Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Institutions' needs and donors' dreams: A case study of successful student affairs fundraising collaboration at three private research universities
by Sonn, Andrew C., Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2009, 487; 3387315
Abstract (Summary)

While facing difficult financial times, student affairs divisions and their leaders are increasingly considering collaborating with development officers and other institutional partners to raise funds for student services, activities, and facilities. Student affairs leaders, however, do not have proven strategies based on empirical data for making these decisions. At the same time, although research shows that student affairs and development office collaboration is often a crucial factor in the success of student affairs fundraising, the literature is predicated primarily on practitioner-based articles. This body of literature fails to include an empirical analysis of the strategies employed in the formation of successful student affairs fundraising partnerships at private research universities. To address these problems of practice and research, this study examined the nature of collaboration between student affairs and development units with successful student affairs fundraising efforts at three private research universities. This study used a qualitative multiple-case-study design with a social constructivist paradigm of inquiry to add to the understanding of this key factor in student affairs fundraising activities. The study analyzed interviews with the three institutions' CSAOs, student affairs fundraiser, and main development unit point of contact for student affairs fundraising; observations at all three institutions; and documents relating to student affairs fundraising. Results of within and cross-case analyses indicated that the collaborative relationships to support student affairs fundraising at all three institutions transcended the student affairs and development unit partnerships. In addition, veteran student affairs leadership and capital projects were key factors in introducing, expanding, and sustaining student affairs fundraising efforts. Also important factors in successful student affairs fundraising and student affairs and development collaboration were the institutional organizational cultures as well as the student affairs and development subcultures. Differences in student affairs and development organizational cultures influenced the nature of these units' collaboration in student affairs fundraising. Definitions of successful student affairs collaboration had common themes among student affairs and development officers and across the three participating institutions. These findings have implications for practice and theory and suggest areas for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Molasso, William R.
Commitee: Jackson, Jacqueline S., Rulnick, Adrienne A., Walker, Michael A., Worth, Michael J.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Higher Education Administration
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 70/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Education finance, Educational sociology, Higher Education Administration
Keywords: Case study, Collaboration, Development, Fundraising, Private universities, Student affairs
Publication Number: 3387315
ISBN: 9781109533071
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