriefCASE ArticleInstitutional leaders have "fully realized the significance" of the communications and marketing function and the "hurdle of justification" has been cleared for most practitioners. These are among the findings of a recently published CASE white paper.

CASE Diversity Efforts Continue in 2017
Article,  BriefCASE ArticleAs our world rapidly becomes more diverse, advancement professionals must work to embolden and support diverse employment, alumni and donor bases, says Anita Walton, CASE's newly appointed director of diversity and talent management.

5 Ways to Nurture New Talent
CURRENTS ArticleDespite a growing need for fundraisers, recruiters are struggling to find talent. Degree programs in advancement remain rare (although notable ones include the U.K.'s University of Chichester's charity development degree and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University), and the field is frequently misunderstood. "Advancement, especially development, is often viewed as a sales profession," says Zachary Smith, a senior partner and deputy managing director at the recruiting firm Witt/Kieffer. "Most people only see advancement professionals schmoozing donors at coffees, lunches, dinners, and events. They don't see the work that takes place in between." So how can institutions attract talented graduates to the field—and how can they keep them there? Read on for ways to grow and retain your team's newest advancement professionals.

Prevent Burnout with These Steps
Advancement Weekly ArticleEvery manager deals with unmotivated employees but avoiding the issue could result in burnout and ultimately staff turnover. One management expert has advice on how to avoid burnout in the workplace.

Humor at Work: Harmless or Hazardous?
Advancement Weekly ArticleShould you tell jokes at the office? Maybe. New research indicates that humor, when used successfully, can indicate confidence. If used inappropriately, though, humor can backfire.

The 5 Communication Mistakes Leaders Make
Advancement Weekly ArticleAs you move up the management ladder, your communication role changes. If you’re a new leader of an organization and you’re still communicating like you would as a manager, you might not be communicating effectively, writes one communication expert.

Intolerant Work Environment Stalls Careers of LGBTs
Advancement Weekly ArticleA new study by the Center for Work-Life Policy finds that employers who don’t create an environment in which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees can express their sexual orientation hinder these individuals’ “career progression” and undermine their organization’s “bottom line success.”

Ways to Reward Your Employees Without Money
Advancement Weekly ArticleIf you’re pinching pennies around the office to meet your budget, then you may not be able to afford to reward your employees financially. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find other creative ways to recognize them for their hard work.

Study: Teleworking Less Popular, but No Less Effective
Advancement Weekly ArticleA new survey reports that the number of teleworkers in the United States decreased last year for the first time since 2003. Researchers say that heightened employee anxiety over job security has many afraid to work from home. Still, some leadership experts say that more face time doesn’t promote greater job security and that employers should continue to promote teleworking.

Top Advice on Managing Difficult Conversations
Advancement Weekly ArticleBeing a manager means having difficult conversations. An expert speaking at last week’s CASE Summit for Advancement Leaders offered some simple suggestions to help you successfully handle the next difficult conversation that comes your way, whether it involves conducting a negative performance review or addressing a conflict among employees.

Grooming the Managers of Tomorrow
Advancement Weekly ArticleNew research finds that as baby boomers retire from the workplace, there will be a need for millennials to take over leadership positions more quickly than in generations past. So what can managers do to attract, retain and grow this important, young workforce?

Detecting and Treating Employee Boredom
Advancement Weekly ArticleEvery now and then, one of your employees may come down with a condition common to workaday life: boredom. Though it may sound harmless enough, boredom often translates into poor productivity. And what’s more, as one manager cautions, “bored people quit.”

Manage as a Consultant and a Therapist
Advancement Weekly ArticleOrganizations sometimes bring in leadership “coaches,” a combination of a professional consultant and personal therapist, to mentor managers. One leadership expert says that managers should mimic these mentors and adopt a more nuanced “coaching” perspective when dealing with employees.

Email Etiquette and the Appropriateness of 'Reply All'
Advancement Weekly ArticleWhether they have a staff of two or 20, managers often have to communicate with everyone on their team at once. Email is often the obvious medium to convey messages to multiple staff members. Still, one management expert writes that group emails can be perilous for leaders who don’t realize the mini social networks they create.

Timeless Management Lessons from an Old Source
Advancement Weekly ArticleDale Carnegie's book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" turns 75 this year. To honor the occasion, the company he founded plans to publish an updated version entitled How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age. But regardless of the impact of social media on how we communicate, one critic argues that there are still plenty of relevant and timeless management lessons to be learned from the 1936 original.

Why Satisfaction Doesn't Mean Engagement
Advancement Weekly ArticleLeaders may think that increasing perks in the workplace will lead to greater motivation and engagement among employees. But satisfaction at work doesn't necessarily come from perks, and it won't necessarily improve performance, writes one workplace expert.

Pin of Pride
CURRENTS ArticleHow can you tell if a major gift officer secured a gift for an endowed professorship or chair? At the University of Florida, you just check his or her lapel. At special ceremonies near the end of the last campaign, the development chief and deans gave unique Gator pins to those who closed such gifts. The incentive program ran during the last two years of Florida's recent $1.5 billion campaign to help focus gift officers on securing endowed professorships and chairs.

CURRENTS ArticleAdvice on editorial policies for sources reviewing stories; a website that generates inflated university titles; and acknowledgement of the struggles many students face in juggling studies and outside responsibilities.

Talking Shop: Raising Gifts, Sharing GIFs
CURRENTS ArticleRory Green is a second-generation development officer—both of her parents were fundraisers—and the founder of Fundraiser Grrl, a cheeky crowdsourced blog about the rewarding, frustrating, and downright outlandish things fundraisers experience. Through the GIF-driven posts, fundraisers both celebrate and gripe about their professional lives. Face palms, snark, and funny tales abound.

Is It OK for Your Employees to Speak Up?
Advancement Weekly ArticleEmployees are often reluctant to speak up about issues or conflicts at work because they fear possible repercussions. But this hesitancy to speak up can negatively impact a team's productivity and a company's overall success, according to one leadership expert.

Concise Communication is an Art
Advancement Weekly ArticleAs a leader, you want to make sure your message is communicated clearly and fully to your team. But over communicating, or explaining too much, can confuse your listener, warns one leadership expert.

Define Your Meeting for Productivity
Advancement Weekly ArticleMeetings, whether routinely scheduled or unique, can benefit from being defined to attendees, writes one management expert. The added benefit of informing your meeting attendees of the meeting type and goals is that it helps everyone stay focused and minimize wasted time.

4 Ways to Handle Your Critics
Advancement Weekly ArticleChances are you will say or do something at work that your colleagues or boss will frown upon. While it can be unsettling, there are ways to handle it so you come away maintaining your integrity, according to one management expert.

Don't Aim for Motivation
Advancement Weekly ArticleIt's not enough to just stay motivated, especially if you want to succeed. Great leaders and teams are committed, writes one management expert.

Make Every Team Member an Architect
Advancement Weekly ArticleRedesigning your office space in 2016? Collaborating with your entire team can make the process smoother, suggests an entrepreneur.

Pay Check: Results of the 2016 CASE Compensation Survey
ReportThis presentation summarizes the results of CASE's most recent compensation survey. The 2016 results provide a comprehensive view of compensation practices to help identify patterns across the profession. Salary data is broken down by criteria such as discipline/primary function, institution type, enrollment size, geographic area, supervisory level and tenure.

Retire These Workplace Clichés
Advancement Weekly ArticleNot using business jargon will make you seem more professional and effective—and your team might even thank you. Here's how to avoid ineffective workplace clichés.

Salvage Your Reputation When You’re Caught in a Lie
Advancement Weekly ArticleIf you’ve lied about something at work, you’re likely to get caught, which means your reputation is at stake with your boss and colleagues. Do damage control with these five steps, writes a leadership expert.

Why Complaining Might Make Your Life Better
Advancement Weekly ArticleIf you complain a lot to peers, you may be causing yourself more harm than good. However, according to one management expert, there is a right way to complain.

Don't Waste Time in Meetings
Advancement Weekly ArticleMeetings can shift from being motivating and fruitful to ill-received and counterproductive. But there is a way to ensure the hidden value in meetings, writes a workplace expert.

The Right Way to Stress Out
Advancement Weekly ArticleMany managers may believe that a “stressed office” is bad for business OR is an unproductive office... but effective managers know that in times of transition, a little stress or pressure will encourage productivity and motivate employees, writes one leadership expert.

Before You Disagree, Ask These Questions
Advancement Weekly ArticleSpeaking up at work is important—whether you disagree with a policy or believe an idea suggested by a colleague—won't work. But it's not always prudent to share every concern, writes one management expert.

Making a Modern Office Human
Advancement Weekly ArticleThe fancy new piece of technology that you introduced to your office might be nice for productivity, but it could be impacting employee morale more than you think, writes one leadership expert.

Ignoring Employees Makes Everyone Suffer
Advancement Weekly ArticleEmployees who work remotely or aren't very outgoing at work can be sometimes left out of important conversations, events and meetings. They are also more likely to be disengaged at work. When that happens, the workplace suffers, writes one management expert.

Ground Rules for Effective Meetings
Advancement Weekly ArticleMeetings are a fact of life. For meetings to be effective for all team members, leaders should set ground rules that are consistently enforced, one management expert writes.

Are You Driving Away Your Best Employees?
Advancement Weekly ArticleIt's important for organizations to retain good employees, but this can be a challenge, according to one hiring expert who writes about eight common mistakes that can drive employees away.

Important Questions for New Board Hires
Advancement Weekly ArticleWhen new board members join a nonprofit, it is paramount that both parties get off on the right foot. This can be achieved by setting up a meeting with new board members and establishing responsibilities, says one nonprofit communications expert.

When an Open Door Policy is Not the Best Policy
Advancement Weekly ArticleManagers love to say that their office door is always open, meaning that at any time, employees are encouraged to stop in to share concerns or ask questions. But this practice can lead to inefficiencies and ineffectiveness in the workplace, writes one professional coach.

Avoiding the Hazards of Online Meetings
Advancement Weekly ArticleToday's technology makes it easy to hold meetings with remote staff but it takes "forethought, practice and patience" to lead a successful virtual meeting. That's according to one expert on leadership issues.

5 Tried-and-True Employee Feedback Tips
Advancement Weekly ArticleNot all managers are comfortable giving their employees feedback—in fact, a stunning majority of them aren't, writes one business leader and author.

Happiness at Work: How vs. What
Advancement Weekly ArticlePeople are happier at work because of "how" they work, not necessarily because of "what" they are doing, says one strategic planning expert.

5 Steps to Boost Creativity
Advancement Weekly ArticleStruggling to find workplace inspiration? Chief Strategy Officer Darren Guarnaccia says his best ideas pop into his mind while he's running—but that doesn't mean everyone should start training for a marathon. The key to creativity is finding a unique inspiration-generating strategy.

3 Tips to Master Mindfulness at Work
Advancement Weekly ArticleFeeling bogged down with bottomless inboxes and overwhelming to-do lists? According to a meditation and leadership scholar, mindfulness can combat stress and dissatisfaction at work. Plus, it can boost decision-making and creativity.

How to Retain High-Performing Employees
Advancement Weekly ArticleA high-performing employee, writes a workplace strategist, can deliver 400 percent more productivity than an average performer. But one in five is likely to leave his or her job in the next six months. Here's how to keep high performers on board.

U.S. Education Report Finds Diversity Gap, Holes in Teacher Pipeline
Article,  BriefCASE ArticleA recently released report by the U.S. Department of Education reveals a severe lack of racial diversity among teachers and professors in the United States as well as an ineffective pipeline to prepare and support teachers from diverse backgrounds to enter the education field.

The 1 Habit of Successful Teams
Advancement Weekly ArticleA few years ago, researchers at Google were presented with a challenge: trying to determine what makes great teams work.

Office Space: Grow Your Own Communications Talent
CURRENTS ArticleDuke ProComm, a professional development program for communicators at Duke University in North Carolina, trains communicators with varying levels of expertise and at different stages of their career. Many entry-level communicators arrive with a specific skill set, but in today's environment you need to know how to tell a story using text, images, audio, and video, and you must promote your work on a variety of platforms and channels. The ProComm program helps communicators enhance their skills, find mentors, and prepare for future communication opportunities.

Does Your Institution Have a Social Media Transition Plan?
CURRENTS ArticleAn institution's communications strategy should include social media management, but too often the protocols, processes, and permissions essential for overseeing social channels aren't well documented or communicated, particularly in smaller shops. During a staff turnover, such a lack of forethought can harm an institution's brand and reputation, compromise data security, and, in extreme cases, attract unwanted attention and headlines. With proper planning and governance, you can provide a smooth changing of the social guard, whether during planned departures, re-assignments, extended leaves, or, yes, even dismissals.

Long, Aimless Meetings? Sabotage!
CURRENTS ArticleToo many committees? Wishy-washy decision-makers? Those little frustrations in your day-to-day office life aren't just annoyances—they could be sabotaging the work you do, according to the book Simple Sabotage: A Modern Field Manual for Detecting and Rooting Out Everyday Behaviors that Undermine Your Workplace.

Talent Management
Good QuestionDo you have resources on talent management in advancement?

4 Lessons from Improv
Advancement Weekly ArticleThe same tools that improv actors use to delight audiences can also assist staff at social organizations that are adapting to the changing needs of their missions, writes one expert in adaptive leadership and improv studies.

Don't Pay the Price of Bad Listening
Advancement Weekly ArticlePoor listening can lead to misunderstandings, errors or ineffective decisions. Be a better active listener by following these two steps and encouraging your team members to do the same.

3 Words to Guarantee Feedback in Meetings
Advancement Weekly ArticleMany leaders assume that if they ask for feedback, their team will offer it. But that’s often not the case, write two strategists. The key is to set the right expectation up front.

The Ingredients for an Innovative Idea
Advancement Weekly ArticleThe most promising ideas start from unusual places, writes a psychology professor. A lesson from filmmaking can make those concepts easier to pitch.

Employee Motivation: What Really Works
Advancement Weekly ArticleThe carrot-and-stick method for motivating employees doesn’t work. What does work is empowering your team to unravel problems, writes a leadership coach.

The Case against Job Descriptions
Advancement Weekly ArticleOrganizations have grown too used to focusing on job candidates' skills and overlooking context, writes a Harvard University scientist.

Leading Purpose-Driven Team Members
Advancement Weekly ArticleThe 2015 Workplace Purpose Index reveals that 28 percent of individuals are purpose-oriented rather than income-oriented. Here's how to incorporate purpose into your leadership.

Outlook: Producing High Performers
CURRENTS ArticleUsing donors to train gift officers is just one way development shops should be rethinking talent management, including recruitment. Too often vice presidents are attracted to fundraisers who have secured a mega-gift, even if the gift was years in the making and cultivated by predecessors. VPs think top performers are a canned product that can be easily found and recruited at high salaries.They'd be better off building their own superstars by hiring passionate, driven fundraisers who understand the process and pace of fundraising.

The Key to a Positive Work Attitude? Resiliency
Article,  Community College News ArticleFor community college advancement professionals to succeed, they must learn to stay positive and productive in the face of change, challenges and uncertainty, says a communications expert.

Three Habits of Highly Creative Teams
Advancement Weekly ArticleWhat makes someone an innovation leader? Innovation leadership, says Linda Hill, involves different traits than the ones we typically ascribe to great leaders.

ConferenceAPAC is the annual signature event in Asia-Pacific for advancement professionals from educational institutions working in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing and communications.

The Apprentices
CURRENTS ArticleWith the Student Philanthropy Officer pilot program in York University's annual giving office, students can graduate from phonathon calls to face-to-face asks of alumni.

Improve Employee Development Programming
Advancement Weekly ArticleOrganizations that invest in employee development programs are more efficient and have more satisfied workers, writes a talent management expert.

Managing Emotional Outbursts from Employees
Advancement Weekly ArticleManagers should anticipate crying or screaming from emotional employees to prevent these outbursts from stalling their team’s productivity, writes a leadership expert.

Convincing Coworkers to Embrace a New Idea
Advancement Weekly ArticleWhen presenting new ideas to colleagues, workers should stay positive and not confuse disagreement from others with personal rejection, writes a training consultant.

Lead a Virtual Team
Advancement Weekly ArticleLeaders of teams with remote workers should anticipate complications such as time-zone differences and unclear chains of command, writes a management consultant.

Office Space: Employee Retention Starts on Day One
CURRENTS ArticleKeeping high-performing staff members is vital to an institution's success. A positive onboarding experience is a fundamental step toward reducing turnover, increasing employee engagement, and raising productivity.

Breathe New Life into Performance Reviews
Advancement Weekly ArticleBy making a few changes to mid- and full-year performance reviews, managers can make the process more meaningful to their employees’ professional development, writes a talent management expert.

Know Purpose of Work to Improve Job Motivation
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleManagers and employees can become demotivated if they lack clearly defined personal and professional goals, writes a leadership training specialist.

Look Beyond Email to Boost Teamwork
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleTo improve communication and collaboration, senior leaders should encourage work colleagues to interact more freely with one another using tools other than email, writes a management expert.

Boring Isn’t a Bad Personality Trait at Work
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticlePeople whose personalities might be described as “boring” tend to be reliable, emotionally stable and above-average managers, writes an authority in psychological profiling.

Don’t Accidentally Hamper Employee Creativity
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleLeaders can sometimes inadvertently undermine their team's creativity when problem solving or generating new ideas, writes a management professor.

What to Do When a Team Grows Too Big
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleMost work teams become unmanageable after they grow to 10 or 12 direct reports, writes a management researcher.

Don’t Waste Time at Meetings
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleLeaders can turn long meetings into short, productive gatherings by putting action items on the agenda—not discussion points, writes a time management expert.

Ask How to Retain Top Performers
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleManagers should regularly conduct “stay interviews” with current employees, writes a talent management specialist.

Use a Sticky Note to Improve Persuasion
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleResearch finds that one of the best ways to get someone to follow through on a work task is to attach a sticky note with a handwritten message to the request.

Sound Professional on Conference Calls
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleTo make a good impression on conference calls, leaders should provide a brief introduction when arriving and make liberal use of the mute button to minimize background noise, writes a leadership specialist.

Reclaim Lost Time from Email
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleLeaders can begin to tame email overload in their office by following a few simple steps, write communications experts.

How to Handle a Sudden Resignation
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleWhen an employee quits unexpectedly, managers should assure their team that they are working hard to find a suitable replacement, says a management consultant.

Learn How to Communicate Organizational Change
Advancement Weekly Article,  ArticleLeaders should clearly communicate to staff when their organization is going through a major change—such as a reorganization or layoffs—writes a management expert.

New Practitioners Should Make Connections
Article,  Community College News ArticleCommunity college advancement practitioners new either to their job or the sector should develop relationships with key influencers on their campus, say two CASE faculty members leading a newcomers workshop.

You know which employees are your superstars.  They’re the folks who exhibit more ambition, higher productivity, and greater initiative than your average employee.  They may also present more difficult challenges than your average employee, whether by being less of a team player, by questioning decision-makers more, or by jumping ship more readily when their needs aren’t being met.  Managing these employees properly can result both in long-term retention of your stars and the cultivation of your good performers into stars.

First, challenge your stars.  Give them the tougher projects that will require them to use their initiative, as well as their innovation skills.  You should give them room to make mistakes and take risks because that is where they can excel and bring more to your company.

Second, reward your stars.  Money isn’t the only reward a star employee wants or needs.  Face time over lunch with an important member of your company or more input into the decision on which project he or she will tackle next can also reward and motivate your stars.  Remember, however, that many star employees have quirks that you do not want to reward.  For instance, instead of focusing only on your star’s contribution to a successful project, recognize him or her as a member of the team. 

Third, ensure their growth.  Spend time with your stars, providing them with feedback on their performance, informing them of job expectations, and developing their future.  Your stars need to know their long-term potential with your company.  And, they want to be a part of planning that future.  Grow their leadership skills so that you’ll know if a move to management is appropriate for them.  Just because an employee is a star does not mean he or she has the skills to manage people.  Encourage leadership in the community as one source of experience.  Allow your star to mentor one of your good performers, giving that person a chance to become a star, too.

Finally, hold your stars accountable.  While a star knows (and in some cases overestimates) their worth, don’t find yourself in an untenable situation.  Always keep an eye out for good recruits for your business.  The star who thinks he’s irreplaceable may become unmanageable.  While high productivity and revenue generation are great attributes in an employee, you also want your stars to play well with others.  Attitude is important and should not be overlooked in the evaluation process simply because someone has good numbers.  Doing that might alienate a future star in your pool of good performers.

All of this is not to suggest that you should play favorites with your employees.  Morale is key to a healthy organization, and fairness is vital to morale.  But remember, it is often said that 20% of your employees will consume 80% of your time – and not in a good way.  Make sure you invest some of what’s left in your stars, and you’ll brighten your company’s future.


By Vanessa L. Towarnicky
Published: March 15, 2013

Vanessa Towarnicky's primary focus is in the area of labor and employment law. She has been involved in representing clients in various employment cases, including sexual harassment; deliberate intent; age, race, and disability discrimination; wrongful discharge; and various other employment-related torts. She is admitted to various state and federal courts as well as the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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