Identifier

etd-04062010-221559

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

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.

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Broussard, Jinx

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