Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Fund raisers (Persons)--Professional ethics; Universities and colleges--Finance--Moral and ethical aspects--United States; Educational fund raising--Moral and ethical aspects; United States; Academic theses;


As private donations to higher education have increased, so too has the scrutiny about fundraising methods used to attain these monies. In some cases this increase scrutiny has led to the media uncovering unethical practices of the fundraising profession. Ethical behavior ( or the lack of it) affects the entire nonprofit sector and the fundraising profession. Today, one incident can be detrimental the entire sector's credibility. The development professional has an obligation to uphold the highest ethical standards in fundraising. But what are the standard ethical guidelines? This study was designed to determine the standard ethical guidelines for colleges· fundraising divisions and why they are important. Those surveyed in this non-experimental descriptive study were four-year educational institutions across the United States. The institutions were selected based on their membership to CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). CASE is the largest international association of educational institutions. By utilizing the table of random digits, 300 institutions were selected as a sample from the population of 1,357 CASE member institutions. A self-reporting questionnaire, comprised of seven pages, was sent to the 300 institutions. The questionnaire was divided into three sections: (l) Structural Information, (2) Ethical Standards Implemented and Institutional Importance, (3) Rank Order of Standard Ethical Guidelines. The surveys were launched electronically to participating institutions. It was determined after sending the survey via e-mail on two separate dates, that the low response rate (only 15 completed and returned) would necessitate also sending the survey via ground mail. A total of 62 (22%) of the 300 surveys were completed and returned by the completion of this study. The findings of the study revealed that the nine standards discovered in the literature review provided a solid basis for the fundraising profession. It was also concluded that these nine guidelines helped institutions who had adopted them make ethical decisions. This points to the importance for institutions of higher education to • implement these nine standard ethical guidelines at their fundraising divisions.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Susan Hudson

Second Advisor

Joe Wilson

Third Advisor

Larry Hensley


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to scholarworks@uni.edu and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (129 leaves)



File Format