Helping sports organization solve integrity, growth, and development challenges

Q: What percent of an athletic director's time should be spent on fundraising?

A:  There are two ways to look at this.  First, your answer might be 100% time because everything an athletic director does should be related to sharing his or her commitment to the brand and selling it to everyone he or she comes into contact with.  If your athletic department staff is 10 or 100, the AD’s responsibility is to motivate every employee to make friends, share contacts and information and motivate others to support the athletics program.  Another way to look at this is to break down the athletics director’s time into segments like fundraising (35%), event management (25%), hiring and supervising coaches (20%), rules administration (10%) and budgeting (10%).  Now figure out how you can make each of these responsibilities related to fundraising.  How can you maximize the time spent at athletics events in donor cultivation – not just being there, but sitting next to the right person and inviting the right guest?   When hiring and supervising coaches, how much time do you spend talking about friend-raising responsibilities, asking coaches to invite you to help pitch their programs and asking coaches to think about how the athletics department can use their programs to make more friends.  With regard to rules administration, are you thinking about a rules communication directed to donors, maybe discussing recruiting rules but talking about the best ways to help the athletics department or speaking about integrity and honesty, program characteristics essential to fundraising success?  When thinking about budgeting, are you using this time to figure out how to invest in development staff so the program has more money to work with?  Ultimately, no matter how an athletic director looks at his or her job, the key is to always have revenue production as a “front and center” consideration.