Insights into Recruiting and Advancement Leadership

Greg Duyck, principal in WittKieffer’s Education Practice, was recently named leader of the firm’s Advancement Practice. Having spent more than two decades in development and fundraising across the landscape of higher education, Duyck has considerable insight into the field.

In this Q&A – Insights into Recruiting and Advancement Leadership – Duyck shares his thoughts on what makes exceptional advancement leaders, and how best to recruit them.

The following are some of the highlights:

On Great Advancement Leaders:

“There are essential traits that differentiate great advancement leaders. The ability to think strategically – whether about a campaign, an overall fundraising unit or team, or the future of solicitation – is critical to success.”

On Fundraising Teams:

Fundraising is a team sport and every team needs a coach. Great fundraisers lead by focusing on a common goal, overcoming obstacles and objections, and driving gift conversations. That drive, rather than the charm that we most often associate with fundraisers, is the most important quality for development leaders.”

On Recruiting:

“Some committee members can be dazzled by gaudy campaign numbers at larger or more established colleges and universities. It is often assumed that a candidate who was part of a successful campaign – regardless of role – will have absorbed the knowledge necessary to help any institution raise hundreds of millions of dollars.”

On Interviewing Questions:

There are always great questions that committees overlook and later regret not asking – it’s a part of the process that’s unavoidable. In my experience, the category of questions that committees most often systematically overlook are those focused on behavior.”

On Executive Search in the COVID Era:

“Kindness, clarity and communication are themes that arose in that conversation and are coming up in our discussions with clients.”

Read the full interview with Greg Duyck.

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