This comparative case study examined the development, design, and evolution of two student affairs fundraising programs, each led by a full-time development officer, at public research universities in the Southeastern region of the United States. The purpose of the study was to identify practices and strategies for higher education administrators exploring, creating, or reframing student affairs fundraising programs that traverse advancement and student affairs divisions. The research is timely given the increased role of philanthropy in funding public higher education institutions (Giving USA, 2018) and the growing number of student affairs fundraising programs (Crowe, 2011). Bolman and Deal's (2017) four organization frames—structural, human resources, political, and symbolic—provided the theoretical lens to examine both programs. Key findings centered on the programs' approach to building organizational structures that aligned with strategic goals (structural frame), navigating institutional development landscapes (political frame), creating a compelling vision to inspire philanthropic support (symbolic frame), and fostering support from leadership (human resources frame). Major implications for practice include a proposed test for determining whether an institution is prepared to start a student affairs fundraising program, strategies for integrating the program with institutional advancement, a proposed staffing model, approaches for navigating institutional fundraising environments built for academics and athletics fundraising, and tactics for establishing student affairs philanthropic priorities. The research updates the comparative case study literature on student affairs fundraising programs and illuminate strategies for practitioners exploring, creating, or evolving such programs.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Educational Leadership; Higher Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Robinson, Neal, "Student Affairs Fundraising: A Comparative Case Study of Two Programs at Public Research Universities" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 277.