Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

Robert L. Baker

Third Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher


Problem. This study addressed the problem of how small Christian institutions of higher education may best organize and manage their fund-raising programs to maximize alumni support. The purpose of this study was to investigate and analyze what would be the best strategy in working with alumni.

Method. An experimental design was used with a pre-test/post-test control group. Six different treatments for stimulating alumni giving were studied: "Dear Friend" letter, telethon, personalized letter, gimmick letter, incentive letter, and personal visitation. The study was limited to Bethel College and included three hundred alumni randomly selected and given one of the six treatments. The results of the study were determined by the use of analysis of covariance with one and two covariants. Further statistical analyses included a-priori tests, histograms, chi-squares, and scatterplots. The analyses included both the actual dollar amounts received from the six treatments as well as the expenses incurred in conducting the treatments.

Results. The results showed that personal visitation produced the most dollars; however, telethon was the most cost-efficient, followed closely by personal visitation and then by incentive letter, "dear friend" letter, personal letter, and gimmick letter.

Recommendations. Recommendations based on the study were: (1) that the results of the study be reviewed by the fund raisers of small private colleges and universities and that they implement the most productive methods, personal vistation and telethon; as the primary means of raising funds from alumni; (2) that personal visitation should be the chief method of fund raising among alumni as long as expenses are minimized (this can be accomplished by either cutting the dollar amounts or researching individuals in detail to determine if their gifts will be significant); (3) that since cost analysis proved telethon produced the best results, it should be seriously considered as a means of fundraising; (4) that letter writing as a means of fundraising from alumni be used after personal contact; and (5) that since the incentive letter proved to be the best income producer of the four letters, it should be the preferred letter used in fund raising (for variety it can be followed respectively by the "Dear Friend" letter, personal letter, and gimmick letter).

Subject Area

Bethel College (Mishawaka, Ind.)--Alumni and alumnae, Educational fund raising