A: Passion, authenticity and integrity. Passion for your program is an essential prerequisite for success. Being armed with facts that represent the qualities you most value (graduation rates, average team GPA, 100% effort, etc.) and delivering these facts with the energy and enthusiasm that would result in a prospective donor or fan saying, “How can I help?” is the goal. Authenticity – being exactly who you are, being perceived by others as genuine, without arrogance or feigned interest, is also essential. People easily detect fakes. Integrity is all about a commitment to honesty. Donors will not support programs that often commit rules violations or that don’t admit to a rules violation as being absolutely wrong and something the athletics department is committed to not repeating. Similarly, if a mistake is made with a donor, apologies rather than excuses should be the rule of the day.