Top Tips for TD Fellowships in Advancement

TD Fellowships in Advancement provide for a one-year position in advancement – with a value of $37,500 generously supported by TD – at two CCAE member schools each year. This prestigious program fosters the development of skilled, trained advancement staff, a benefit both to Canadian schools and to emerging advancement professionals.

On October 9, 2014, Terry Cockerline, Co-Chair of the 2015 TD Fellowships in Advancement Selection Committee (Director, Alumni Relations, University of Victoria); and Penny Blackwood (Executive Director, Alumni Affairs and Development, Memorial University), supervisor of a 2013-14 TD Fellow, co-presented a CCAE Professional Service Webinar free to all CCAE member representatives: TD Fellowships Success Tips.

“A strong candidate and genuine institutional need will drive the creation of a successful, meaningful Fellowship portfolio,” said Penny Blackwood.

Among Terry’s and Penny’s Top Tips for a successful TD Fellowship:

The Candidate

  • Treat the search for a TD Fellowship candidate like a hiring process, with a flexible job description depending on the candidates’ skills and experience.
  • Look for a highly-qualified candidate with transferable skills:
    • High energy, motivation, initiative, organization
    • High engagement, perhaps serving in a student leadership position
    • Orientation toward advancement
    • Attachment to your institution

The Fellowship Program

  • Use a team approach with your candidate to craft the Fellowship structure, playing to the candidate’s strengths and interests.
  • Don’t underestimate the amount and quality of work an enthused, well-prepared Fellow can accomplish.
  • Anticipate a substantial time commitment in preparing the Fellowship application and in supervising the Fellow; it pays off in results.
  • Set specific goals and deliverables; check in on milestones along the way.
  • Consider having a peer mentor for the Fellow.
  • Include a strong professional development plan.

The Application

  • Put care and thought into the process, as though it were a grant application.
  • Offer a succinct, persuasive cover letter and statement of support based on institutional need, candidate quality and good fit.
  • Carefully review and provide feedback on the candidate’s responses to the two essay questions.
  • Provide a balance of complementary letters of recommendation that cover different aspects of the candidate’s experience and qualifications.
  • Address how the Fellowship will change and progress your advancement operation and your school.



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