Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Richard Gatteau

Second Supervisor

Mary Alice Donius

Abstract

Today, in the United States, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations (Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics, 2009). These n onprofits rely on people’s time and financial support in order to advance their organizations. The task of advancing organizations through financial and voluntary efforts is complicated. Given the unstable economy, this reliance on financial and voluntary efforts has become even more pronounced. One example of nonprofit organizations is American colleges and universities. Higher education, like most other industries, has been affected by the unpredictable economy, especially the financial crisis that began in the fall of 2008 (Council for Aid to Education, 2009). To minimize the impacts of the financial crisis, universities can turn to their alumni, the group of individuals most likely to support institutions of higher education (McAlexander, Koenig, & Schouten, 2006; Weerts & Ronca, 2007; Weerts & Ronca, 2008). The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the management practices and perceptions of Chief Advancement Officers (CAOs) towards alumni giving and alumni volunteering and how they view the relationship with alumni. An electronic survey was distributed to CAOs belonging to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) District II . CAOs reported placing a higher value on alumni financial gifts than alumni volunteer efforts. Further, CAOs reported that they target alumni based on age gender for alumni giving and alumni programming. While this study researched perception, the findings contradicted the research found in the literature. This is a recommendation for further investigation.

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