Core Technology Competencies

The idea of "Core Technology Competencies" is to identify a baseline of competencies for individual areas within the Advancement Department. Personnel at all levels should have a basic skill level to help them more effectively perform their job.

We must all recognize that there are two opposite forces at play here. First, we must recognize that the mission of Advancement is to cultivate donors, raise money, establish relationships, etc - the mission is not to use technology. On the other hand, using technology can make our jobs easier, but only if it is effective and if we learn to use it effectively.

Institutions provide certain technologies to assist with the Advancement processes. These technologies are chosen to help:
bulletrespond to external requests for data
bulletperform our own individual tasks
bulletcoordinate our work with others in Advancement
bulletmanage the overall Advancement operations

If everyone builds to a baseline level of competencies with this technology, they can all more effectively communicate with each other and work together. Individuals who don't bring their skills up to the baseline, can reduce the effectiveness of the entire department. Institutions welcome efforts of individuals to take their skills beyond the core competencies. This is certainly expected of staff in Advancement Services. For others in Development, Alumni Relations and/or Membership roles, remember to keep an appropriate balance with their primary mission.

Advancement Services should work to develop or identify training programs to help all areas achieve these core competencies. They should also work on developing a training proficiency matrix to identify areas where staff want to build skills beyond the baseline.

Following are suggested Core Competencies for different groups of personnel:

Core Technology Competencies - Executives

bulletImplement Strategic Information Systems Plan
bulletUse voice mail, e-mail, and fax
bulletUse office scheduling system for personal schedule
bulletCreate rough draft WP documents
bulletCreate rough draft budget spreadsheets; review others
bulletSave and retrieve files from LAN; use document naming conventions
bulletUse confidential document handling and printing features
bulletLog-on to institution Advancement database; look up constituents; inquire on basic donor biographic & demographic data; inquire on donor giving summary
bulletEstablish evaluation system which recognizes and rewards staff achievement of core competencies

Core Technology Competencies

Management Staff & Development Officers

bulletUse voice mail, e-mail, and fax
bulletUse office scheduling system for personal schedule
bulletFormat WP documents; change fonts and styles using LAN printers
bulletCreate presentation material drafts
bulletGenerate and consolidate budget and spreadsheet documents
bulletAccess remote data sources (e.g., via Internet) and use list servers and BBS's
bulletExecute simple ad hoc user reports against Advancement database and other databases
bulletRequest reports, execute pre-programmed reports
bulletPerform inquiry and some maintenance functions (for assigned prospects) against database
bulletEnter call reports into database; maintain personal moves and ticklers
bulletPrepare gift transmittal forms using appropriate codes for major gifts
bulletAssess progress of staff toward core competencies.

Core Technology Competencies

Support Staff and Administrative Assistants

bulletExtensive formatting of WP documents
bulletServe as device operator for shared resources including printers, faxes, etc.
bulletUse office scheduling system for personal schedule; schedule meetings for groups
bulletPerform critical document backup on regular basis
bulletUse document naming conventions; establish and maintain directory/folder structures; file and retrieve documents on LAN
bulletAccess Advancement database, perform assigned and authorized maintenance, and improve data integrity
bulletDownload or extract data wherever possible to avoid duplicate data entry; import downloaded data into WP documents (for mail merge), spreadsheets, or other databases
bulletUse voice mail, e-mail, and fax machines
bulletRequest reports, execute pre-programmed reports
bulletProvide first line PC hardware and software support for professional staff; be prepared to share core skills with others.

Core Technology Competencies - Researchers

bulletUse electronic sources, including CD-ROM and online services and databases, to access directories, references, and periodicals for the purpose of identifying, screening and researching prospects. Be familiar with offerings of electronic screening services.
bulletUse the Internet in a targeted way for information gathering.
bulletSubscribe to and properly participate in listserv electronic lists, such as Prspct-L.
bulletPerform inquiry and some data maintenance on Advancement database for demographic information and prospect management; inquiry only for detailed gift history. If accessible, download development data for inclusion in profiles and reports.
bulletExecute pre-programmed and simple ad-hoc reports on Advancement database. If access not available, know procedure to request reports from the Advancement database and submit data-changes.
bulletDevelop and maintain standard formats for different levels of profiles and reports (e.g. simple bio vs. comprehensive profile.) Assist Advancement Services in making these profiles available to Development personnel via multiple media (hard copy, on-line, other).
bulletBack-up PC data, copy diskettes.
bulletUse scheduling system for tracking research assignments and/or prospect management.
bulletUse word processing.
bulletUse voice mail, e-mail, and fax.
bulletClearly communicate capabilities and approaches to development officers. Train and supervise support staff or students in any of the above, as appropriate.

Thanks to Gini Mauchly for the additions to Core Technology Competencies for Researchers.

Core Technology Competencies - Volunteers

bulletAnswer telephones and forward calls
bulletLook up constituent records and verify biographic data
bulletSubmit record change requests
bulletPre-process donations and pledges (prepare transmittals)
bulletStaff events
bulletPrepare and mail acknowledgment letters

Core Technology Competencies - Students

bulletOffice Automation tasks: word processing and data maintenance support
bulletFiltering on-line information including Internet searches; read and clip news groups
bulletFund source searches supervised/monitored through Research
bulletPreparation of internal documentation, some training materials and hands-on desktop support as appropriate.

I'd welcome your comment and additions at  Charlie Hunsaker  Thanks so much.

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Updated June 2003