Gifted and Talented: Keeping Your Gift Officers on the Front Lines


Gifted and Talented. And we don’t mean precocious middle schoolers. Instead, we mean your gift officers, the unsung heroes of every institution.

In old Blues parlance – these are the folks who bring home the bacon and can fry it up in the pan. While these talented professionals cannot be homogenized in any way, there are a few attributes that are shared by most. They love people – find them interesting and intriguing, nuts to be cracked, diamonds just waiting for the perfect gemologist. They thrive on the thrill of the chase – ferreting out sources and resources, uncovering the best approaches, waiting for the perfect moment. They bleed orange and blue, or green and grey, or blue and white – basically whatever color scheme Alma Mater has embraced. Despite advice from friends and colleagues, they fall in love with their institution, warts and all and are committed to turning others into true believers.

In our minds, this is the group that should be front and center at every gathering. Sometimes it’s difficult to want to add to their already full plates but it’s necessary. Rest assured, they will not treat every connection point as an opportunity to ask for money. But they will use their amazing talents to test the waters, judge the timing, and move the conversation forward.

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