Kevan L. Turman
Kevan L. Turman AIM Institute as Director of Institutional Advancement. Kevan has over 13 years experience in Development having served as an Annual Giving Director, Alumni Relations Director, Campaign Manager and Vice President of Institutional Advancement.
Currently Kevan oversees the entire Development arm of AIM Academy’s operation which includes, Major Giving, Annual Fund, Planned Giving, Alumni Relations, Scholarship, Endowment, Stewardship and the AIM for the Stars Capital Campaign which is merely $400,000 away from its $8MM goal.
Kevan earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/education and a Masters in the Science in Reading from Lincoln University. He is a member of several professional organizations and AIM happens to be his first Independent School experience.
Kevan’s interview was conducted by AADO member Debra Valentine Gray.
What motivated you to become a development professional?
I started my career in Higher Education at my Alma Mater on the Student Affairs side of the house. I then saw an opening for the position for Alumni Relations Director and went for it. The rest as they say was history. Lincoln being the small school that it was, allowed me to be more than just an Alumni Director. The blessing in this was it peeked my interest in Development having been able to wear so many hats. The curse was that my framework was flawed because I had not fully realized the fundamental differences in friend-raising vs. fundraising because my first experience was all inclusive. I soon realized that I was drawn to overt metrics and tangible returns, which ultimately motivated me more towards fundraising within development.
What is the best advice that you have received related to your career?
The best pieces of advice have been:
Sometimes you have to lose to win…
People tend not to care how much you know until they know how much you care…
Don’t let your gift take you to a place where your character can’t keep you…
People SHOULDN’T give to PEOPLE, People should give THROUGH people!
What is the one quality every fundraiser should have?
Every fundraiser should be observant, a researcher a great listener, creative, flexible and have a keen sense of delayed gratification. Often we go in with an agenda and don’t have plan B, C or D. We tend to focus on getting the donor to be where we want them as opposed to meeting the donor where they are and building in great moves to get them to a place where they truly see the vision; this takes creativity, flexibility and often times patience.
What is the legacy you wish to leave behind?
I want to leave behind a legacy that will change the lives of the millennial. I want to be known as an example of when “Preparation Meets Opportunity” and not allowing people to look down upon your youthfulness.