What is your professional Big Hairy Audacious Goal?

Anne Manner-McLarty Presenting at the ADRP Canadian Regional Workshop

Anne Manner-McLarty Presenting at the ADRP Canadian Regional Workshop

At the first annual Association of Donor Relations Professionals Canadian Regional Workshop, Anne led an open discussion, asking the question, “What’s your BHAG, your Big Hairy Audacious Goal?”.  

In 2012, the organization set this goal: ADRP is universally recognized as the authority on donor engagement for the philanthropy profession.

This goal is bold, in that it forecasts several changes in the way that our work is perceived, many of which are now evident in our work just three short years later.  Donor relations and stewardship are now clearly identified as the primary tools for achieving donor engagement and fundraising is better understood as the act of inspiring philanthropy.

During the Toronto session, Anne asked the audience, “What is your professional goal in the next three years?  What are you doing now, what do you ant to be doing and how will you make it happen?”  While an hour was insufficient time for the participants to fully form a concise statement, individually or as a group, there were several themes that formed in the ensuing conversation.

  •     Changing titles, shifting responsibilities and increased visibility
  •     Transition from “nice to have a stewardship person” to “must have a stewardship director”
  •     Greater emphasis on planning and strategic thinking
  •     Increased efficiency as a result of technology
  •     Actively engaged in problem solving

We ended our conversation with this question, one not new to the ADRP membership, "What are the key performance indicators for our profession?”  Answers from the session participants included:

  •     Retention
  •     Additional/increased donor giving
  •     Higher event attendance/on-campus visits
  •     Positive survey results
  •     Work efficiency

You can help further this discussion.  Have you set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal – no matter what you called it?  Do you have a strategic plan for your own work?  Please share and offer your comments.  By thinking as a group, we increase our ability to understand and drive our personal career objectives and promote the profession.