Development Fusion: A Philanthropic Study of a Small Liberal Arts College
Sullens, Tabetha Newport
Successful development teams employ best practices to ensure sustainability and longevity within higher education. This study investigates the office of Alumni and Development Relations in a small midwestern liberal arts college. As tuition remains fluid due to fluctuating enrollment, now exacerbated by COVID-19, this research is imperative to promote financial security at the college. This mixed methods research design utilized seven years of giving data, ten personal interviews, a previous student survey, and follow-up questions. The study utilized the Mass Collaboration framework. Findings note promising potential, as the college uses best practices, with noteworthy room for improvement. A large body of research suggests student perspective in a new phenomenon in philanthropic practice. By diversifying the development team, continuing best practices noted in the literature, and partnering with the local community, there is promising potential for financial success, broader constituency, and student belonging.