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April 14, 2016

I Am This Institution

I Am This Institution


Administrative professionals are often the faces of the institution. As such, they are uniquely positioned to connect people to the institution in a meaningful way.


One administrative professional shares how her profound commitment to the organization leads her to go beyond routine service and offer extraordinary care:


My job is in admissions: getting everyone checked in to the veterinary clinic at the university. But in the process, I let people know that I’m here for them. I just want them to feel as comfortable as possible and not to feel desolate, or isolated. To be the first person they see, to make the very first impression, I enjoy doing it.


There was a client who travelled a long distance because her puppy was having breathing problems, a collapsing trachea. I asked her if she was OK, if the puppy was stable, and she explained that they could make the trip. It was 14 hours.


When they arrived, they couldn’t find a hotel because it was a big football weekend. It was a nerve-wracking situation, and she was just exhausted. I called two hotels and explained the situation, and one hotel was just wonderful. I was able to tell the client that there was a hotel waiting for them. She was very thankful.


Luckily, everything turned out beautifully and we were able to do a tracheal stent in the puppy. We were really thankful.


I find it a gift, really, to do what I do. I would want to put myself in people’s shoes and know that I’m getting the very best care possible.


Enthusiastic commitment such as this often inspires a desire to become more engaged with the organization. Administrative professionals can play a vital role in an organization’s culture of philanthropy by making referrals to development professionals and providing the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.


There are brochures and other information on philanthropy sitting out for clients and patients, but for the most part, people will come and ask me personally. They’ll say, “What can I do?” I’ll give them brochures or have the Foundation talk with them to see what may be best suited in their endeavor there. They’re able to sit down and talk with them.


Being up front like that and being able to help in any capacity, that’s so important. We’re not only there for the patient; we’re there for the client, too. I believe I am this institution. If we work here, we should all be this institution.


Your institution’s team plays an important role in its overall philanthropic success. Click on the link below to learn about Supporting a Culture of Philanthropy, a workshop that enables all members of a team to participate fully in the culture of philanthropy at their organization.



In honor of Administrative Professional’s Day on April 27, we might ask ourselves the following questions:


  1. Do we recognize the importance of administrative professionals in the culture of philanthropy at our organizations?
  2. What are we doing to prepare them for their role?
  3. Are we providing the resources needed for administrative professionals to make meaningful connections to development?


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