Title page for ETD etd-04062010-221559

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Moses, Megan Lee
URN etd-04062010-221559
Title The Act of Raising Donors: An Assessment of Fund-Raising Stewardship Practices in Healthcare Institutions
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Broussard, Jinx Committee Chair
Dahmen, Nicole Committee Member
Shipka, Danny Committee Member
  • fundraising
  • donor relations
  • stewardship
  • Fund-raising
Date of Defense 2010-03-16
Availability unrestricted
The concept of stewardship within fund raising literature stems from the public relations theories of relationship management, which involve maintaining mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its publics. With the current economic crisis, non-profit organizations see the need to focus more time and attention on maintaining and fostering relationships with existing donors, and therefore, the idea of stewardship stands an area of great interest to scholars and fund-raising practitioners alike. This study seeks to evaluate the role and formalization of stewardship in the fund-raising process, the current tactics practitioners use to practice stewardship, and better understand the limitations to the implementation of stewardship.

Using a case study approach, which includes document analysis and in-depth interviews, the researcher gives a detailed description of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s current stewardship practices, as well as the practices of 15 other fund raisers in healthcare institutions throughout the United States, measures those practices against the theoretical standards, and constructs a stewardship program that allows MPBCC to effectively steward its donors. The results of this study indicate the widespread practice of all four stewardship elements, but also reveal a focus on reporting. The institutions in this study show formalization of the stewardship elements reciprocity, reporting, and responsible gift; however, use a more personal and individual approach to practicing the element of relationship nurturing. Although budget may seem the most common reason for a lack of stewardship, practitioners see the limitations of staffing and time as greater limitations. These findings show the need to further research the practice of stewardship and its varying levels among organizations of different functions and size.

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