Relationships and Educational Institutions

Reflect for a moment on the issue of relationships and their university or college. With whom would the university or college build relationships? How would university or college representatives do that? If you (the student) were selling the university or college to a prospective donor for a big scholarship, what type of relationship would you expect to form with that donor and how? If you (the student) were the donor, what would you expect from the university or college?

Building professional relationships is an integral part of any university or college. These relationships are established in order to safe guard the interests of these educational institutions. There interests may include to organize funding for the research, sports, administrative and a variety of other things. Universities and colleges need partnerships with government and industry and the private sectors to generate funds and find placements for its students to carry our internships during their studies and employment after they have finished their studies. Educational institutions, government and industry might form partnerships in order to develop systems which are beneficial for all of the three and the society as a whole (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff 2000).

Universities and colleges have their representative represent them at different forums. These representative educate prospective donor, industries and the public about different activities that take place at their respective educational institutions. This information is disseminated via seminars, workshops, personal meetings and through print and electronic media.

If I had to sell my educational institution to a prospective donor I would adopt to a long term relationship selling strategy. The whole foundation of this strategy is based on the ingredient of trust which has become integral part of the modern business strategies. As we have studied in our course, I would work on the different steps that are involved in forming a long term relationship. They are explained in the following.

  1. Initiating the relationship: I would try to find as much information as I can about what the donor do and what kind of scholarships they are offering, what their needs and expectations are and so on. This will provide me identify the opportunities to build a relationship.
  2. Developing the Relationship: I would then work on synchronizing the manner my institution will utilize the scholarship to the needs and expectations of the donor. I would be totally honest to do it and would not use manipulative strategies to deceive the donor. I would then represent the donor with the information that I have gathered.
  3. Enhancing the relationship: For a long term relationship it is important to assess the satisfaction of the donor. I would arrange meetings with the donor on regular basis to inform them about the progress that has been made with the donation that was provided. If meeting are not possible, I would use emails and other technical means to make sure that the donor is fully aware of the utilization of their provided funds. This will help in winning their trust and a continued donation flow.

If I were the donor, I would expect honesty, proper utilization of the fund that I provided, and an update about the good work that has been done due to the funds that I provided.  I would like to be informed if there are any misuse of the funds due to any reasons. As a professional I would be aware that this could happen and I not necessarily stop my funding. But if I come to know about such situation from other sources and not the institutions that I am providing donation, I would be forced to halt the donation and ask for a proper investigation.