Negotiating the terms of engagement: How institutions of higher education and the major gift benefactors who provide support to them work with one another.

Vaupel, Christian P, author.
[Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] : University of Pennsylvania ; Ann Arbor, MI : ProQuest, 2014.
1 online resource (189 pages)
Local subjects:
Education, Higher Education Administration. (search)
Higher Education Management -- Penn dissertations. (search)
Penn dissertations -- Higher Education Management. (search)
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Particularly in unstable economic environments, institutions of higher education may seek new or increased revenue streams to make up for shortfalls from traditional sources of funds including tuition payments, government appropriations, and investment returns. Seven-figure philanthropic gifts can represent an important path to a college's financial prosperity. Therefore, a significant issue for higher education leaders to consider is how colleges and universities work with the major gift benefactors who provide support to them, particularly with respect to commitments of a million dollars or more.
The inquiry here centers on how presidents, vice presidents for advancement, and front-line fund-raisers identify and seek to manage the expectations of major gift benefactors who provide support to colleges and universities. To study the phenomenon, a qualitative case study analysis was conducted at three private institutions. Each institution's president and senior advancement professionals were interviewed, as was a million-dollar contributor to each site. To add depth to the analysis, two additional million-dollar donors, neither of whom was affiliated with any of the sites, were interviewed. Their responses were used to validate further or provide contrast to the site findings.
The findings illustrate that while there are no formal "rules of engagement" between an institution of higher education and a donor who supports it through major philanthropy, million-dollar donors experience a steep learning curve when working with a college or university on a seven-figure commitment. The findings show that confidence in an institution's financial condition, as well as the staff responsible for its finances, is an important prerequisite for principal-level gift giving by a major donor. Perhaps most important, donors indicated that a fund-raiser's commitment to the mission and values of an organization for which he/she raises funds---as well as an overall commitment to the principles of honesty, transparency, and ethical behavior---are critical to fund-raising success. Finally, the findings demonstrate that one of the most important components of major gift giving is the underlying sense of trust between donors and the institutions of higher education they support. This trust rests upon a mutual understanding of values and interests.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 76-01(E), Section: A.
Adviser: Mary-Linda Armacost.
Department: Higher Education Management.
Thesis Ed.D. University of Pennsylvania 2014.
Local notes:
School code: 0175.
Armacost, Mary-Linda, degree supervisor.
University of Pennsylvania. Higher Education Management.
Contained In:
Dissertation Abstracts International 76-01A(E).
Access Restriction:
Restricted for use by site license.
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