NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED522155
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 316
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-7358-4
The Role of the Community College President in Fundraising: A Best Practices Study
Besikof, Rudolph Joseph
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
A 2008 statement from the Foundation for California Community Colleges in the Chronicle of Higher Education revealed that two-year institutions provide education for approximately half of the nation's undergraduate students (Wiessner, 2008). However, when it comes to benefiting from dollars that are raised from donors for postsecondary schools, community colleges generate only 2% of the total funds that are raised (Lanning, 2008). For the community colleges that are effective as fundraisers, what are their best practices? Within them, presidents are described as the "living logos" of their institutions, but what roles do they play in successful efforts? T study endeavored to answer the following research questions: 1. What kinds of preparation or ongoing training, if any, do community college presidents say has helped them to develop fundraising skills? What preparation do they identify as the most helpful? 2. How do community college presidents rank fundraising in importance among all of their duties, and what percentage of their time is spent on fundraising? 3. What activities constitute the work of fundraising that presidents do and, among those activities, which do they find to be the most effective? Which give them the greatest amount of difficulty? Why? 4. How do the college presidents of successful fundraising community colleges interact with their respective college foundations and/or their development offices, and how involved are members of foundations and development offices in the colleges' mission and long-range planning? I conducted case studies of three Midwest community colleges as well as a cross case analysis. To identify the research sites, I used the Council for Aid to Education's Voluntary Support for Education Survey, which provided more relevant statistical data than IRS Forms. Specific amounts such as Alumni, Corporate, and Employee Giving totals were available. Some state systems required all of their community colleges to complete the survey, and I identified one of them for my study. I chose three within it that were consistent fundraisers, which is to say that their overall money raised or foundation, alumni, or corporate totals gave them an average ranking in the top five. With these criteria, three community colleges that all had similar enrollment numbers emerged. Each community college visit included document study and observations, but the main source was interviews. At each community college, I spoke with at least ten people who included but were not limited to the college president, the executive director of the Foundation, Foundation staff members, Foundation Board of Directors members, and faculty. Interviews ranged from 25 minutes in length to nearly two hours. To better allow for more detailed elaboration on the part of the presidents and executive directors of the respective Foundations, I used the "elite interview" format, a semi-structured protocol employed by Kezar in her 2006 study of college presidents. Doing so allowed for more anecdotal answers as well as deeper insights into the beliefs and perspectives of these individuals who, by virtue of their higher positions, had unique perspectives on fundraising and community college leadership issues. Despite the similarly consistent numbers from the VSE survey, the three colleges could not have been more different. One was located in the center of a large urban area and had a Foundation staff that contained four employees. Its executive director, in addition to his foundation duties, was a dean over the entire development effort at the college, which included having the Public Relations and Marketing Department report to him. Another college was in a nearby suburban area. Its Foundation staff was composed of three full-time employees and a part-time grant writer. Its executive director was listed on the same organizational level as the vice presidents. The third college had a district president who presided over several community colleges in a rural area. At the one, I learned that the chief executive-level campus fundraiser was a provost, which led me to include her with the three presidents in my study. Its foundation staff was the smallest of the three community colleges, with only two 50% employees. The executive director, in the rest of her assignment, directed the college's Institutional Research Office. As she was new to the position, I also interviewed the former executive director, who had been employed at 100%. Interviews were transcribed and coded into an average of approximately 75 different themes per site. After analyzing them through a series of matrices, I reported my findings by addressing each of the four research questions directly. From those, I was able to note best practices of the presidents and make recommendations for both them and the fundraising effort as a whole. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A