​​​​Fred Cosgrove could be a productive part of your advancement & development efforts.

     Institutional Advancement literature clearly describes why Fred Cosgrove could be an excellent addition to your development program. He reflects the qualities, familiarity, drive, experience, creativity and aggressiveness level desired in a successful development staffer. Fred's career: executing the development process, but with results measured in 30 day to quarterly time periods. Fred is boundary spanning, silo breaking; with private sector experience and education credentials and background; as comfortable exploring gift opportunities with donors as discussing educational directions and opportunities with faculty and staff.


     Steven Elder, Suddes Group Senior Partner, former CASE Trustee, VP-Advancement for Colorado College & Director of Development - University of Redlands, cites Good to Great (by Jim Collins) and describes the importance of "getting the right players on the field"; urging staffing development efforts with "productively neurotic, self-motivated, and self disciplined development officers". Development staff should be comfortable being measured and accountable for their efforts. Fred is an experienced sales person, with a background of spanning boundaries, bridging  silos , developing relationships, and maintaining accountability for his efforts. Putting relationship and business development experience to work in your development & advancment efforts will promote the University mission and increase resources.  

     Thomas Stevick, (Stevick Consulting) formerly VP - Advancement, Chatham, East Michigan, Ohio Northern & Arizona State University - College of Law, describes how people, (like Fred), are seasoned in developing business and working in environments where sales and marketing are integrated, improve development effectiveness.  Zachary  Smith, Witt/Kiefer consultant and former Assistant Vice Chancellor of Development - UC Riverside, explains that successful fundraising requires the skills and abilities of an experienced private sector producer and a service orientation. Smith identifies soft skills and relevant competence developed from production and sales as essential qualities for success in college development and advancement.

     Tim Caboni, Kansas Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and  former editor of The International Journal of Educational Advancement and co-author with Eve Proper of Institutional Advancement :What We Know, ​writes that professional fundraising staff must protect the welfare and reputation of their organization as well as maintain the confidences of donors. Development officers must regulate themselves and employ discernment, tact, and the highest ethical standards in their work.

     Additional literature describes development challenges, issues, and environmental obstacles that Fred faced in his business development and production efforts. Managing gifting interest in economic downturns require the same efforts Fred applied developing business in recessionary and poor market conditions. McCarthy, Contardo, & Eckert discuss these strategy changes and considerations in, Corporate investments in education during an economic downturn

      Fred's private sector experience combined with his masters and doctoral efforts in higher education  make him an ideal development officer. Literature clearly supports this in Thompson, Katz, & Briechle, A high annual fund without the annual risk, and Dan Nicoson's (CFRE - Adjunct Faculty IU Center on Philanthropy, and former VP for Advancement and Executive Director of Missouri Western State U. Foundation) Prospect Development Systems: Empowering Artful Fundraising. The development officer's role and steps mirror those in business development and sales: research and investigation; prospect qualification; developing the prospect (opening, involvement, presentation,& close), follow up & stewardship. Along with the development process and its individual adjustments, regular accountability and evaluation are maintained, as a record of progress and performance.

    Fred's career experience spans working as a front line producer to advancing to a financial services Vice President, supervising local and remote production and support staff, a multi-million dollar budget, and a multiple goal organizational service matrix.  Fred served leadership, administrative,  training, and recruiting functions; private sector business ownership; and major organization business development capacities.  Each role required varying degrees of collaboration and cooperation, presentation and relationship  building, as well as self direction, reporting, accountability, and teamwork.

     Fundraising efforts involve many nuances, but ultimately rest on asking for a  financial or resource commitment.  Business development is the same, but often involves a shorter time period and tense negotiations. Fred was in the position of contacting potential partners, identified through organizational strategy direction; cold contacting  them and developing ongoing business relationships.  Success involved persistence - often multiple approaches.  Over time relationships were challenged requiring reliance on rapport and personal charisma to restore exchange and organizational confidence. 

     Both development efforts, business and fundraising, involve accountability and effort measurement. Thomas Hiles, Mizzou Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations, describes the importance of development officers maintaining records of contacts and research. This effort serves the institution as a donor record and an officer accountability tool. Zachary Smith also discusses the role of record keeping and officer accountability to benchmark and motivate efforts. 

     Fred performed development roles as a producer, a manager, a producing  territory account manager, broker-owner, financial services representative, and investment adviser. He relied on these abilities to support his income in all these positions, as they were entirely commission compensated or based on a quarterly reconciliation of advances against production levels. While institutional development is not commission based and spans longer time durations; business development and institutional fundraising style development follow the same basic steps. With each prospect there are nuances. Individual discernment and soft skills are essential to success in the private sector and institutionally.

     As in development work, Fred's efforts are susceptible to economic changes. Interest rate shifts, market performance, and market structural changes alter performance levels and even production structures. Technological changes have chronically challenged individual production efforts while favoring corporate objectives. These factors are significant in Fred's 2005 decision to pursue higher education administration studies and identify a preferable and meaningful working environment. 

     Private sector work experiences engage the same abilities that prove essential in development and advancement. Collaboration, reflection, strategy and prospect identification were applied in developing a prospect list and direction. Self drive, discernment - judgment, listening and management applied the effort of reaching out to new contacts and developing new opportunities. Rapport building, appearance awareness, and presentation were applied in engaging development contacts and referral partners. Communication (listening),  scheduling, and timing were essential in converting contacts into development partners and sometimes into transaction collaborators. Respect, trust, and confidence were typically developed and exchanged in this process. Familiarity and fondness sometimes colored these relationships. Integrity was often challenged and affirmed in private development efforts.

      Integrity challenges are personal preservation issues in business development. Organizations  support integrity, but often that is formal and hollow. They would prefer to not have the challenges or for them to be quiet and quickly dismissed. Protecting integrity rarely rewards the producer, but often reduces his potential income or consumes his time and energy. Fred dealt with integrity issues when presented with fraud and misrepresentation, incompetence, and theft. He involved Federal and state authorities on occasions and dealt with corporate regulators in others. Fred was trusted by state regulators to investigate claims and provide regulators with recommendations for response. 

   Another reason Fred seeks the development position with a University is the nature of the relationship.  Rarely did business development lead to anything transformative. Ongoing business can feel more than transactional, as it is a series of events and rolling exchanges, but there is little opportunity to change the service relationship conditions. In rare circumstances a client might view business as transformational and reflect true appreciation. College development offers that possibility more often. 

     Fred began his production experience telemarketing and cold calling prospective clients. While  unpleasant, cold calling was overall successful and costly in time and energy. Fred found that he could exceed his telemarketing success with direct mail and related or aligned marketing efforts integrating marketing and sales messages. Within months, Fred had clients and referral sources calling him, as well as responding to marketing and sales efforts. Other sales people failed to employ the initiative or self direction and explore alternative possibilities and did not realize as great returns on their efforts. Wells Fargo (then Norwest) recognized Fred's application of their production platform, Out-local the nationals and out-national the locals, and  asked Fred to restructure a production effort in Oregon. Fred employed the same principles there and brought the office from a bottom level performer to the top profit office in the region.

      Market experience is relevant to advance work. Strategy, focus, persistence, and SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats) benefit from comparison and study through a market framework.  Bolman and Deal , Osborne and Gaebler, Schein, Mintzberg, Halachmi et al, all write about the strength in questioning efforts and measurement through other prospectives.