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Inside the mind of a Curious Chameleon

Colleges and universities are more dependent than ever before on major gifts. In 2011, 77% of total higher education campaign dollars came from the top 1% of donors. Therefore, the selection of a top major gift officer has never been of greater importance. But what qualities does a perfect major gift officer possess? And how can you identify an ideal major gift officer ?

The Advancement Forum sought to find the answer. We surveyed 1,217 major gift officers at 89 colleges and universities in North America and the United Kingdom—the largest study of its kind—and discovered what an ideal major gift officer needs to be: a Curious Chameleon.

These individuals possess behavioral and linguistic flexibility, intellectual and social curiosity, the skill to distill information, and the ability to approach the solicitation process in a strategic manner. Curious Chameleons represented just 3.8% of the survey population, but had 78% higher odds of exceeding goal.

Does your college or university have a Curious Chameleon? Imagine the difference one would make to your advancement team.