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1 STEWARDING CULTURE AND DONORS: A STUDY OF STEWARDSHIP IN THE FUNDRAISING PRACTICES OF U.S. ACCREDITED MUSEUMS By COURTNEY DELL A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009
2 2009 Courtney Dell
3 To my family for the consistent en couragement and support you have given
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are a num ber of people whose encour agement and guidance has assisted in the completion of my goals. First, I would like to thank Dr. Kathleen Kelly for challenging me academically and inspiring me personally. Her Public Relations and Fundraising and Public Relations and Philanthropy courses gave me knowle dge that I will take with me for the rest of my life. She awakened an intere st in fundraising that I did not know I had before we met. Her eagerness to engage in academic discussions ha s made my academic experience richer, and the quality of this study has improved considerably b ecause of her thoughtful s uggestions and edits. I would also like to thank the other University of Florida faculty members who served on my supervisory committee. Dr. Youjin Choi and Dr. Spiro Kiousis provided important comments and suggestions that shaped the development of this paper. Additionally, I owe a co nsiderable amount of gratitude to my former professors and instructors at Auburn University. Forming my understanding of public relations and communication, Dr. Brigitta Brunner, Dr. David Sutton, and Robert French always made me want to learn more, eventually leading to my decision to pur sue a graduate degree. Special thanks should be given to Robert who made all of us more than we ever thought we could be, always pushing us to ac hieve greater things. Lann and Vair Moore are undoubtedly the best parents in the world. Their life-long commitment to my education and happiness began with The Curious Kitten and has continued through Effective Fund-raising Management. Their encouragement and quiet sacrifices have made this achievement and so many others pos sible. I hope that I have made them proud. Finally, my husband Hal, who already has my utmost respect and unconditional love, deserves my greatest thanks. Through this proces s, he comforted me, encouraged me, and gave me the occasional push to complete my work duri ng my unproductive days. He is my partner in
5 every way. Possibly the only pers on more excited than I am a bout the completion of this undertaking, he can now look forwar d to the return of his wife.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4 LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................8 LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................9 ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... .............10 CHAP TER 1 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY .................................................................................................. 12 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................................16 Donor Publics .........................................................................................................................18 Individuals .......................................................................................................................19 Corporations .................................................................................................................. ..19 Foundations .....................................................................................................................20 Relationship Dimensions ........................................................................................................22 ROPES ......................................................................................................................... ...........23 Research ..........................................................................................................................23 Objectives .................................................................................................................... ....24 Programming ................................................................................................................... 25 Evaluation .................................................................................................................... ....29 Stewardship ................................................................................................................... ..31 Museum Fundraising ..............................................................................................................38 Research Questions ............................................................................................................ .....40 3 METHOD ........................................................................................................................ .......45 Population .................................................................................................................... ...........46 Sample ........................................................................................................................ ............49 Instrument Design ............................................................................................................. ......50 Data Collection .......................................................................................................................52 4 RESULTS ....................................................................................................................... ........54 Respondents ................................................................................................................... .........54 Data Analysis ..........................................................................................................................56 Research Question 1 And Subset Questions ........................................................................... 60 Research Question 1a ......................................................................................................60 Research Question 1b ...................................................................................................... 62 Research Question 1c ......................................................................................................64 Research Question 1d ...................................................................................................... 66
7 Research Question 1 ........................................................................................................68 Research Question 2 ...............................................................................................................69 Research Question 3 ...............................................................................................................72 Research Question 4 And Subset Questions ........................................................................... 73 Research Question 4a ......................................................................................................73 Research Question 4b ...................................................................................................... 75 Research Question 4c ......................................................................................................78 Research Question 4 ........................................................................................................80 Research Question 5 ...............................................................................................................81 ROPES Model ................................................................................................................... .....82 5 CONCLUSION .................................................................................................................... ...91 The Practice of Stewardship and its Elements ........................................................................ 91 Reciprocity ................................................................................................................... ...92 Responsibility ................................................................................................................ ..93 Reporting .........................................................................................................................94 Relationship Nurturing .................................................................................................... 95 Ethical Fundraising .................................................................................................................96 Stewardship and Private Gifts ................................................................................................ 98 Relationship Quality ...............................................................................................................99 Trust ......................................................................................................................... ......100 Satisfaction .................................................................................................................. ..101 Commitment .................................................................................................................. 102 Stewardship and Relationship Quality .................................................................................. 103 ROPES Model ................................................................................................................... ...104 Implications for the Practice ................................................................................................. 106 Impact on Fundraising and Public Relations Theory ........................................................... 108 Limitations of the Study ...................................................................................................... .109 Suggestions for Future Research .......................................................................................... 111 APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRE .............................................................................................................. 115 B INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT .............................................................................. 120 C COVER LETTER .................................................................................................................122 D POSTCARD REMINDER ....................................................................................................123 REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... ........124 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................130
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Mean scores on stewardship and its elements for annual giving and m ajor gift donors ... 854-2 Mean scores on ethical activities in st ewardship for annual giving and major gift donors ........................................................................................................................ .........874-3 Mean scores for relationship dimensi ons for annual giving and major gift donors ...........884-4 Mean percentages of time spent on st eps of the ROPES fundraising process ................... 90
9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 ROPES process model of fundraising................................................................................ 432-2 Hierarchy of fundraising tactics by three levels of communication and two primary programs. ..................................................................................................................... ......44
10 Abstract of Thesis Presente d to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Mast er of Arts in Mass Communication STEWARDING CULTURE AND DONORS: A STUDY OF STEWARDSHIP IN THE FUNDRAISING PRACTICES OF U.S. ACCREDITED MUSEUMS By Courtney Dell May 2009 Chair: Kathleen S. Kelly Major: Mass Communication In an economic climate when arts organi zations are facing government funding cuts reaching as high as 62%, the importance of private gifts has never been greater. For organizations to survive and fulfill their missi ons, a diverse, committed group of donors must provide support. Now, more than ever, it is important to understand the fundraising process and how it affects relations hips with donors. The purpose of the study was to examine the practice of stewardship by museums accredited by the American Association of Museums. This elite group of organizations is comprised of 774 museums of varying discip lines, sizes, and budgets. All have undergone a rigorous accreditation process, recognizing them as the leaders in their field. Administered to a random sample of 400 seni or fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums, the mail questionnaire sought to an swer several research questions First, the study examined the practice of the stewardship elem ents of reciprocity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurturing with annual giving donors and major gift donors. In addition, it iden tified the quality of accredited museums relationships with both ty pes of donors by asking senior fundraisers to provide their perceptions of donors trust of satisfaction in, and commitment to the
11 organizations. Bivariate analysis was used to id entify whether there is a relationship between the practice of stewardship and th e quality of accredited museums relationships with donors. Finally, the study determined the extent to which ethical behavior is included in the stewardship practices of accredited museums and whether th ere is a relationship between the amount of private gifts received by accredited museum s and the practice of stewardship. As the 144 respondents did not differ substantially from the population, the results of the study are generalizable to the entire population of AAM-accredited museums with fundraisers on staff. These findings revealed that accredited museums are above the midpoint of the scale in their practice of stewardship, and the quality of donors relationshi ps with the organizations, as perceived by fundraisers, is above the midpoint as well. The study identified a positive relationship between the two, w ith analysis yielding a strong and statistically significant correlation between the practice of stewardship an d the perceived quality of relationships with annual giving donors and major gift donors. However, results reve aled that accredited museums practice stewardship significantly more with ma jor gift donors than with annual giving donors, and the perceived quality of relati onships with major gift donors is significantly higher as well. Other notable findings include the absence of a relationship between the practice of stewardship and the amount of private gifts raised by the organizat ions. Also, the study determined that accredited museum s are highly ethical and incorpor ate ethical behavior into the practice of stewardship more than average. The study contributes to the pr actice of fundraising by providi ng ways in which fundraisers can improve the quality of relationships with donors. Additional contributions include the advancement of knowledge about fundraising, the ROPES model, and rela tionship management theory through the examination of a previously unstudied population.
12 CHAPTER 1 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY Since Am ericas first museum was establishe d in 1773 in Charleston, SC, this countrys museums have strived to educate publics and pr eserve and display societys most treasured cultural, historical, and artistic artifacts. To fulfill this mission, museums rely upon five key resources: collections, ideas, community support, energy, and money (Lord, n.d.). To operate, museums spend an average of $46.51 per visitor, yet the average charge for admission is only $2.25 (Association of Art Museum Directors, 200 1). This disparity between the cost of operations and average admission fe e highlights the critical role of fundraising in fulfilling museums missions. Foundation grants, corporate c ontributions, and gifts fr om individuals allow museums to ensure that their co llections and programs are accessi ble to all members of society. Recent cutbacks in government funding have increased museums reliance on philanthropic support and fundraisi ng. For more than a decade, museums across the nation have faced the issue of economic survival (Moore, 1994). Although state appropriations to arts agencies, which include museums, have steadily increased to $359.6 million during the past four years, the level of funding has not returned to amounts allocated prior to 2001 (National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, 2008). Arts agencies in some stat es continue to suffer substantial budget cuts. For example in 2008, st ate funding in Illinois decreased by 23.2%, and agencies in Florida saw a 61.9% reduction. The ramifications of these funding decreases are becoming apparent to staff members and visitors to the nations museums. In September 2008, four months ahead of schedule, the Florida Museum of Natural History closed its Discovery Room, an activity space where visitors learned about Florida's natural habitats through games and interact ive displays (Crabbe, 2008). The Denver Art Museums film series and the sta ff position charged with overseeing the program
13 were eliminated in July 2008 (Roberts, 2008). Th e nations largest museums also have been affected. In 2003, the American Natural History Museum cut 200 staff positions through attrition (Pogrebin, 2003). Financial circumstances have shifted greater attention to fundraising. On average, gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations account for 35 to 40% of an arts organizations total revenue each year (Levy, 1999). In compar ison, other types of nonprofits rely on private gifts for an average of only 15% of their annual revenue. Gifts to museums typically have paid for projects like educational programming or exhibitions (Ambrose & Paine, 1993). Such projects are central to museums missi ons and emphasize fundraisings importance to museumsan importance that has intensifie d in an era of redu ced government funding. Exacerbating the problem, the U.S. economy is su ffering one of its worst financial crises in history, and experts have predic ted that donations to all types of nonprofits will decrease during the next few years (Gose, Wasley, & Wilhelm, 2008). Clearly, fundraising for American museums must be as effective as possible in the years ahead if museums are to thrive. Studies that w ould help these valuable organizations improve their fundraising effectiveness ar e needed. Knowledge gained from theory and research would inform fundraising practice and prov ide guidance to museum managers. To date, museum fundraisers, as well as f undraisers for other types of nonprofits, largely have carried out their responsibilities based on th eir own experience or the experiences of others, without the benefit of scholarly knowledge. The lack of an academic home for fundraising and limited research on the subject ar e two likely reasons for this e xperiential approach. Kellys (1998, 2001b, 2002) ROPES model of the fundraising process offers a theoretical approach to raising giftsan approach designed to maximize e ffectiveness. As indicated by the acronym that
14 names it, the process starts with R esearch and proceeds through the steps of O bjectives, P rogramming, E valuation, and S tewardship. The theory is both descriptive and normativ e, meaning it describes how fundraising is practiced by some organizations and how it should be practiced by all. In particular, the stewardship step provides a formula for cont inual fundraising success that is grounded in a principle given almost the status of law by practitioners: The best prospects for future gifts are previous donors (Kelly, 1998, p. 369) Stewardship, consisting of th e four progressive elements of reciprocity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurturing, ensures that the fundraising process is cyclical a nd results in long-term relationships with donor s, on whom the nonprofit organization is dependant for future success. St ewardship also prescrib es ethical behavior; embedded in the fifth step are such important issu es as social responsibi lity, accountability, and transparency. This paper proposes a study on museum fundrai sing, specifically the stewardship practices of museums accredited by the American Associ ation of Museums. Studying this group of institutions, which have passed comprehensive examination by peer s and representatives of the professional organization, provides va luable insight into the extent and quality of stewardship as carried out by the most highly regarded museums in the country. The findings establish a benchmark of stewardship practice against which fundraisers for all U.S. museums can measure their efforts. Results also provide museum fundraisers with scie ntific evidence on which to base decisions regarding the process of raising gifts. Overall, the st udy will help fundraisers make more informed decisions and improve the effectiveness of fundraising for the nations museums. The proposed study also has a scholarly impact Information gained from the research advances knowledge about the fundraising process through an in-dep th examination of the little-
15 researched step of stewardship. Application of the four elements of stewardship are described using scientific data for the first time, ther eby testing Kellys (1998) conceptualization of stewardship. Through analyses of the relationshi p between stewardship pr actice and indicators of fundraising effectiveness, the propos ed study produces scientific ev idence for the first time that stewardship is related to the quality of the organizations re lationships with donors. These potential findings strengthen and enhance the RO PES model. As the model has been adopted for public relations (Kelly, 2001b), the study adds to the body of knowledge of public relations, as well as that of fundraising. Fu rthermore, by measuring rela tionship dimensions, the study contributes to theory buildi ng on relationship management.
16 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Am ericas nonprofit sector play s a significant role in the eco nomic and social landscape of the country. Between 1998 and 2002, the sectors sp ending totaled 11 to 12% of the countrys gross domestic product (Government Accountability Office, 2005), and in 2006, its assets totaled $2.97 trillion (Urban Institute, 2006). An undeniable element of the success of nonprofits is fundraising. Commonly misconstrued as simply th e act of raising money, fundraising has a purpose that is increasingly recogn ized as relationship-focused. Kelly (1998) defines fundraising as the management of relationships between a charitable organization and its donor publics (p. 8). These donor publics include indivi duals, corporations, and foundations. Fundraisers are people who are responsible for obtaining private gifts for charitable organizations (Kelly, 1998). They encourage compassion and provide millions of people with a practical means of direct involvement in solvi ng the problems and serving the needs of others (Burnett, 2002, p. 18). In many nonprofits, fundraising activities are carried out by volunteers, but for the purposes of this study, fundraisers wi ll be defined as those people who are paid to manage donor relationships, thereby helping charitable organizations obtain private gifts (Kelly, 1998, p. 7). According to Kelly, fundraising has evolved into a high-demand occupation of 80,000 or more full-time practitioners, the majority of whom are staff employees of nonprofits. By limiting the definition to only fundraisers wh o are paid, the study presents a more accurate and reliable picture of the pe ople responsible for the organiza tional function of fundraising and their practices. Since fundraising is a relatively new field of study, there continues to be debate among scholars and practitioners about whether a marketing or public relations perspective is the appropriate approach to study th e function. The importance of id entifying a perspective should
17 not be overlooked, because the theories developed and the research conducted draw from and are placed in the context of that academic disciplin es body of knowledge. To an outsider, marketing and public relations might seem similar, but a closer examination of their purposes reveals a number of areas of differentiation. Adrian Sargeant (1999), a Brit ish professor who currently holds an endowed chair in fundraising at the Center on Phila nthropy at Indiana University, ta kes the marketing perspective. Though he does not put forth his own definition of marketing or fundraising in his 1999 book, Sargeant does provide two definitions of ma rketing through which he views fundraising. The first is by the Chartered Institut e of Marketing (2008) in the U. K., which defines marketing as the management process responsible for iden tifying, anticipating a nd satisfying customer requirements profitably (paragraph 13). The se cond definition, which is from Kotler and Fox (1985), is more descriptive: Marketing is the analysis, planning, implement ation and control of carefully formulated programs designed to bring about voluntary exch anges of values with target markets for the purpose of achieving organizational objec tives. It relies h eavily on designing the organisations offerings in terms of the targ et markets needs and desires and on using effective pricing, communication and distribut ion to inform, motivate and service the markets. (p. 7) Based on these definitions, Sargeant (1999) desc ribes the process of targeting potential donors for recruitment and existing donors for deve lopment. Sargeants marketing perspective focuses more on persuading potential donors that the mission of the organization is worthy of their support rather than on developing mutually beneficial relationships between the nonprofit organization and potential donors who are already interested in the mission of the organization. Kelly (1998) asserts that fundraising is not marketing for three reasons. The first is that marketings public is consumers; fundraisi ngs public is donors; and the two are not synonymous. Secondly, the fundraisers role is to support the organizations mission by
18 managing donor relationships that generate funds to carry out the mission This contrasts with marketings purpose of increasing sales, which can often come at the cost of changing the organizations products or servi ces. One of Broces (1986) cardin al principles of fundraising states that the kinds of support needed dete rmine the kinds of fundraising programs (p. 19). His principle supports Kellys (1998) case that f undraisers should not change an organizations mission simply because they can raise money more easily for certain purposes; fundraising must be mission driven. Finally, fundraising is not ma rketing, because the bene fits of philanthropic donations do not just impact those who are involv ed in the exchange; the benefits reach other members of society. In a market exchange, the benefits impact only those who are involved. Contradicting the marketing approach, Kelly (1991) identifies fundraising as a specialization of public relations The idea that fundraising is pa rt of the function of public relations is also held by Cutlip, Center, and Broom (2000), the scholars whose definition of public relations is among the most widely used w ithin the field. They define public relations as the management function that identifies, esta blishes, and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the various publics on whom its success depends (p. 4). This study takes a theory from the public relations perspective to advance knowledge and understanding of fundraising. Donor Publics Fundraisers build relationships with and acquire gifts from three donor publics: individuals, corporations, and foundations. Although these publics are different in a number of ways, they all follow the mixed-motive model of giving, which explains that donors decide to give for both altruistic and self -interested reasons (Kelly, 1998) According to Kelly, donors give because giving is a customary, admired, expected, and even legally required behavior in our society (p. 43).
19 Individuals Of the three donor publics, individuals are res ponsible for the largest number of gifts given and the m ost money contributed to nonprofit orga nizations. According to Giving USA (cited in Hall, 2008), individuals accounted for 88% of the m oney donated to charitable organizations in 2007, an estimated $252.2 billion including charitable bequests. Sixty seven percent of all U.S. households gave at least $25 to a charitable organization in 2002 (Center on Philanthropy, 2006), but a minority of individuals provide the ma jority of gift dollars (Kelly, 1998, p. 615). Planned giving is one method by which donor s give to nonprofit organizations. Kelly (1998) defines planned giving as the managed effort by charitable organizations to generate gifts of assets from individuals through the us e of estate and financial planning vehicles (p. 502). Organizations do not usually benefit financially from these gifts until after the death of the donor. According to Giving USA (cited in Hall, 2008), charitable bequests, a vehicle of planned giving by which donors make gifts through their wills, constituted $23.2 b illion of the total amount given by individuals in 2007. Unrestricted planned gifts, or gifts that are made without restrictions to specific use, ar e common (Kelly, 1998). These gifts often are used to increase the size of the recipient or ganizations endowment, or financial assets. Corporations Corporations contributed an estim ated $15.7 billion to nonprofits in 2007 (Giving USA, cited in Hall, 2008). The leading beneficiaries of corporations are ofte n education, health, and human services organizations (Mixer, 1993). Arts organizations are also strongly supported by this donor public. Like individuals and foundations corporations follow the mixe d-motive model of giving in which donors give for reasons that are both altr uistic and self-inter ested (Kelly, 1998). The premise of the model was supported in a study conducted by the Committee Encouraging
20 Corporate Philanthropy (2007), which asked 105 comp anies in 10 different industries to identify the motivation for each philanthropic contribut ion the company made in the past year. Respondents identified charitable motivationgivi ng for altruistic purposesas the motivation for 44% of corporate grants. Forty six percent of contributions were attributed to strategic motivation, defined as proactive gifts that are simultaneously important to the long-term success of the business and which serve a critical community need (p. 27). Ten percent of contributions were made for commercial reasonswhen benefits to the company were the primary incentive for contributing. Corporations contribute to nonpr ofit organizations in three forms: cash directly from the company, non-cash gifts of products, and cash gr ants from a foundation established by the corporation (CECP, 2007). Direct cash contributions, defined as corporate giving from either headquarters or regional offices (p. 39), accounted for between 43 to 46% of total corporate contributions in 2005 and 2006. Funds donated as pa rt of employee matching gift programs are included in this percentage. A number of companies have introduced employee matching gift programs as a benefit for employees and a way for co rporations to direct ph ilanthropic dollars to organizations that are important to a key stakeholder, employ ees. According to CECP, matching gifts accounted for 9.1% of total giving by corpor ations in 2006. The second form of corporate contributions is non-cash gifts, donated products or pro bono services (p. 39). This form of contributions is most common among corporatio ns in the manufacturing industry, accounting for more than one-third of total contributions. Co rporate foundation contributions, the third form, will be addressed later in this literature review. Foundations Now num bering more than 72,000 (Foundation Center, 2008b), foundations are established as a nonprofit corporation or a charit able trust, with a pr incipal purpose of making
21 grants to unrelated organizations or institutions or to individuals for scientific, educational, cultural, religious, or other charitable pur poses (Foundation Center, 2008c). More than 29,500 foundations hold assets of more than $1 million (Foundation Center, 2008b). Gifts from this third type of donor public are commonly called grants. According to the Foundation Center (2008b), foundations gave approximately $42.9 billion in grants in 2007, an increase of 10% from the previous year. There are four types of founda tions: independent, corporate, community, and operating (Kelly, 1998). Independent foundations account for 89% of foundations and 70% of total giving by foundations (Foundation Center, 2008b). Also known as fami ly foundations, independent foundations rely on one source, such as an indi vidual or family, for funds (Kelly, 1998). In 2007, these foundations gave an estimated $30.9 b illion in grants (Foundation Center, 2008b). As explained earlier, corporat ions not only give directly to nonprofit organizations, many establish corporate f oundations. Establishing a foundation provides co rporations with the opportunity to reduce tax liability by contributin g more money during profitable years and less money during less profitable years (Kelly, 1998) A company can also benefit by donating appreciated property to its f oundation to avoid paying capital-ga ins taxes. Establishing a corporate foundation is especially beneficial for international co mpanies, because corporations cannot make tax-deductable gift s to organizations overseas, bu t foundations can. By establishing a foundation, a company can enjoy tax benefits in the U.S. while still contributing money to other countries where it does bus iness. In 2007, corporate foundations gave an estimated $4.4 billion in grants (Foundation Center, 2008b). Community foundations are created to serve a specific geographic region or community (Kelly, 1998). Although they numbered only 717 in 2006, community foundations gave an
22 estimated $4.1 billion in grants the followi ng year (Foundation Center, 2008b). Because these foundations receive at least one-t hird of their annual income from multiple donors, they are the only type of foundation that is considered to be a public char ity by law (Kelly, 1998). This exempts them from the five-percent-minimum pa yout that is legally re quired of independent, corporate, and operating foundations. In othe r words, all foundations except community foundations must give grants or spend money on administrative expens es that are equal to 5% of the market value of th eir assets each year. Operating foundations are the fourth type of foundation. Because the differentiating characteristic of these foundations is that they use their resour ces to conduct their own program services, these foundations usually are not practical prospects fo r nonprofit organizations seeking to raise money (Kelly, 1998). Relationship Dimensions Organizations relationshi ps with donor publics consist of a num ber of dimensions. In an effort to establish standards for measuring pe rceptions of relationships, Hon and Grunig (1999) conceptualized six relationship dimensions, three of which are trust, satisfaction, and commitment. Trust, one partys level of conf idence in and willingness to open oneself to the other party (p. 3), is comprise d of integrity, dependability, and competence. Satisfaction is the extent to which each party feels favorably toward the other because positive expectations about the relationship are reinforced (p. 3). In a satisfying relations hip, the positive aspects of the relationship outweigh the negative aspects. Th e extent to which each organization or person deems that the relationship is valuable and should be supported or maintained is called commitment. Continuance commitment and a ffective commitment comprise the commitment dimension. Continuance commitment refers to a course of action, while affective commitment is the emotional attachment a pa rty has to the relationship.
23 ROPES The selected public relations theory describi ng the process of fundrai sing asserts that the process progresses through the com pletion of five steps: researc h, objectives, programming, evaluation, and stewardship, as shown in Fi gure 2-1 (Kelly, 1998). Known more commonly by the acronym ROPES, the model is conceptualized as descriptive and normative, describing how fundraising is practiced and how it should be practiced. It ad dresses both annual giving and major gift programs, and its description of the fundraising process is appl icable to individual, corporate, and foundation donors. Although Kelly st ates that the process can be followed by organizations of all sizes and missions, the opera tionalization of the steps is affected by the number of prospective donors a nd previous donors with whom th e organization is establishing and building relationships. This fundraising proc ess is derived from ROPE, a public relations model by Jerry Hendrix (1995), which does not incl ude the stewardship st ep. It is through the proposal and interpretation of the fi nal step that Kelly reveals a matu re model that is cyclical in nature and accounts for ongoing relati onships with publics (Kelly, 2001b). Research The fundraising process begins w ith research, deem ed the most important step in the fivestep theory (Kelly, 1998). As shown in Figure 1, Kelly (2008) recommends that fundraising staff spend about 20% of their time c onducting research. Broom and Dozier (1990) define research as the controlled, objective, and systematic gatherin g of information for the purposes of describing and understanding (p. 4). To gain a comprehens ive understanding of the fundraising opportunity and what will be required in the future to acco mplish the organizations goals, practitioners must research the organization they are representing, the opportunity to match funding with the needs of the organization and the wishes of the donor, and the publics with whom they will be communicating (Kelly, 1998).
24 Researching an organizations history, finances and past fundraising efforts will provide fundraisers with an understanding of the organizations needs and its strengths and weaknesses. This research leads fundraisers to assess the oppo rtunity, where an organi zations interest and a donors interest coincide. Cutlip et al. (1985) provide another purpose for research that is checking out assumptions about publics and publ ic relations consequences (p. 202). By researching the publics with wh om the fundraiser will be comm unicating, the appeal can be made more personal and more effective. A vari ety of formal and informal methods, including secondary analyses, online surveys, mail surveys, telephone interviews, focus groups, communication audits, and content analyses are av ailable for fundraisers use. Research using these methods is essential when defining the problem or opportunity and providing baselines for the evaluation of the process ( Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 2000). The impact of research is not overstated when Kelly (1998) writes that, Effective, efficient, and ethical fundraising demands that pr ospective donors be matched to the organization and the opportunitywhich can only be accomplished through research (p. 406). Objectives Research fin dings are used to complete the second step of the fundraising process, setting measurable objectives. These objectives should be derived from the fundraising departments goals, and the departments goals should be fo rmulated to support th e organizations goals (Kelly, 1998). Because the organizations goa ls are set to advance the mission of the organization, there is a direct connection between the objectives set by the fundraising department and the mission of the organization. Th is connection assures th at the mission of the organization has been advanced if all of the objec tives are met. This connection also establishes that the ROPES model is based in the philosoph y of management by objec tives, a phrase first used by Peter Drucker (1977) to propose that every job in the comp any must be directed toward
25 the objectives of the whole organization if th e overall goals are the be achieved (p. 351). Management by objectives also asserts that the work will be evaluated by whether these objectives were completed (Kelly, 1998). Focusing on the desired results of the fundraising strategies through the identification of objectives provides direction for the planning process, guidance for practitioners, and criteria for evaluation (Broom & Dozier, 1990 ). As shown in Figure 1, fundraising staff should spend 15% of their time formulating objectives. These obj ectives are the specific knowledge, opinion, and behavioral outcomes to be achieved for each well-defined target public (Cutlip et al., 2000, p. 376). Stylistically, each objective possesses five pa rts, including an infinitive verb, a single outcome stated as receiver of the verbs act ion, the magnitude of the action expressed in quantifiable terms, the targeted public, and a target date or time frame for achieving the outcome (Kelly, 2001b, p. 287). Objectives can either measure output or impact Output objectives concern a specific tactic or work to be completed by the fundraising staff (Kelly, 1998). These objectives are considered a weak measure of the effectiven ess of the function, because they do not take into account the effects of fundraising. Impact objectives meas ure the tactics eff ects on the awareness, accuracy, understanding, agreement, behavior, an d repeat behavior of the target publics (p. 415). Programming Figure 1 indicates that fundraising staff should spend 30% of their tim e on programming, the most of any step in the fundraising pro cess. During the completion of this step, the fundraising staffs time is divided equally be tween planning and implementation (Kelly, 1998). The first half of the step results in a formal written plan. This plan will consist of a summary of the completed research, a list of th e objectives, and an outline of st rategies and tactics. The plan
26 should also include a budget, evaluation plans, an d a list of intended stewardship tactics. Once the written plan has been reviewed and appr oved by senior management, programming can be implemented. Implementation deals with both cultivation a nd solicitation. Cultivation is the process of gaining the prospects attention, winning this persons active interest, and culminating in his or her partnership through sharing of time and resources, (Pendleton, 1981, p. 94). There are a number of tactics that can assist in building and maintaining re lationships with prospective and past donors alike, including provi ding the prospective donor with the organizations publications, visiting the prospective donor, or oc casionally calling to ask how he or she is doing or to give an update about the organization (Rosso, 1996). By e ngaging in these activities, fundraisers can increase the prospective donors knowledge about and i nvolvement with the organization and its needs and how these align with the prospective dono rs interests and abilit ies to provide support, better preparing him or her for future solicitation. The importance of cultivation is stated in Broces (1986) eighth cardinal principle of fundr aising that cultivation is the key to successful solicitation (p. 24). Solicitation is the request for th e gift using tactics th at are largely determined by the size of the gift being requested (Ke lly, 1998). Though solicitation is of ten the focus of practitioner literature, it represents only a small portion of the fundraising pr ocess in comparison to the time that fundraising staff should spend on cultivat ion, research, formulating objectives, evaluation, and stewardship. Fundraising consulta nt Fisher Howe (1991) confirmed this when he said that it is proverbial that the success of fund raising is 90% in pros pect identificat ion, research, cultivation, and preparation and 10% in the asking (p. 81). Solicitati on and cultivation are
27 carried out through tactics in the two primary fundraising pr ograms: annual giving and major gifts. Annual giving and major gifts: Although an annual giving program is the basic fundraising program (Kelly, 1998, p. 455), a fundrai sing department is i ncomplete (p. 475) without the ability to raise majo r gifts. At the principle level, there is no difference in the application of ROPES for annual giving and major gift donors, but there ar e differences in the way that tactics are carried out to follow these principles. Annual giving programs are the lifeblood (p. 101) of most charitable organizations (Greenfield, 1999). These programs raise money to pay for daily programs and services and operating expenses. Because the need for funding for these expenses arises each year, annual giving programs are repeated, a characteristic that differentiates annual giving programs from major gift requests (Kelly, 1998). Other characteristi cs of annual gifts are that they are typically unrestricted in use and a donors income is the primary source for the gift. According to Greenfield (1999), the objectives for annual giving programs are to attract new donors, retain current donors, and maximize the results of the tactics used. Because fundraising departments are trying to appeal to a large number a nd diverse population of people, more personalized appeals, which are typically used to solicit major gifts, are usually too costly and time consuming to employ. Figure 2 identifies the hierarc hy of fundraising tactics and the two primary fundraising programs, annual giving and major gifts. The hierar chy is structured to in clude the most personal level of communication, interpersonal communicati on, at the top of the hi erarchy and the least personal level, mass communication, at the bott om. The tactics shown in Figure 2-2 are not solely limited to use in the f undraising program under which it is listed; rather this figure
28 identifies the programs in which the tactics are most likely to be used and the communication level the tactics employ. As shown in Figure 2-2, the tactics primarily used in annual giving programs occur at the controlled media and mass media levels of comm unication with little personalization for each donor. Tactics communicated through controlled me dia convey a message through channels that are managed by the organization, and mass medi a is when messages are communicated through channels that are not managed by the organizatio n. These tactics include but are not limited to special events, publications, and paid advertisem ents. Direct mail is the most commonly applied tactic in annual giving (Greenfield, 1999). Online tactics, such as e-mails, Web sites, and the utilization of Facebook, are becoming increasingly popular as well. In 2006, the amount raised online by members of the Philanthropy 400, the 400 U.S.-based nonprofit orga nizations that raise the most money, equaled $1.2 billion (Barton, 2007) The focus of each of these tactics and the main way in which annual giving donors are cultivated is through th e distribution of information (Kelly, 1998). Tactics for raising major gifts are far mo re personal, because fewer individuals, corporations, and foundations are able to contri bute major gifts and the larger gift amount requires personal interaction. Organi zations vary in the amount of money they consider to be a major gift. These gifts are most often restricted for specific purposes and come from donors who have given in the past (Kelly, 1998). The sources for major gifts are donors income and assets. Almost always, gifts from corporations and founda tions are large enough to be considered major gifts. As indicated in Figure 2-2, the level of communication most often used to build relationships with prospective donors and maintain relationships with past donors, as well as
29 solicit major gifts, is interpersonal communica tion. Encompassing personal letters and face-toface and telephone conversations, interpersonal communication occurs when fundraising staff has direct, personal contact with the donor. Majo r gift donors are primarily cultivated through involvement with the organization and its prog rams (Kelly, 1998). Dunlop (2002) believes it is the amount and character of the initiatives that it takes with the individual s it addresses (p. 99) that differentiates the tactics used for major gift programs fr om those used in annual giving programs. In Rossos (1996) description of the face-to-face solicitation seque nce for major gift donors, the first decision that must be made is who will ask the prospective donor for the gift. This might be the chief executive officer of the organization, the fundraising director, the fundraising officer with whom the prospective do nor has had the most contact, a trustee, or a small group of these people. Arrangements for a meeting should be finalized once this decision has been made. Because of past cultivation efforts by the fundraising staff, the request for a meeting should signal the donor that an appeal for a gift will be made. At the meeting, the solicitor should begin with dialogue about the or ganization, its programs, and its needs. Finally, the solicitor should confidently as k the prospective donor to consid er making a gift and silently wait for the donors response. Once the prospect ive donor gives an indication of approval or disproval, the representatives of the organization who are at the meeting should respond with gratitude and appreciation for the dono rs time or promise of support. Evaluation Evaluation, the fourth step in the fundraising process, adds objective feedback on program impact to the subjective assessments and informal research now used to judge program effectiveness (Broom & Dozier, 1990, p. 73). As indicated in Figure 2-1, evaluation should be conducted throughout the fundraising process and total 15% of the time spent by fundraising
30 staff. This ensures that there is enough time to change flawed programming that would decrease results (Kelly, 1998). By measuring effectiven ess and efficiency th roughout the fundraising process, process evaluation can save both tim e and money and increase the likelihood for accomplishing the objectives set by the fundraising department. Program evaluation occurs once programming is completed. Without this evaluation, it is impossible to determine whether programming realized its full potential or even succeeded at all. Evaluation should be based on the fulfillment of the objects set before programming began. According to Kelly (1998), the most basic eval uation of effectiveness is the measurement of fundraisings impact on the organization. As disc ussed previously, the connection between the fundraising departments objectiv es and the organizations goal s allows fundraising staff to measure the programmings contribution to th e advancement of the organizations mission through the completion of fundrai sing department objectives. In fundraising, many people evaluate the suc cess of the process by the amount of money raised, but this method is flawed and mislead ing. Simply evaluati ng success based upon the amount of money raised ignores th e extent to which the gift help s to alleviate the organizations needs or achieve its goals, as well as such other factors as the delay of time between cultivating major gift donors and actually receiving their gifts (Kelly, 1998). Furthermore, evaluating success by the amount of money raised only m easures donor giving beha vior, not any other effect of programming, such as understanding or attitudes. Details of the evaluations findings should be distributed to fundraising staff to increase understanding of and appreciati on for fund raisings contributi on (Kelly, 1998, p. 432), as well as improve the staffs awareness and understandi ng of the programmings strengths, weaknesses,
31 successes, and failures. By understanding what wa s and was not successful, fundraising staff will increase the effectiveness of future efforts. Stewardship The fifth step in the fundraising process is stewardship. Traditionally, stew ardship was viewed as responsible gift use that aligned w ith donors expectations; however, recent thought from the field has evolved and expanded th is definition to include a greater focus on relationships (Grace, 1991). The escalating prominence of stewardship has generated an effort to fully define the step and describe its use and benefits in fundraisi ng. Theisen and Jackson (2002) provide a general definition, advocating that stew ardship is maintaining a cl ose, ongoing relationship with donors (p. 244). Worth (2002) notes that stewardshi p is not just a contin uance or maintenance of a relationship, rather it is when a donors relationship w ith the institution expands and deepens over time (p. 8). Rossos (1996) value-based descripti on of stewardship labels the step as trust, responsibility, liab ility, accountability, integrity, fa ith, and guardianship (p. 145). Kelly (2001b) explains the step with the simple, ye t true notion that it is easier to keep a friend than to make a new friend (p. 279) and the d eeper examination of the four elements she conceptualized as comprising stewardship: reci procity, responsibility, re porting, and relationship nurturing. Prior to the 1990s, stewardship was a negle cted activity in fundraising departments across the nation (Worth, 2002, p. 16). During the past decade and a half, stewardship has become a priority in many development departments (Worth, 2002) and, as Kelly (2008) theorizes, should account for 20% of the time spen t on the fundraising process (see Figure 2-1). Practitioners increasing realization of the importance of stewardshi p is evident in the amount of scholarly and practitioner literatu re advocating the practice. Its inclusion in the Donor Bill of
32 Rights (1993), developed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Council for Advancement and S upport of Education, and the Giving Institute, legitimizes and solidifies its pl ace in the fundraising process. This document declares 10 rights donors have during the fundrai sing process. It includes notions of openness and access to information about the organiza tion and the right to receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition, all of which are key components of stewardship. Both practitioners and scholars stress it s importance. Theisen and Jacks on (2002) consider stewardship to be imperative to the future of fundraising, a nd Kelly considers it to be critical to successful fundraising (Kelly, 2002). Stewardship carries with it ethical implica tions as well. Kelly (2001b) says that the progressive completion of its four elements promotes ethical behavior and insists that stewardship is essential for ethical fundraising (p. 283). Rosso (1996) calls stewardship the conscience of philanthropy that focuses nonprofit organizations on responsible and ethical action (p. 145). As stated earlier, Rosso incorp orates multiple values in his description of stewardship, including the ethical components of trust, responsibility, and accountability. Along with the organizations mission a nd a fundraisers personal integrity, high ch aracter and quality relationships with colleagues, donors, volunteers and the community are value commitments of fundraisers (Fischer, 2000). By completing the elements of stewardship, fundraisers are not only caring for the donors gifts but also preparing the donors for their next contribution. Donors are much more likely to give if their initial gift has been stewarded properly. Fredricks (2001) and Worth (2003) explain the role of stewardship in term s of a previous action by saying that stewardship is a type of cultivation. This step in the f undraising process makes the model cyclical, creating an essential
33 loop back to the beginning of the process fo r new efforts (Kelly, 1998, p. 433). Stewardship consists of the four progressive elements of re ciprocity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurturing (Kelly, 1998). Elements of stewardship: The expression of gratitude is the first element of stewardship. Termed reciprocity, this gr atitude should be manifested through acts of a ppreciation and recognition (Kelly, 1998). The expression of appreciation is oblig atory for the organization, but it is also required to maintain balance in the relationship betw een the organization and the donor. This balance builds respect and trust, deepeni ng the donors relationship with the organization and its mission. It is this first element of stewar dship that sets the foundation for responsibility and reporting, and provides for the continuance of the relationship. Th e most common act of appreciation is saying thank you to the donor. Donors cannot be thanked too often (Fredricks, 2001). How an organization shows it s gratitude should be dependent upon the size of the gift and the purpose for which it is given (Kelly, 1998). A lthough each gift is important and should be acknowledged by the organization, special cons ideration should be given to how this appreciation is shown. As discussed in the sectio n about the hierarchy of fundraising tactics, the larger the gift, the more personalized the act of appreciation should be. Ha ndwritten letters or a small token related to the donors interest are two examples of appropriate acts of appreciation for the donation of major gifts (Kelly, 1998). Though t actics used to express gratitude might vary from one donor type to anothe r, expressions of thanks shoul d always be communicated in a timely manner to show the utmost re spect for donors and their support. Recognition is the second means of carryi ng out reciprocity. When choosing how to recognize a donor, the most important considerat ion is the donors preference for recognition. Fredricks (2001) notes that while this may seem like common sense, organizations sometimes
34 overlook the donors preference and might make erro rs that damage the donors relationship with the organization. It is for this reason that fundr aisers should know whether specific donors prefer private or public recognition. Private recognition includes sending periodic news and updates about the organization to the donor or includi ng the donor on VIP lists for events. Simply addressing letters or e-mails to the donor by name as opposed to using a generic salutation can also serve as recognition of the relationship between th e donor and the organization. For donors who prefer public recognition, the elem ent is often used as an incentive for giving (Kelly, 1998). Whether it is a donors desire to gain acceptance into a group of people or to preserve their legacy through a naming opport unity, recognition can serve as a powerful tool for fundraisers. Admittance into gift clubs or so cieties is one way for recognition to stimulate annual giving from donors (Alexander & Ca rlson, 2005). Having different levels of donors provides recognition while presenting an unspoken challenge to lower level donors to increase their gifts. By providing benefits such as subscriptions to monthly publications from the organization or invitations to events, nonprofit organizations are able to keep these donors informed and invested in the organization thr oughout the year, thereby increasing the probability that donors will renew their memberships or even donate more the following year. It is not unlikely that members of these gift clubs or so cieties will make anothe r donation throughout the year. Greenfield (1999) suggests keeping an internal record of cumulative giving totals so that donors may be recognized for all of their contri butions. Other forms of public recognition range from printing the names of donors in the organiza tions publications to naming buildings or staff positions after the donor. Responsibility is the second element of st ewardship. By its most simple definition, responsibility requires that organizations keep their word (Kelly, 2001b, p. 285). Through its
35 actions, an organization must demo nstrate that it is worthy ( p. 285) of the support of the donor. The concept of this element is grounded in systems theory, which asserts that organizations do not exist in isolation; rather organizations are part of a larger environment in which interdependencies with publics and other organizations exist. Because of these interdependencies, organizations and members of the fundraising staff ha ve a duty to act in a socially responsible manner and to ensure that th e donors intended use for the gift is carried out by the organization. At the highest level, responsibility enco mpasses recipient organizations social responsibility to act as good citizens (Ke lly, 2001b, p. 285). When accepting a gift, it is the responsibility of the fundraising staff to ensure that the organization is not just accepting the gift because it was offered, but that the gift will be used to advance the organizations mission in a manner that is congruent with th e donors intent for the gift. Responsibility to the donor lies in the organizations duty to us e the gift for the purpose for which it was given. This particular aspect of responsibility has legal and ethical implications, as donors and their descendants have options for lega l recourse if the contribution is used in a manner that is different from the terms initially agreed upon by both parties. Because annual gifts are often unrestricted and almost never negotiated, these gifts are more commonly misused than major gifts. The Donors Bill of Rights (AFP, 1993) addresses responsibility when it proposes that donors have the right to be assured their gi fts will be used for the purposes for which they were given. Keeping donor publics informed through reporting is the third element of stewardship. Essentially, reporting requires that an organization keep publics informed about developments related to the opportunity or problem for which support was sought (Kelly, 2001b, p. 285).
36 Common tactics used for reporting include an organizations annual re port or newsletter, conversations on the telephone, a nd face-to-face meetings. At a minimum, donors should receive yearly updates about the economic pe rformance of their gift if it is invested or information about the tangible benefits the gift has provided (Fredricks, 2001) Reporting increases favorable attitudes toward the organiza tion, building a donors trust a nd confidence. By keeping donors informed and engaged through this practice, which Dove, Martin, Wilson, Bonk, and Beggs (2002) call valuable and irreplaceable (p. 176), fundraisers provide an environment in which fundraising can flourish. Relationship nurturing, the last element of stewardship, occurs when a fundraiser acknowledges that the support a donor has give n has assisted in th e realization of the organizations mission, and he or she keeps th e donor in the organi zations thoughts throughout the year. Donors should not just hear from the orga nization when it is asking for the next gift, but fundraisers should make an effort to keep in to uch with the donor and ma intain the relationship (Kelly, 1998). This element is crucial, becaus e past donors can be even more important in future funding (Kelly, 2002). Previous donors ar e more likely than nondonors to give to the organization, and the cost of securing a donation from a previous donor is considerably less than the cost of cultivating and solicit ing a new donor (Kelly, 1998). The e ffort that practitioners take to nurture the organizations relationship with the donor can not only increas e the donors satisfaction with the organization bu t also provide benefits that outla st that of the original gift. Sargeant and Jay (2004) suggest that fundraisers shoul d evaluate donors not only by looking at past giving but also by calculating a donors lifetime value to the organization. This calculation represents how much a donor will be worth to an organization over the duration of the relationship (p. 161). Understanding a donors lifetime value offers a number of benefits,
37 including knowledge that can contribute to the development of relationship nurturing strategies and tactics that can maximize the value of the donor to the organization. This calculation also encourages fundraising staff to view interactions with a donor as pa rt of a long-term relationship. Results from a 2000 study by Kelly (2001a) suppor t her assertion that ROPES is a valid depiction of the fundraising process. For the st udy, a telephone survey was used to gather responses from members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) who held Ph.D.s. AFP is the larg est professional associ ation for fundraisers for all types of nonprofit organizations. Though the sample for the study was not representative of a ll fundraisers or all members of AFP, Kellys findings were limite d to AFP members who hold Ph.D. degrees, she hypothesized that they were releva nt to all fundraisers. Respondents were instructed to estimate the percentage of time they sp ent on each of the ROPES steps, with the total equaling 100%. Major findings of the study indi cated that respondents or memb ers of their fundraising staff spend 14% of their time on research, 14% on formulating objectives, 39% on programming, 11% on evaluation, and 21% on stewardship. Though these findings indicate that practitioners spend more time on programming and less time on resear ch and evaluation than suggested in the theoretical norms, results support the principle that f undraising follows a systematic process and is more than solicitation. Recently, Waters (2007) conducted a study that examined the elements of stewardship, which he termed cultivation strategies, and the elements impact on both donors and fundraisers evaluations of the nonprofit-donor relationship. The study found that the two types of donors (annual giving and major gifts) and the fundraising staff at the three Northern California nonprofit hospitals that were surveyed rated all of Kellys (1998) stewardship
38 elements positively. Of the elements measured, reciprocity had the strongest effect on the relationship for both annual givi ng donors and major gift donors. Differences between the three groups occu rred in answers ab out the relationship dimensions of trust, commitment, satisfaction, an d control mutuality (Waters, 2007). In the case of each hospital, fundraising staff evaluated each of the dimensions of the relationship as stronger than donors evaluated them to be. Donor s responded that the most favorable dimension of the relationship was commitment, followed by trust, satisfaction, a nd control mutuality. Although Waters (2007) study examined different populations and additional variables than the study presented in this thesis, it prov ided guidance in the development of items that measure fundraisers views about the elements of stewardship, as well as provided evidence that fulfilling the elements affects evaluations of the nonprofit-donor relationship. Museum Fundraising Beginning in the 1980s, there was a new e mphasi s placed on museums to generate their own sources of revenue as opposed to relyi ng on government funding (Moore, 1994). Private gifts have played a large part in this initiative, and gifts are now central to operation. In 2006, American arts and culture institutions, defined as libraries, museums, and public broadcasting, benefited from more than $2.5 billion in private donations (Bar ton & Schwinn, 2007). Though private support and the presence of museums are now strong, establishing museums in the United States was a slow pro cess. In 1773, the Charleston Museum gradually began collecting artifacts (Alexander, 1979). It was almost 100 years later before the United States gained truly credible institutions with the founding of the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolita n Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Shortly afterward, Alexander notes that it was the invent ion of the automobile that provided travel opportunities for Americans, leading to the adve nt and popularity of historic home museums.
39 During the 1900s, museums became ubiquitous, and people began to ask exactly how the institutions should be defined. The importance of education and the display of objects exhibited during this time helped to form the current defi nition (Alexander, 1979). According to the federal government, a museum is a public or private nonprofit agency or in stitution organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aes thetic purposes, which, utilizing a professional staff, owns or utilizes tangibl e objects, cares for them, and e xhibits them to the public on a regular basis (American Association of Museum s, What is a museum? n.d.). The most recent estimate suggests that institutions that match this description number approximately 17,500 (AAM, Museum FAQ, n.d.). In the United States, there are approximately 865 million visits to museums each year. Kellys (1998) ROPES theory is congruen t with much of the museum fundraising literature. Genoways and Ireland (2003) also echo Kellys (1998) emphasis on building and maintaining relationships by stating that develop ment is really about relationships with people (p. 121). Reinforcing the assertion that fundraising is more than simply solicitation, practitioners Lord and Lord (1997) note that successful f undraising is three-quarter s planning, one-quarter execution (p. 182). Genoways and Ireland (2003) also identify a five-step approach to donations (p. 128), consisting of identification, introdu ction, cultivation, solicitation, and appreciation. Not only does this model closely parallel ROPES, but it also supports Kellys (1998) recognition of stewardship as a step in the fundraising process. Regarding stewardship, Lord and Lord (1997) ac knowledge that it is vital for the museum to acknowledge donors in a suitable way (p. 183). Genoways and Ireland (2003) also advocate the importance of the step, writing after the donation has been received, formal acknowledgment and a show of appr eciation in appropriate form are absolutely critical (p. 129).
40 Anecdotal evidence suggests that appreciation and recognition are shown through a variety of strategies and tactics, such as naming opportunities, plaque s, and displays of donor names in museum lobbies or on special boards. Museum s also use tactics like thank-you notes and telephone calls to express appreciation. Another example of stewardship in the museum fi eld is the use of gift clubs and societies. In the past, these clubs were primarily us ed to build support among wealthy donors (Lord & Lord, 1997). Now, gift-level struct ures that range from small to large sums have provided the opportunity for a diverse populati on of people to become involve d. These clubs typically offer tangible benefits, such as free or reduced admi ssion to events, discounts at museum stores, and subscriptions to a newsletter, as incentives to join. In recent years, there has been an effort to encourage discussi on and understanding among museums about the best practices of fundraising. In 2002, AAM distributed Guidelines for Museums on Developing and Managing Individual Donor Support a document outlining several general principles and guidelines for handli ng donor relationships. A dvocating transparency, responsibility to the donor, and appropriate re cognition, the document brought fundraising issues to the forefront of museums consciousness. St ill, there has never been a study examining the extent to which stewardship elemen ts are fulfilled by these museums. Research Questions Based on th e literature reviewe d, five research questions and seven subset questions were posed that seek to describe the stewards hip practices of museums accredited by AAM. In answering the following questi on, the research not only determ ines the extent to which stewardship is practiced, but also the degrees to which each of its four elements are implemented. This research contributes to the bo dy of knowledge as there have been few studies
41 on the practice of stewardship and none on its four elements or stewardship practice by members of this population. RQ1: To what extent do museums accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM) practice stewardship? RQ1a: To what extent do AAM-accredited museums practice reciprocity? RQ1b: To what extent do AAM-accredited museums practice responsibility? RQ1c: To what extent do AAM-accredited museums practice reporting? RQ1d: To what extent do AAM-accredited museums practice relationship nurturing? The relationship between the ethical practice of fundraising and carry ing out stewardship has been raised in the literature. Also, as c onceptualized in the ROPE S model, organizational responsibility and accountability are embedded in th e stewardship step. While scholarly literature espouses the ethical virtues of practicing stewardship, there have been no studies that examine the extent to which stewardship activities include ethical components. RQ2: To what extent are activities identified with ethical behavior included in the stewardship practices of AAM-accredited museums? By determining if there is a relationship between the stewardshi p practices of AAMaccredited museums and the amount of money these museums raise, researchers can better understand the outcomes of stewardship. The relationship between stewardship and money raised has not been examined in previous studies The following research question is based upon fundraising theory and the widely accepted notion that previous donors give more and give more frequently if the organization implements stewardship practices (Fredricks, 2001). RQ3: To what extent is there a relationship be tween the practice of stewardship and the amount of money raised by AAM-accredited museums during the past year? Though data about the amount of money raised by museums provides some insight into the outcomes of stewardship implementation, the grea test value of the step is maintaining high-
42 quality relationships with donors, who are the most viable prospects for future gifts. Using three of Hon and Grunigs (1999) relati onship dimensions, the following research questions seek to measure the quality of the organiza tions relationship s with donors. RQ4: To what extent do senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums perceive that relationships with donor s are of high quality? RQ4a: To what extent do senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums perceive that donors trust the organization? RQ4b: To what extent do senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums perceive that donors are satisfied with the organization? RQ4c: To what extent do senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums perceive that donors are committed to the organization? Data on relationship dimensi ons will be used to anal yze the relationship between stewardship practice and the percei ved quality of the museums re lationships with their donors. Relationship quality provides a second indicato r of fundraising effectiveness, one that is theoretically richer than the amount of money raised. By answering the following question, the study contributes to both the body of knowledge about fundraising and expands knowledge on the public relations theory of relationship management. RQ5: To what extent is there a relationship be tween the practice of stewardship and the quality of museum-donor relationships?
43 Figure 2-1. ROPES process model of fundraising. (Used with permission of K.S. Kell y, personal communicat ion, October 15, 2008) Research 20% Organization Opportunity Publics Objectives 15% Output Impact Programming 30% Planning Strategies Tactics Implementing Cultivation Solicitation Stewardship 20% Reciprocity Responsibility Reporting Relationship Nurturing Evaluation 15% Preparation Process Tactics Objectives Program
44 I. Interpersonal Communication Major Gifts Programs a. Face-to-Face Conversations b. Telephone Conversations c. Personal Letters II. Controlled Media Communication Annual Giving Programs a. Direct Mail b. Special Events c. Publications (Newsle tters, Brochures, and Flyers) d. Internet (Web sites, E-mail, and Blogs) e. Paid Advertisements III. Mass Media (Uncontro lled) Communication Annual Giving Programs a. Editorials and Op-Ed Pieces b. News Releases and Story Placements __________________ ________________________________________ Figure 2-2. Hierarchy of fundrai sing tactics by three levels of communication and two primary programs. (Modified from Kelly, K.S. (1998). Effective fund-raising management Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ) NOTE: Interpersonal: Direct communication between people Controlled Media: Mediated communication through channels c ontrolled by the organization Mass Media: Mediated communication through uncontrolled channels (e.g., newspapers, television, and radio)
45 CHAPTER 3 METHOD This study researches the practice of the four stewardship elements by fundraising staff at museums accredited by the AAM, the inclusion of et hical behavior in stew ardship activities, and the average amount of money rais ed by accredited museums. It also studies the extent to which senior fundraisers perceive th at their organizations relations hips with donors exhibit three relationship dimensions, and whether there is a relationship between the practice of stewardship and high quality relationships with donors. Because the popu lation studied is large and geographically dispersed and quantitative data were desired to answer th e research questions, a survey was deemed the most suitable research method for this study. A survey is a system for collecting information from or about people to describe, compare, or explain their knowledge, attitudes, and beha vior (Fink, 2003). Surveys are the most commonly used research method in public rela tions (Stacks, 2002). Mail surveys offer a number of a dvantages, including a greater degree of privacy for respondents and the ability to efficiently survey respondents who are located in a number of geographic regions (Bickman & Rog, 1998). Additionally, ma il surveys allow respondents to answer questions at times that are convenient for them. The use of other types of survey administration, such as telephone interviews, could impede the collection of thoughtful responses from participants. The response rate is the propor tion of people, households, or in stitutions that are selected for a study from whom or about which data ar e successfully collected (Bourque & Fielder, 2003, p. 245). There are a number of tactics sugges ted by Bourque and Fielder that have the potential to increase the response rate. In addition to the survey instrument, researchers should provide a cover letter ex plaining the purpose of the study, offe r their contact information, stress
46 the importance of the study, and explain how th e responses will be used. Including a return envelope that is stamped and addressed to the researchers provides a way for members of the sample to respond without incurring any costs. Personalizing the mailings also increase the response rate. Finally, the surest way (p. 159), to increase response rates is to follow up the initial survey with a letter, pos tcard, or phone call ten days to two weeks after the survey has been mailed. Population The population of interest is th e senior fundraisers at all museums accredited by the AAM. One of the highest distinctions of quality a museum can achieve is to be awarded AAM accreditation. The association is the only organiza tion that represents the entire range of museums, which consist of art, history, scien ce, military and maritime, and youth museums, as well as aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, arboretums, historic sites, and science and technology centers (AAM, About AAM, n.d.) Since 1906, AAM has brought museums together to develop standards and best prac tices and to share knowledge. The organization currently represents more than 3,000 institutions and more than 15,000 museum employees and volunteers. AAM began the accreditation program in 1971, to recognize museums commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement (AAM, A higher standard, n.d.). The number of museums that are currently AAM-accredited is 774. To qualify for accreditation, a museum must meet a variety of criteria, some of which include having the financial resources to operate efficiently, being educational in nature, and using and interpreting objects or a site for presenta tion to the general public (AAM, 2004). Museums of different disciplines, gove rning structures, and budgets can receive accredited status. Because of these differences, th ere is no single standard by which all museums
47 are measured, but all of the museums undergo th e same rigorous accreditation process. The two questions guiding the process are how well the museum achieves its mission and how well the museums practices meet the standards and best practices appropriate to its situation. Museums apply for the opportunity to undergo an accreditation review process, beginning first with the preparation stage (AAM, About the accreditation process, n.d.). During this stage, museum professionals determine the museum s readiness to participate in the process and speak with AAM staff about their intentions. If staff members believe that they are ready to advance in the process, the museum submits an official application form Professionals at the museum then conduct a year-long self-study to assess the museums mission and goals and whether they are being fulfilled. Once the self-study is complete, the AAM conducts an accreditation commission review. During this stage, a commission comprised of seven or nine senior museum officials reviews the self-st udy and determines how to proceed (AAM, About the accreditation commission, n.d.). If the commission grants interim approval of accreditation for the museum, the process advances to a site visit conducted by two peer reviewers. This visit allows the reviewers to check the accuracy of the self-study by observing the museum and gathering new information. Upon the conclusion of their visit, the peer re viewers write a report explaining their experiences. Finally, the accredi tation commission reviews all of the reports and makes a final determination that results in one of four decisions: gran t accreditation, table the decision, deny the museum accreditation, or defer the decision. If accredited, museums enjoy the benefits of increased credibility and recogni tion within the field (AAM, Benefits of AAM accreditation, n.d.). A variety of different discip lines are represented in the 774 museums that are currently accredited. Art museums and centers are the most well-represented, making up 42% of museums
48 accredited by the association (AAM, 2008). History museums make up 24% of the accredited museums. Historic houses/sites are 8%; genera l museums, 8%; natural history museums, 8%; science/technology museums, 3%; specialized muse ums, 2%; and arboretums/ botanical gardens, 2%. Zoological parks and childre ns/youth museums comprise 1% each. Nature centers and aquariums each account for less than 1% of accredited museums. By accrediting museums with a variety of operating budgets, the AAM is eliminating the myth that an institution must have a large operating budget to be considered a leader. Seventeen percent of accredited museums operate on budgets of $500,000 or less (AAM, 2008). Forty nine percent have budgets between $500,000 and $3 mill ion. A quarter of museums operate with budgets of $3,000,001 to $14.9 million. Only 9% of accr edited museums have an annual budget of more than $15 million. The number of staff members employed by a muse um may have an impact on the extent to which an organization participates in stewardshi p activities. Having multip le paid fundraisers on staff can increase the time available for fundraisers to employ stewardship tactics, as well as the amount of money raised. AAM does not supply figures for the number of fundraisers employed by accredited institutions, but it does give statistics for the number of all staff members. Half of accredited museums are in the smallest ra nge, employing 30 people or fewer (AAM, 2008). Twenty four percent of museums have 31 to 100 staff members. Seven percent have 101 to 200 staff members. Only 5% of museums employ more than 200 people. It should be noted that 32 of the 774 museums have not reported the number of staff members. The varying disciplines, budgets, and staff sizes make accredited museums a somewhat complex population for study. Though some of the accredited museums have served as members of samples for studies about educ ational programs or at tendance, museum fundraisers have never
49 served as the population for a st udy about stewardship. By studying this population, this research advances the body of knowledge about the fundraising function of museums and the implementation of stewardship. Sample From the AAM Web site (List of accredited museums, n.d.), the researcher obtained a list of the names of the 774 AAM-accredited museums. To assemble the final sampling frame, the researcher visited the Web s ites of each of the museums to gather the name, title, and mailing address for the senior fundraiser at each museum If a staff fundraiser was not listed on the Web site, the researcher e-mailed the general informa tion address listed on th e Web site and inquired about whether the museum employed a senior fundraiser and the fundraisers contact information. If a general e-mail address was not lis ted or the museum did not reply to the e-mail, the researcher called the muse um. If staff members at the museums answered that the organization did not have a person responsible for the fundraising f unction, the museum was removed from the sampling frame. If a name and contact information was given, the museum was kept in the final sampling frame. The final sampling frame consisted of 450 senior fundraisers. From this sampling frame, 400 members of the population were randomly chosen for study. Using a table of random nu mbers, the researcher determined a starting point for the selection of the sample and the n, rotating through the list of the qualified population, selected every second name until the sample consisted of 400 senior museum fundraisers. A sample of 400 provides a 95% confidence level for the studys findings (Stacks, 2002).
50 Instrument Design The data-gathering instrum ent, consisting of three sections, was organized in a manner similar to Waters (2007) study. A complete copy of the questionnaire is located in Appendix A. The following is a summary of the contents of the questionnaire. General questions about the AAM-accredited museum for which the fundraisers worked comprised the first part of the questionnaire. Respondents were asked to answer closed-ended questions about the discipline of the museum, the number of staff members in the entire organization, and the size of the organizations budget. These questions were measured on nominal or ordinal scales. Open-ended items aske d for the number of staff members employed in the fundraising department and the total amount of private gifts the organization received during the previous year. These questions we re measured using a ratio scale. The second part of the questionnaire dealt with the overall ROPES process of fundraising. To determine the extent to which museum fundrai sers follow the process model, participants were asked to fill in a percentage between 0% and 100% for the amount of time they or others on their fundraising staff spend on each of the steps of Research, Objectives, Programming broken down by planning and implementation, Evaluation, a nd Stewardship. It was explained that the total for the six items should equal 100%. The third part asked respondents to evaluate their stewardship practi ces and views of the organizations relationships with annual giving donors and with major gift donors. Respondents were asked the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with 31 statements, which used a ninepoint Likert scale with answers ranging from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (9), providing an interval s cale for responses. The 31 statements measured the four elements of stewardship, with four items for each element, a nd three relationship dimensions, with five items for each dimension.
51 Addressing stewardship first, th e four variables measured we re reciprocity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurturi ng. The variables were operati onalized into 16 measurement items. Of the 16 items, two were adopted uncha nged from Waters ( 2007) study, eight were modified from items used by Waters, and six we re developed for this study. In other words, 37.5% of the items were original. Of the four items that measured each stewardship element, three items worded positively toward the AAMaccredited museums and one reversed, except for relationship nurturing, which had two positive and two negative items. An example of an item measuring reciprocity was: Donors are confident that the organization appreciates their gifts. The stewardship variables and the 16 items used to measur e them are presented in chapter 4, in tables that report the results of the study. Intermingled with the stewardship items we re items measuring the three relationship dimensions of trust, satisfaction, and commitme nt. The variables and the 15 items used to measure them are presented in tables in chapter 4. The relationship dimension items originated as suggestions by Hon and Grunig ( 1999), which Waters (2007) us ed in his study. All 15 items were adopted unchanged for this study. An example of an item measuring trust is: Donors feel confident about the organizations ability to acco mplish its mission. Of the five items measuring each relationship dimension, four were worded positively toward the accredited museums and one was reversed. The final part of the questionnaire was compri sed of questions measuring six demographic variables, one item for each variable. Senior fundrai sers were asked to identify their gender, age, and race. The section also included items aski ng about respondents professional experience. They were asked to identify the number of year s they have spent in their current position, the number of years of fundraising experience they have, and the highe st level of formal education they have completed. Five of the six questions were closed-ended, with the variables measured
52 on nominal or ordinal scales. Th e question regarding years of fundraising experience was openended, thereby using a ratio scale. Data Collection After receiving approval of th e study from the universitys In stitutional Review Board in December 2008, the researcher conducted a pre-test with senior fundraisers at four museums. All of the pre-test respondents we re female, but their ages vari ed considerably. Three of the respondents were employed at AAM-accredited muse ums, but the fourth was not. Chosen using a convenience sample, the four respondents comple ted the questionnaire a nd participated in a phone interview when they were asked to identif y any items that were difficult to answer or confusing. The survey packets were compiled in December 2008. The survey and informed consent document were printed on the front and back of 8 x 11 in., white paper. Copies of the questionnaire and informed consent document are presented in Appendix A and Appendix B, respectively. The cover letters were printed on University of Florida Department of Public Relations letterhead. The researcher determined that prin ting the cover letters on letterhead from the university would increase the likelihood that fundraisers would identify the survey as legitimate, increasing the response rate. Using the mail merg e function in Microsoft Word, the researcher personalized the cover letter for each member of the sample. Each cover letter also was personally signed by the researcher A copy of the cover letter can be found in Appendix C. The personalized cover lette r and copies of the informed consent document and questionnaire were inserted in a #10 carrier enve lope. Also included in th e envelope was a selfaddressed, stamped #9 reply envelope for respon dents to return completed surveys to the researcher.
53 The questionnaires were mailed fi rst-class via United States Postal Service to members of the sample in January 2009. A postcard printed on white, 50 lb. cardstock reminding members of the sample to complete the questionnaire was ma iled seven days later. A copy of the postcards text is located in Appendix D. The cover letter, a note at the e nd of the questionnaire, and the postcard requested that participants complete th e questionnaire and retu rn it and the informed consent document to the researcher by a date th at was approximately two weeks after the initial mailing.
54 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This chapter presents the results of the st udy. To begin, descriptions of the respondents dem ographics are given, showing how responde nts organizations compare to the overall population of senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums. The chapter then describes the procedures used to analyze the da ta collected and answer the research questions posed in chapter 2. Findings are organized by the re search question and reported. Respondents Of the 400 questionn aires mailed, one was returned because of an invalid address. The researcher was unable to find a different address for the museum, reducing the sample size to 399. A total of 144 senior fundrai sers, each representing a single accredited museum, completed and returned useable questionnaires yielding a response rate of 36%. Responses to demographic and organizational questions indicate that the respondents and the organizations they represent do not differ sign ificantly from the population selected for study, allowing results to be generalized to fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums. Of the 144 respondents, 78.5% were female. Ca ucasians comprised 93.1% of respondents, but there were respondents w ho identified themselves as Hi spanic/Latino (1.4%), African American/Black (0.7%), or Asian (0.7%). Gene rally, respondents were well-educated, with 51.4% holding a bachelors degree as their highe st level of completed education, 38.2% holding a masters degree, and 2.1% with a doctorate. Their reported years of experience in fundraising ranged from less than one year to 32 years, with a median and av erage of 15 years of experience (M = 15.18, SD = 8.59). Mirroring discipline representation among accred ited museums, senior fundraisers at art museums/centers comprised the largest segment of respondents at 45.1% (a s reported in chapter
55 3, art museums/centers account for 42% of AAM-accredited museums). The second largest group, 16.7%, represented history museums, which al so is the second largest group of accredited museums. Fundraisers at histor ic houses/sites accounted for 10.4% of respondents, followed by those at natural history museums (6.9%) and at general museums (5.6%). The remaining 15.3% of respondents represented the following discip lines in descending order: science and technology museums (3.5%), specialized museums (3.5%), arboretums/botanical gardens (3.5%), zoological parks (2.8%), nature centers (0.7% ) and childrens/youth mu seums (0.7%). The only discipline not represented in the st udy is aquariums, which is of mi nor concern as less than 1% of accredited museums are aquariums. Respondents represented both small and la rge museums, although the proportion of smaller museums is notably less than their proportion among AAM-accredited museums logically because they are less likely to have f undraisers on staff. For example, as reported in chapter 3, 17% of accredited museums have annual operating budgets of $500,000 or less, but only 6.3 % of the fundraisers part icipating in this study worked at such small museums. The largest portion of this studys respondents (38.2%) were employed at museums with an annual budget of more than $5 million, followed by thos e at museums with an annual budget of $1 million to $3 million (25%) and $3 million to $5 million (20.1%). Only 16.7% of the participating fundraisers worked at museums with annual budgets of $1 million or less. A different measure of size, number of sta ff members employed, yiel ded similar findings. Whereas half (50%) of accredited museums empl oy 30 or fewer people, about one-third (36.8%) of the fundraisers participating in this study worked at these smaller museums. Yet this studys respondents were spread somewhat evenly acro ss museums of all sizes. In addition to the
56 percentage just reported, 38.2% of the res pondents worked at museums employing 31 to 100 staff members and 24.3% worked at museum s employing 101 or more staff members. Although comparative statistics on all AAM-accredited museums do not exist, this studys respondents reported that the number of st aff members employed in their fundraising departments ranged from 1 to 58, with a median of 3.25 staff members. The amount of private gifts received by their organizations in the pa st year ranged from $178 to $85 million, with a median of $1.2 million in private support. Data Analysis The responses were cod ed by the researcher, who assigned a numeric value to each possible answer to all closed-ended items. Resp onses to open-ended questions were entered as the value given. All values were then entered into SPSS. After entering responses, the researcher cleaned the data, confirming where th ere were missing values in the questionnaires and correcting all errors in data entry. Before analyzing the data, responses to items that were reverse worded in the questionnaire were changed to ensure the consistent positive direction of all responses. Not all respondents answered each item measuring each variable. The number of responses for individual items ranged from 125 to 144. The first research question and four subset questions sought to determine the extent to which stewardship and its elements are prac ticed by AAM-accredited museums. To answer research questions 1a, 1b, 1c, a nd 1d, eight indexes were created. Four of the indexes quantified the stewardship elements of r eciprocity, responsibilit y, reporting, and relationship nurturing as practiced with annual giving donors. The other f our indexes quantified the same stewardship elements as practiced with major gift donors. To form each stewardship element index, the responses to the four items measuring each variab le were averaged. Standard deviations for each
57 of the means were noted to determine how closel y the responses were grouped to the mean, and reliability was tested. Analysis revealed that the reliability of the two indexes dealing with the element of responsibility, as practiced with annual giving donors and major gift donors, could be substantially improved by removing one of the four items. The item, which was stated in reverse was, The organization uses gifts where need ed, regardless of donors preferences. The item was removed, and the means, standard deviations, and alphas of the two indexes were recalculated. The revised indexes were used in a ll subsequent analysis. Two-tailed, paired sample t-tests were used to determine whether there is a significant difference between the practice of each stew ardship element with annual giving donors and major gift donors. This test and others followed the 95% rule for determining significance. Research question 1 required the creation of two more indexes to represent the overall practice of stewardship with annual giving donors and major gift donors. To create the stewardship index for annual gi ving donors, the scores on the a nnual giving donor reciprocity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurtu ring indexes were summed and averaged. The process was duplicated with the major gift donor indexes to create the stewardship index for major gift donors. Again, a two-tail ed, paired sample t-test was c onducted to determine if there is a statistically significant difference between the two types of donors, and reliability was tested. Research question 2 sought to determine the extent to which activities identified with ethical behavior are included in the stewards hip practices of accredited museums. Two dummy variables comprised of responses to six stewardship items were created to answer the research question. The six items measured the variables of responsibility and reporting, two stewardship elements strongly related to th e ethical practice of fundraising. By summing and calculating the
58 means of the scores on the six items, two indexes measuring ethical activities with annual giving donors and major gift donors were created. To dete rmine if there is a difference between the ethical activities in stewardship practices w ith annual giving donors and major gift donors, a two-tailed, paired sample t-test was conducted. The third research question proposed an examination of whether there is a relationship between the practice of stewards hip and the amount of money raised by accredited museums during the past year. To answer this question, the researcher referenced the open-ended item asking respondents how much their organization recei ved in private gifts during the past year and the annual giving donor and major gift donor stewar dship indexes created to answer research question 1. A Pearsons correlation test was conducted to determine if there is a relationship between the extent to which stewardship is practiced and th e amount of money raised. The researcher also conducted a Pearsons correlation test to see if there is a connection between the amount of money raised by accr edited museums and the perc entage of time spent on stewardship. The statistical processes used to answer resear ch question 4 were similar to analyses used to answer the first research quest ion. The fourth question sought to determine the extent to which senior fundraisers perceive that their relationships with donors are high quality. Before answering the broader question a bout the quality of donors relati onships with the organization, individual relationship dime nsions were analyzed. Fundraisers perceptions of the presence of trust, satisfaction, and commitment in relationships with annual giving donors and major gift donors were measured by creating six indexes. To create these indexes, the respons es to the items measur ing each variable were averaged and standard devi ations were calculated.
59 The reliability of the indexes was tested, rev ealing that the deletion of one item from the commitment indexes (annual giving donors and ma jor gift donors) would substantially improve their reliability. The researcher deleted the item that was stated in reverse as It is not apparent to donors that the organization wants to maintain a relationship with them. The mean scores and standard deviations were recalcul ated to reflect the change. Twotailed, paired t-tests were used to determine if there is a significant differe nce between the quality of each of the three relationship dimensions as they related to annual giving donors and major gift donors. To answer research question 4, two indexes we re created to quantify the quality of the organizations overall relationships with annua l giving donors and major gift donors. The annual giving donor overall relationship index was created by averaging the means of the trust, satisfaction, and commitment indexes. The proc ess was duplicated for major gift donors. To determine if there were any differences betw een the quality of the organizations overall relationships with annual giving donors and major gift donors, a two-tailed, paired sample t-test was implemented. Research question five sought to determine if there is a rela tionship between the practice of stewardship and the quality of relationships AAM-accredited mu seums have with their donors. The indexes created to answer re search questions one and four we re analyzed again to answer question five. To determine if there was a rela tionship between the two sets of variables, a Pearsons correlation test was conducted. The test calculated the degree of correlation between the annual giving donor stewards hip index and the annual givi ng donor overall relationship index. The same test was also conducted with the two major donor indexes.
60 Research Question 1 And Subset Questions Research Question 1a RQ1a: To what exten t do AAM-accredited muse ums practice reciprocity? To answer RQ1a, two indexes were created to measure AAMaccredited museums pract ices of reciprocity with annual giving donors and major gift donors. Th e mean scores and standard deviations of responses on the four items and for the two indexes are presented in Table 4-1. As shown in Table 4-1, the mean score of th e reciprocity index for annual giving donors is 8.17 (SD = .97), whereas the mean score for the reci procity index for major gift donors is slightly higher, 8.34 (SD = .96). A two-tailed, paired samp le t-test revealed a significant difference between the two mean scores ( t = -4.36, df = 143, p <.001). In other words, analysis reveled that, according to their senior fundraisers, accredited mu seums are above the midpoint of the scale in their practice of reciprocity with both annual giving donors a nd major gift donors, but they practice reciprocity significantly more with major gift donors. Because respondents answers were above the midpoint of the scale, they are considered above average. Cronbachs alpha for the recipr ocity index for annual giving donors is .55. For the index for major gift donors, Cronbachs alpha is .47. Th e alphas for the two reciprocity indexes are probably low because the items used to measure th e variable are modified items or original to this study. Three of the items were modified from Waters (2007) study, and one item was entirely new. Though not ideal, re latively low levels of reliability are not uncommon when using indicators that have no t been tested previously, keeping in mind that 37.5% of the items used to measure stewardship were original to this st udy, and 50% were modified from Waters (2007) study. Bowers and Courtwright (1984) assert that alphas as low as .60 are acceptable for indexes that include original items.
61 Responses to individual items revealed greate r detail about the reci procity practices of accredited museums. Mean scores for the item about whether donors are confident that the organization appreciates their gifts are higher for major gift donors (M = 8.39, SD = 0.90) than annual giving donors (M = 8.04, SD = 1.06). The di fference between the two mean scores was significant ( t = -5.91, df = 135, p <.001). This means that although senior museum fundraisers believe donors are above average in their confiden ce that the organization appreciates their gifts, they perceive major gift donors to be significantly more confident of the organizations appreciation than annual giving donors. The mean score for the item measuri ng whether AAM-accredited museums recognize major gift donors as friends is 8.23 (SD = 1.51). For senior fundraisers perspectives about annual giving donors, the mean score for the item measuring the same statement is lower (M = 7.92, SD = 1.47), with a difference betw een the two that is significant (t = -3.933, df = 140, p <.001). In other words, according to seni or fundraisers, AAM-accredited museums are significantly more likely to rec ognize major gift donors as frie nds than they are to recognize annual giving donors as friends, but they are above average in recognizing both types of donors as friends. For the item measuring whether AAM-acc redited museums acknow ledge annual giving donors gifts in a timely and appropriate manne r, the mean score is 7.89 (SD = 2.17). The mean score for major gift donors is 7.97 (SD = 2.22). This means that senior fundraisers perceive that AAM-accredited museums are above average in ac knowledging gifts in a timely and appropriate manner. The mean scores for the items measur ing whether accredited museums always send thank-you letters for gifts are 8.78 (SD = .90) for annual giving donors and 8.72 (SD = 1.25) for major gift donors. In other words, senior fundrai sers perceive that accredited museums are above
62 average in sending thank-you letters for gifts from both types of donors. Analysis of these items revealed that AAM-accredited museums are above average in acknowledging gifts in a timely and appropriate manner and always sending than k-you notes for gifts, but there is not a significant difference in the extent to which the museums practice thes e actions with annual giving donors in comparison to major gift donors. Answering research question 1a, museums accredited by the American Association of Museums are above average in the practice of reciprocity, but they practice reciprocity significantly more with major gift donors than with annual giving donors. Research Question 1b RQ1b: To what exten t do AAM-accredited muse ums practice responsibility? To answer research question 1b, additional indexes were created. As shown in Table 4-1, the mean score for the annual giving donor responsibility index is 7.79 (SD = 1.12). The major gift donor responsibility index is higher at 8.03 (SD = 1.13) Cronbachs alphas for the indexes are .73 and .79 respectively. After a two-tailed, paired sample t-test, the difference between the mean scores of the two indexes was found to be statistically significant ( t = -5.15, df = 143, p <.001). This means that, according to senior fundraisers, the practice of responsibility is above average in AAM-accredited museums relationships with major gift donors and annual giving donors, but responsibility is practiced significantly more in relations hips with major gift donors. Analyses of individual items provide more specific details about accredited museums practice of responsibility. Results show that the mean score of the item measuring how confident annual giving donors are that their gifts will be used economically and efficiently is 7.90 (SD = 1.15). The mean score is higher for major gift donors at 8.10 (SD = 1.14). According to a twotailed, paired sample t-test, the difference be tween the mean scores of the two items is statistically significant ( t = -3.60, df = 140, p <.001). These results mean that senior fundraisers
63 perceive that both annual giving and major gift donors are above av erage in their confidence that accredited museums are using their gifts economica lly and efficiently, but major gift donors are significantly more confident. Responses from another item measuring the extent to which it is apparent to annual giving donors that accredited museums adhere to the highest ethical standards yielded a mean score of 7.98 (SD = 1.27). The mean score for senior fundraisers perspectives about major gift donors is higher (M = 8.16, SD = 1.37). The difference between the mean scores for senior fundraisers perspectives about annual giving donors and majo r gift donors is statistically significant ( t = 3.31, df = 141, p < .001). In other words, according to fundraisers, annual giving donors and major gift donors are above average in their c onfidence that AAM-accredited museums adhere to the highest ethical standards, but major gift donors are more confident. Regardless of the disparity between the two groups, the mean of respons es to this item were the highest of any item measuring responsibility, indica ting that fundraisers believe bo th annual giving donors and major gift donors are very confident that accredited mu seums practice the highest standards of ethics. For the items measuring the extent to which AAM-accredited museums take the concerns of annual giving donors and other stakeholders into account when making decisions, the mean score is 7.46 (SD = 1.68). The mean score for major gift donors is 7.81 (SD = 1.55). The difference between the two mean scores is statistically significant ( t = -3.67, df = 140, p <.001). In other words, according to senior fundraisers, AAM-accredited museums are above average in taking donors and other stakeholders concerns into account, but they are more likely to take major gift donors concerns into account than annual giving donors concerns. The answer to research ques tion 1b is that senior fundrai sers at AAM-accredited museums perceive that accredited museums are above aver age in the practice of responsibility, but they
64 practice responsibility significantl y more in their relationships with major gift donors than in their relationships with annual giving donors. Research Question 1c RQ1c: To what extent d o AAM-accredited muse ums practice reporting? This research question sought to determine the extent to which museums reported to annual giving donors and major gift donors. The mean score for the annual giving donor reporting i ndex is above average at 7.30 (SD = 1.55). For the major gift donor repor ting index, the mean score is higher, 7.66 (SD = 1.41). The difference between the mean scores is statisti cally significant ( t = -7.29, df = 143, p <.001), according to a two-tailed, paired sample t-test. This means that senior fundraisers perceive that accredited museums are above averag e in their practice of reporting to both annual giving donors and major gift donors, but they report to major gi ft donors significantly more than to annual giving donors. Yielding moderately reliable alphas, the tw o indexes measuring the practice of reporting among AAM-accredited museums pr oduced alphas of .62 for the annual giving donor reporting index and .55 for the major gift donor reporting index. Analysis rev ealed that the reliability of the reporting indexes could not be significantly strengthened by deleting any of the items. Responses to two of the items revealed that major gift donors receive more information than annual giving donors about th e uses of their gifts and th e state of the organizations finances. For the item measuring the extent to which accredited museum s inform major gift donors about the state of the organizations fina nces, the mean score is 7.36 (SD = 1.88). The mean score is lower for reporting about the or ganizations finances to annual giving donors (M=6.69, SD = 2.13). According to a two-tailed, paired sample t-te st, the difference between the two mean scores is statistically significant ( t = -6.72, df = 142, p <.001). This means that senior fundraisers perceive that accredited museums are above average in their reporting to both types
65 of donors about the state of thei r organizations finances, but th ey perceive museums reporting about the organizations finances to major gift donors to be greater. The mean score for the item measuring the ex tent to which accredited museums tell annual giving donors how their gifts were used is 7.13 (SD = 2.39), and for major gift donors, the mean score is higher at 7.75 (SD = 2.18). A two-tailed pair ed sample t-test reveal ed that the difference between the two mean scores is statistically significant ( t = -4.93, df = 141, p <.001), meaning that although accredited museums are above aver age in telling both types of donors how their gifts are used, they tell major gift donors signif icantly more than annual giving donors, according to senior fundraisers. The IRS Form 990, a form reporting a nonprofits income to the IRS, must be completed by nonprofit organizations with a yearly income of more than $25,000. The mean scores for the item measuring how easy it is for donors to obtain this form is 8.0 (SD = 1.78) for annual giving donors and 8.06 (SD = 1.77) for major gift donors. This means that, according to senior fundraisers, AAM-accredited museums are above average in making it easy for both types of donors to obtain their Form 990s. An alysis revealed that, according to senior fundraisers, there is s no significant difference between annual giving donors and major gift donors in their ease of access to accredited museums Form 990s. The mean scores for the item measuri ng whether AAM-accredited museums annual reports details how much money is raised is 7.47 (SD = 2.67) for annual giving donors and 7.48 (SD = 2.64) for major gift donors. This means that senior fundraisers perceive that accredited museums are above average in including how mu ch money they raise in their annual reports. Analysis of the results revealed no significant difference between the mean scores for senior fundraisers perspectives of annual giving donors and major gift donors in regard to this item.
66 The answer to research question 1c, then, is senior fundraisers perceive that AAMaccredited museums are above average in the pract ice of reporting with both annual giving and major gift donors. However, the museums practic e the stewardship element of reporting with major gift donors more so than with annual giving donors. Research Question 1d RQ1d: To what exten t do AAM-accredited museums practice relationship nurturing? Responses to the four items measuring rela tionship nurturing with annual giving donors produced an index mean score of 7.09 (SD = 1.33) The mean score of the major gift donor relationship nurturing index is 7.64 (SD = 1.26). Wh en analyzed using a two-tailed, paired sample t-test, it was revealed that the mean scor es of the two indexes ar e significantly different (t = -8.85, df = 143, p <.001). Findings of the analysis show that, according to their fundraisers, accredited museums are above average in the pr actice relationship nurtu ring with annual giving donors and major gift donors, but the museums pract ice relationship nurturing more with major gift donors. Though still above average for both gr oups of donors, the means of the relationship nurturing indexes were lower than indexes of the other three stewardship elements. The two indexes measuring relationship nurturing were moderately reliable, both surpassing Bowers and Courtwrights (1989) Cr onbachs alpha requirement of .60 for indexes that include original items. Cronbachs alpha value for the major gift donor relationship nurturing index is .64. The reliability of the annua l giving donor relationshi p index is slightly lower with a Cronbachs alpha value of .62. Analysis revealed that deleting items from the scale would not significantly improve the reliability of the indexes. Comprised of one item adopted from Waters (2007) study and two items th at were modified, the annual giving donor relationship nurturing index and the major gift donor relationship nurturing index had the highest Cronbachs alphas of the indexes measuring stew ardship elements. This is probably because
67 these items have been tested numerous times; only one item from the indexes was original to this study. Keeping donors involved and engaged in the orga nization is an effective way to nurture relationships. The mean score for the item meas uring the extent to which accredited museums welcome donor involvement with annual giving donors is 7.37 (SD = 1.54). The mean score was higher for the major gift donor item (M = 7.95, SD = 1.22). The difference between the two means is statistically significant ( t = -6.20, df = 142, p <.001). Analysis of these results produces the conclusions that senior fundraisers perc eive accredited museums are above average in welcoming involvement in the organization from annual giving donors and major gift donors, but the museums welcome involvement from major gift donors more. Personalized attention is a key aspect of relationship nurturin g. Mean scores for the items measuring the extent to which accredited museum s give personalized attention is 8.28 (SD = 1.21) for major gift donors and 6.99 (SD = 1.71) for annual giving donors. The difference between the two means is statistically significant ( t = -9.65, df = 143, p <.001). In other words, senior fundraisers perceive th at accredited museums are above av erage in giving both types of donors personalized attention, but th ey give significantly more personalized attention to major gift donors. Receiving the lowest levels of agreement fr om respondents was the statement (originally reversed) that The organization is more concerned with its relationships with donors than with its fiscal well-being. The mean score for this item when measuring relationship nurturing with annual giving donors is 6.58 (SD = 2.18). The mean score when measuring relationship nurturing with major gift donors is 6.77 (SD = 2.31). Altho ugh these means were th e lowest of all the items measuring the practice of st ewardship elements, senior fundr aisers responses indicate that
68 accredited museums are still above average in their concern of relationships with both types of donors. Continued communication with donors is a way to nurture relationships with them. The mean score for the item stating that annual giving donors do not only hear from the organization when it is soliciting gifts is 7.39 (SD = 2.26). For major gift donors, the mean score is 7.51 (SD = 2.22). This means that, according to senior f undraisers, AAM-accredited museums are above average in communicating with an nual giving donors and major gi ft donors at times other than solicitation. Further analys is revealed that there is no si gnificant difference between annual giving donors and major gift donors in regard to the amount that accredited museums communicate with them during ti mes other than solicitation. In answer to research question 1d, senior fundraisers perceive that AAM-accredited museums are above average in the practice of rela tionship nurturing in re lationships with annual giving donors and major gift donors, but th e museums practice relationship nurturing significantly more with major gift donors. Research Question 1 RQ1: To what extent d o museums accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM) practice stewardship? Comprised of the indexes of each element of stewardship, an annual giving donor and a major gi ft donor stewardship indexes we re created to evaluate AAMaccredited museums overall stewardship practi ces. The mean score for the annual giving donor stewardship index is 7.59 (SD = .98). The mean sc ore for the major gift donor stewardship index is higher at 7.92 (SD = .92). A two-tailed, paired samp le t-test revealed that there is a significant difference between the two mean scores ( t = 9.73, df = 143, p <.001). This means that senior fundraisers perceive that museums accredited by the American Association of Museums are above average in the practice of stewardship, bu t their stewardship with major gift donors is
69 significantly greater. The indexes measuring the practice of stewardship have strong reliability with a Cronbachs alpha of .78 for the annua l giving donor stewardship index and .77 for the major gift donor stewardship index. Reciprocity is the variable with the highest means fo r both annual giving donors (M = 8.17, SD = 0.97) and major gift donors (M = 8.34, SD = 0.96), indicating that accredited museums practice this element mo re than the other three that comprise stewardship. For annual giving donors (M = 7.09, SD = 7.64) and major gift donors (M = 7.66, SD = 1.26), the relationship nurturing index had the lowest mean s of all the indexes measuring stewardship. Though still above average, accred ited museums practices of relationship nurturing with donors falls short of the extent to which reciproc ity, responsibility, and re porting are practiced, according to senior fundraisers. Answering research question 1, then, senior fundraisers perceive that museums accredited by the American Association of Mu seums are above average in their practice of stewardship with annual giving donors and major gift donors, but they practice stewar dship more with major gift donors. Research Question 2 RQ2: To what extent are activities identified with ethical behavior included in the stewardsh ip practices of AAM-accredited museums? To answer research question 2, two dummy variablesone for annual giving donors and one for major gift donorswere assembled. Comprised of senior fundraisers responses to six items, each index measured the extent to which ethical behavior is included in the stewardship practices of a ccredited museums. The results can be found in Table 4-2. The mean score for the annual giving donor ethics index is 7.54 (SD = 1.17). The mean score for the major gift donor ethics index is higher, 7.88 (SD = 1.07). A two-tailed, paired
70 sample t-test revealed that the difference between the mean scores is significant ( t = -8.75, df = 143, p <.001). This means that AAM-accredited museum s are above average in their practice of activities identified with ethical behavior with annual gi ving donors and major gift donors, but they practice these ethical activities more w ith major gift donors. Cronbachs alpha for the annual giving donor ethics index is .73. The reliability of the major gift donor ethics index is slightly lower at .70. These alphas repres ent indexes with ve ry high reliability. Examples of activities identifie d with ethical behavior incl ude informing donors about the organizations finances and the us es of their gifts. Results for these items, reported previously, show that senior fundraisers for accredited mu seums perceive their organizations as above average in reporting to major gift donors, with a mean score of 7.36 (SD = 1.88). The mean score for annual giving donors is 6.69 (SD = 2.13). The di fference between the two mean scores is statistically significant, meaning that, according to senior fundraisers, AAM-accredited museums report about their organizations fi nances to major gift donors signi ficantly more than to annual giving donors. Though both items are above average, th e mean scores are the lowest of any items that comprise the ethics indexes. For the item measuring the extent to which accredited museums tell annual giving donors how their gifts were used, the mean score is 7.13 (SD = 2.39). The mean score for major gift donors is 7.75 (SD = 2.18). The difference between the two mean scores is statistically significant ( t = -4.93, df = 141, p <.001), according to a two-tailed, paired sample t-test. This means that accredited museums are above average in telling annual giving donors and major gift donors how their gifts are used, but they tell major gift donors significantly more than annual giving donors.
71 Providing a copy of the IRS Form 990 to donor s demonstrates transparency, as well as accountability. Results show that, according to fundraisers, AAM-accredited museums provide both types of donors with a copy of the form w ith relative ease. The mean score for the item measuring the ease with which annual giving donors can obtain a copy of the Form 990 is 8.0 (SD = 1.78). The mean score for the item asking about major gift donors is 8.06 (SD = 1.77). In other words, accredited museums are above averag e in providing donors with access to a copy of their IRS Form 990. Each of the activities just described form donors perceptions of th e organization and its practices. The mean score for the item measuring fundraisers views of how apparent it is to annual giving donors that their organization adhere s to the highest ethica l standards is 7.98 (SD = 1.27). The mean score is higher for the item measur ing activities associated with ethical behavior in relationships with major gift donors (M = 8.16, SD = 1.37). The difference between the two means is statistically significant ( t = -3.31, df = 141, p < .001), according to a two-tailed, paired sample t-test. This means that, according to senior fundraisers, both types of donors are above average in their confidence that AAM-accredi ted museums adhere to the highest ethical standards, but major gift donors are more confident than annual giving donors. Using gift economically and efficiently are important ethical beha viors that should be included in the stewardship pr actices of accredited museums. For the item measuring how confident donors are that their gifts will be used economically and efficiently, the mean score is 7.90 (SD = 1.15) for annual giving donors. For majo r gift donors, the mean score is 8.10 (SD = 1.14). A two-tailed, paired sample t-test showed a statistically significan t difference between the mean scores of the two items ( t = -3.60, df = 140, p <.001). In other words, senior fundraisers
72 perceive that both types of donors are above averag e in their confidence that their gifts are being used economically and efficiently, but major gift donors are significan tly more confident. The mean score for the item measuring the ex tent to which AAM-accredited museums take the concerns of donors and other stakeholders into account when making decisions is 7.46 (SD = 1.68) for annual giving donors and 7.81 (SD = 1.55) for major gift donors. A two-tailed, paired sample t-test revealed a statistically significant difference between the mean scores ( t = -3.67, df = 140, p <.001). This means that, according to seni or fundraisers, AAM-accredited museums are above average in taking donors a nd other stakeholders concerns into account. Still, major gift donors concerns are more like ly to be taken into account. The answer to research question 2 is that museums accredited by the American Association of Museums are above average in th eir inclusion of activities associ ated with ethical behavior in their stewardship practices with annual giving donors and major gift donors, but the organizations include more ethically associated activities in relati onships with major gift donors. Research Question 3 RQ3: To what extent is there a relationship be tw een the practice of stewardship and the amount of money raised by AAM-accredited muse ums during the past year? As previously reported, the amount of private gifts raised by AAM -accredited museums in the year before the study ranged from $178 to $85 million, with a medi an of $1.2 million. Bivariate analysis using a Pearsons correlation test revealed that there is not a statistically significant relationship between the amount of private gifts received by these orga nizations and the practice of stewardship with annual giving donors ( r = .11, p >.05) or major gift donors ( r = .12, p >.05). A museums aboveaverage practice of stewardship doe s not necessarily translate into receiving more private gifts, and the opposite is true as well.
73 Initially these findings seem to signal the di smissal of stewardship as a factor in the amount of money raised, but one must consider that this study does not allow for a multi-year comparison of stewardship and gifts raised at each individual organization. Multi-year, in-depth studies of a sample of museums are needed to de termine if changes in an organizations practice of stewardship impacts the amount of money rais ed. Such studies may produce results different from those of this study. Answering research question 3, then, there is no relationship between the practice of stewardship and the amount of private gifts raised in the last year, but additional studies should be conducted before definitive conclusions can be made. Research Question 4 And Subset Questions Research Question 4a RQ4a: To what exten t do senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums perceive that donors trust the organization? To answer rese arch question 4a, two indexes measuring the perceived levels of trust held by annual givi ng donors and major gift donors were created. As shown in Table 4-3, the mean score for the a nnual giving donor trust index is 7.76 (SD = .95). The major gift donor mean score is 8.04 (SD = .94) There is a significant difference between the two mean scores, according to a tw o-tailed, paired sample t-test (t = -7.56, df = 143, p <.001). Analysis shows that senior fundraisers percei ve that annual giving donor s and major gift donors have above-average levels of trust in AAM-accr edited museums, but that major gift donors have significantly more trust than annual giving donors. The indexes are moderately reliable with a Cronbachs alpha value of .63 for the annual gi ving donor index and .70 for the major gift donor index. Keeping promises to donors is the most basi c aspect of building trust. For the item measuring the extent to which AAM-accredite d museums keep promises with annual giving
74 donors, the mean score is 8.22 (SD = 1.06). The mean score for the item measuring the extent to which accredited museums keep promises to major gift donors is higher at 8.32 (SD = 1.05). This means that, according to senior fundraisers, AAM-accredited museums are above average in keeping promises made to both types of donors. No significant difference was found between the extent to which accredited muse ums keep promises to annual gi ving donors and the extent to which they keep promises to major gift donors. When a donor feels respected, they are more likely to open up to an organization. The mean score of the item measuring the extent to which senior fundraisers respect annual giving donors is 8.53 (SD = .88). The mean score for majo r gift donors is slightly higher at 8.65 (SD = .75). This means that senior fundraisers perc eive that AAM-accredited museums are above average in their respect for both annual giving d onors and major gift donors. Analysis revealed that there is not a significant difference between the mean scores for items measuring senior fundraisers perceptions of the respect that accredited mu seums have for annual giving donors and the respect they have for major gift donors. When donors are respected, it follows that an organization will take their opinions into account. The mean score for the item measuring the extent to which AAM-accredited museums take major gift donors opinions into account when making decisions is 7.43 (SD = 1.25). For annual giving donors, the mean score is lowe r (M = 6.51, SD = 1.57). The difference between the mean scores for annual giving donors and major gift donors is statistically significant ( t = 8.48, df = 139, p <.001). In other words, senior fundr aisers perceive that AAM-accredited museums are above average in taking both type s of donors opinions into account when making decisions, but they consider major gift donors opinions significantly more.
75 Believing that accredited museums can accomplish wh at they set out to do shows a level of trust. The mean score for the item measuring the level of conf idence that annual giving donors have that accredited museums will accomplish their missions is 7.99 (SD = 1.16). For major gift donors, the mean score is higher (M = 8.19, SD = 1.06). The difference between the two means is statistically significant (t = -3.48, df = 141, p < .001). This means that senior fundraisers believe that both types of donor s are above average in their confidence that AAM-accredited museums will accomplish their missions, but their responses indicate that major gift donors are more confident. When it comes to specific goals and objectives though, the mean scores are lower. For the item measuring senior fundraisers perceptions of annual giving donors confidence that AAMaccredited museums will accomplish their goals a nd objectives, the mean score is 7.50 (SD = 2.29). The mean scores measuring senior fundr aisers perceptions of major gift donors confidence in the same issue is higher at 7.54 (SD = 2.31). This means that senior fundraisers perceive that annual giving donors and major gift donors are both above average in their confidence that AAM-accredited museums can accomplish their goals and objectives. Analysis showed that there is no significant differen ce between major donors confidence and annual donors confidence in accredited museums abili ties to accomplish their goals and objectives. Analysis of the results revealed that the answ er to research questi on 4a is that senior fundraisers perceive that annua l giving donors and major gift donors are above average in their level of trust in AAM-accredited museums, but ma jor gift donors have signi ficantly more trust. Research Question 4b RQ4b: To what exten t do senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums perceive that donors are satisfied with the organi zation? This question sought to answer the extent to which donors are satisfied in their relationships w ith AAM-accredited museums. To answer the
76 research question, two indexes were created. The mean scor e of the annual giving donor satisfaction index is 7.90 (SD = .87), and the mean score of the major gift donor satisfaction index is 8.04 (SD = .92). There is a statistical ly significant difference between the two mean scores, as indicated by a two-ta iled paired sample t-test ( t = -3.54, df = 143, p < .001). In other words, senior fundraisers perceive that annual giving donors and major gift donors to AAMaccredited museums are above average in their sa tisfaction of their relationships with the museums, but major gift donors are significantly more satisfied. High reliability is important when forming indexes, and both indexes meas uring satisfaction are moderately reliable. Cronbachs alpha for the annual giving donor sati sfaction index is .69, and the alpha for the major gift donor satisfaction in dex is even higher at .74. The mean scores for the item measuring th e extent to which annual giving donors enjoy dealing with AAM-accredited museums is 8.08 (SD = 1.01). The mean score for major gift donors is also above average at 8.28 (SD = 1.01). A tw o-tailed, paired sample t-test revealed no significant difference between the extent to which annual giving donors and major gift donors enjoy dealing with acc redited museums. These results m ean both types of donors are above average in their enjoyment of dealing with AAM-accredited museums, according to senior fundraisers. That does not mean that the rela tionship between donors and accredited museums is one-sided. The mean score is 8.26 (SD = 1.12) for th e item measuring the extent to which senior fundraisers perceive that annua l giving donors view their relations hips with accredited museums as mutually beneficial to both parties. The mean score for responses for major gift donors is 8.26 (SD = 1.28). A two-tailed, paired sample t-test s howed a significant difference between the mean scores for annual giving donor s and major gift donors (t = 6.54, df = 138, p <.001). This means that senior fundraisers percei ve that both annual giving and ma jor gift donors are above average
77 in viewing their relationships with AAM-accredited museums as beneficial to both parties, but senior fundraisers perceive that major gift donors hold that view significantly more than annual giving donors. The mean score for the item measuring the extent to which annual giving donors are happy with their interactions with AAM-accredited museums is 7.82 (SD = 1.07). For major gift donors, the mean score is 7.98 (SD = 1.08). In other wo rds, senior fundraisers perceive that both annual giving donors and major gi ft donors are above average in their happiness with their interactions with AAM-accredited museums. L ooking more broadly at the extent to which donors are pleased with their relationships with accredited museums, the mean score for annual giving donors is 7.63 (SD = 1.13). The mean score for major gift donors is 7.99 (SD = .99). This means that senior fundraisers perceive that bo th types of donors are abov e average in the level that they are pleased with their relationships with AAM-accredited museums. Analysis revealed that there are no significa nt differences between senior fundrai sers perceptions of annual giving donors and major gift donors for the extent to which donors are happy with accredited museums or the extent to which they are pleased with their relationships with accredited museums. Also measuring satisfaction was the item, wh ich was originally reversed, stating that AAM-accredited museums satisfy the needs of donors. For annual giving donors, the mean score is 7.70 (SD = 1.91), and the mean score for major gift donors is 7.69 (SD = 2.01). According to senior fundraisers, accredited museums are above average in satisfying th e needs of both annual giving donors and major gift donor s. No significant difference was found between annual giving donors and major gift donors for this item. The answer to research question 4b is that seni or fundraisers perceive above-average levels of satisfaction with their organizations in relationships with both annual giving and major gift
78 donors, but major gift donors were perceived to be more significan tly more satisfied with their relationships with acc redited museums. Research Question 4c RQ4c: To what extent d o senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums perceive that donors are committed to the organization? This ques tion sought to determine the extent to which donors are committed to AAM-accredited museums. To answer this question, two indexes originally comprised of five items each were cr eated. Analysis revealed that removing an item would significantly strengthen the indexes reliability to Cronbach s alphas of .74 for the annual giving donors commitment index and .78 for th e major gift donors commitment index. After these adjustments, the mean score of the annual giving donor commitment index was calculated as 7.40 (SD = 1.06). The mean score fo r the major gift donor commitment index is 7.82 (SD = .10). Conducting a two-taile d, paired sample t-test, th e difference between the two means was found to be statistically significant ( t = -5.29, df = 141, p <.001). This means that senior fundraisers believe that annual giving donors and major gi ft donors are above average in their commitment to AAM-accredited museums, but major gift donors are significantly more committed. One benefit of committed donors is that they are involved with the organization for long periods of time, providing a foundation of suppor t and stability. The mean score for the item measuring the extent to which donors know th at AAM-accredited museums are trying to maintain long-term commitments with them is 7.31 (SD = 1.51) for annual giving donors and 7.85 (SD = 1.20) for major gift donors. There is a significant difference between the two mean scores ( t = -4.52, df = 141, p <.001). These results mean that se nior fundraisers perceive that both annual giving donors and major gift donors are above average in thei r awareness that AAM-
79 accredited museums are trying to maintain a longterm commitment with them, but major gift donors are more aware. Though there is not true competition for private gifts among nonprofit organizations, donors dedication or loyalty to one organization over another is indicative of high levels of commitment. For the items measuring donors commitment to AAM-accredited museums over other nonprofit organizations, th e mean score for annual giving donors is 7.07 (SD = 1.31), and the mean score for major gift donors is 7.43 (S D = 1.31). The difference between the two mean scores is statisti cally significant ( t = -3.94, df = 135, p <.001). In other words, senior fundraisers perceive that annual giving donors and major gift donors are above average in their commitment to AAM-accredited museums above other nonprof it organizations, but major gift donors are significantly more committed. The mean score for the item measuring whet her annual giving donors would rather have a relationship with AAM-accredited museums than not is 7.64 (SD = 1.34). For major gift donors, the mean score is 7.98 (SD = 1.30). A two-tailed, pa ired sample t-test reveled that there is a significant difference between the two mean scores ( t = -3.55, df = 141, p < .001). This means that senior fundraisers perc eive that annual giving donors and major gift donors are above average in their belief that they would rather have a relationship with AAM-accredited museums than not, but major gift donor s hold this belief more. The mean score for the item measuring the ex tent to which there is a long-lasting bond between annual giving donors and accredited museums is 7.53 (SD = 1.41). The mean score for major gift donors is 7.99 (SD = 1.34). Analysis reve aled that there is a statistically significant difference between the two mean scores ( t = -4.09, df = 141, p <.001). In other words, senior
80 fundraisers perceive above-average long-lasti ng bonds with annual giving donors and major gift donors, but more so with major gift donors. The answer to research question 4c is that se nior fundraisers percei ve that annual giving donors and major gift donors are above average in their level of commitment to AAM-accredited museums, but major gift donors are significantly more committed than annual giving donors. Research Question 4 RQ4: To what extent d o senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums believe that relationships with donors are of high quality? To answer research question 4, the three indexes measuring the relationship dimensions of satisfaction, trust, and commitment with annual giving donors and the three indexes measuring the same relationship dimensions with major gift donors were each added to create two indexes measuring the quality of AAM-accredited museums relationships with annual giving donors and major gift donors. The mean score for the annual giving donor overall relationship index is 7.69 (SD = .83). For the major gift donor overall relationship index, the mean score is 7.97 (SD = .87) A two-tailed, paired sample t-test revealed that the difference between the means of the relationship dimensions for annual giving donors and major gift donors is st atistically significant ( t = -8.85, df = 143, p <.001). In other words, senior fundraisers perceive that annual giving donors and major gift donors both have relationships with AAM-accredited museums that ar e above average in quality, but the quality of major gift donors relationships with accredited museums is better than annual giving donors. The reliability for the annual giving donor overall relationship index is very strong with a Cronbachs alpha of .83. For the major donor relations hip dimension index, the reliability is even stronger with an alpha of .90. Of the indexes measuring relationship dimens ions, satisfaction has the highest mean for major gift donors (M = 8.04, SD = 0.92) and annual giving donors (M = 7.90, SD = 0.87). These
81 results indicate that senior fundraisers perc eive that donors to accredited museums are very satisfied with their relationshi ps with the organizations. The answer to research question 4 is that se nior fundraisers perceive that AAM-accredited museums have relationships with annual givi ng donors and major gift donors that are above average in quality, but the quality of relationships with major gift donors is significantly greater. Research Question 5 RQ5: To what extent is there a relationship be tw een the practice of stewardship and the quality of museum-donor relationships? Answ ering this research question required the comparison of the stewardship indexes and the re lationship dimension indexes that were created to answer previous research questions. In summar y of previous discussion, the mean score of the annual giving donor stewardship index is 7.59 (SD = .98), and the major gift donor stewardship index is 7.92 (SD = .92). The mean score of the annual giving donor overall relationship index is 7.69 (SD = .83). The mean score of the major gi ft donor overall relations hip index is higher 7.97 (SD = .87). The reliability of the four i ndexes is strong. Cronbachs alpha for the stewardship indexes is .78 for annual giving donors and .77 for major gift donors. Cronbachs alpha for the annual donor overall relationship index is .83. The alpha for the major gift donor overall relationship index is .90. Results from a Pearson correlation test showed a strong, statistically significant correlation (R = .79, p < .01) between the practice of stewardshi p and the perception of the quality of relationships with annual giving donors. R2 = .62, meaning the practice of stewardship explains 62% of the variance in quality of relationships with annual giving donors. An even stronger correlation (R = .81, p < .01) was found between the practice of stewardship and the perception of the quality of relationships with major gift donors (R2 = .66). These results indicate that with
82 the increased practice of stewardship comes highe r quality relationships with both annual giving donors and major gift donors. The opposite is true as well; when an organization practices less stewardship, the quality of th e organizations relationships with both types of donors likely suffers. The answer to research question 5 is that there is a strong and significant relationship between the practice of stewards hip and the quality of AAM-accr edited museums relationships with annual giving donors and major gift donors. ROPES Model In addition to the findings that were analy zed and interpreted to answer the research questions, th e study posed a multi-part question about the amount of time that senior fundraisers or members of their staff spend on each step of the ROPES process of fundraising. Using an open-ended format, respondents were asked to gi ve a percentage of time spent on conducting formative research, formulating objectives, planning programming, implementing programming, evaluating efforts, and practicing stewardship. This study represents only the second time that the ROPES process has been measured in quantitative research. It is recalled from chapter 2 that in 2000, Kelly (2001a) conducted a telephone survey of memb ers of the Association of Fundraising Professi onals (AFP) who held Ph.D.s., which measured ROPES using a sim ilar open-ended question. The study found that, on average, fundraisers spend 14.3% of their time on research, 13.8% on objectives, 39.3% on programming, 11.5% on evaluation, and 20.9% on stewardship. The findings from this thesis study are presente d in Table 4-4, and are somewhat similar to those of Kelly (2001a) and the norms she establis hed. It is recalled from chapter 2 that the ROPES model dictates that f undraisers should spend 20% of their time conducting research (Kelly, 2008). Senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums reported that they or a member of
83 their staff spend an average of 10.35% of their time conducting research (SD = 6.20), an amount considerably less than that reported by Kellys AFP memb ers. Responses ranged from 0% to 30%. Kelly asserted that fundraisers should spend 15% of their time form ing objectives (Kelly, 2008). Museum fundraisers spend an average of 11.02% of their time on formulating objectives, although there is large variation in their responses (SD = 9.05). For this item, the responses ranged from 0% to 65%. To gain a more detailed understanding of time spent on the programming step, it was divided into planning and implementing for this study. Kellys model states that fundraisers should spend 15% of their time on planning and 15% on implementation (Kelly, 2008). Results showed that respondents spent an average of 20.31% of their time planning programming (SD = 10.12) and 28.39% implementing programming (SD = 14.64), which totals 48.70% spent on programming. Senior fundraisers responses for the percentage of time spent on planning ranged from 2% to 50%. For implementation, the responses ranged from 0% to 80%. Determining success of fundraising effort s through evaluation takes 8.26% of the fundraisers time (SD = 5.19), a perc entage that is considerably less that Kellys recommended 20%. The practice of stewardship commands 21.70% (SD = 15.18) of senior fundraisers time, a mean score extremely close to Kellys finding. The responses for the percentage of time spent on evaluation ranged from 0% to 25%. The reported time spent on stewardship ranged from 0% to 80%. The results support Kellys theory that fundrai sing involves much more than the act of solicitation; it follows a systematic process capt ured in the ROPES model, although time spent on individual steps appears to vary among different populations.
84 It should be noted that the hi gh percentage of time respondent s reported for the practice of stewardship could have been biased by the questionnaires obvious emphasis on stewardship and continuing relationships with donor s. The researcher tried to a void this bias by placing the ROPES items at the beginning of the questionnai re, before respondents would answer questions about their museums relationships with donors, but the research method used allows respondents to answer items in the order in which they choose.
85 Table 4-1. Mean scores on stewar dship and its elements for annua l giving and major gift donors Item Annual giving donors Major gift donors mean (SD) mean (SD) Reciprocity The organization acknowledges gifts in a 7.89 (2.17) 7.97 (2.22) timely and appropriate manner. (Originally reversed) Donors are confident that the organization 8.04 (1.06) 8.39 ( .90) appreciates their gifts. The organization always sends thank-you 8.78 ( .90) 8.72 (1.25) letters for gifts. Because of their past giving, donors are 7.92 (1.47) 8.23 (1.51) recognized as friends by the organization. Reciprocity indexes 8.17 ( .97) 8.34 ( .96) Cronbachs alpha .55 .47 Responsibility Donors have confidence that the organization 7.90 (1.15) 8.10 (1.14) will use their gifts economically and efficiently. Organizational decision making takes into 7.46 (1.68) 7.81 (1.55) account the concerns of donors and other stakeholders. It is apparent to donors that the organization 7.98 (1.27) 8.16 (1.37) adheres to the highest ethical standards. Responsibility indexes 7.79 (1.12) 8.03 (1.13) Cronbachs alpha .73 .79 Reporting The organization informs donors about its 6.69 (2.13) 7.36 (1.88) finances. Donors can easily obtain the organizations 8.0 (1.78) 8.06 (1.77) most recent IRS Form 990. The organization tells donors how it has 7.13 (2.39) 7.75 (2.18) used their gifts. (Originally reversed) The organizations annual report details how 7.46 (2.67) 7.48 (2.64) much money was raised in that year. Reporting indexes 7.30 (1.55) 7.66 (1.41) Cronbachs alpha .62 .53 Relationship Nurturing The organization welcomes donors 7.37 (1.54) 7.95 (1.22) involvement.
86 Table 4-1. Continued. Item Annual giving donors Major gift donors mean (SD) mean (SD) The organization is more concerned with 6.58 (2.17) 6.77 (2.31) its relationships with donors than with its fiscal well-being. (Originally reversed) Donors do not only hear from the 7.39 (2.26) 7.51 (2.22) organization when it is soliciting gifts. (Originally reversed) Donors receive personalized attention 6.88 (1.71) 8.28 (1.21) from the organization. Relationship nurturing indexes 7.09 (1.33) 7.64 (1.26) Cronbachs alpha .62 .64 Overall stewardship indexes 7.59 ( .98) 7.92 ( .92) Cronbachs alpha .78 .77 (N = 144)
87 Table 4-2. Mean scores on ethica l activities in stewardship for annual giving and major gift donors Item Annual giving donors Major gift donors mean (SD) mean (SD) The organization informs donors about its 6.69 (2.13) 7.36 (1.88) finances. The organization tells donors how it has used 7.13 (2.39) 7.75 (2.18) their gifts. (Originally reversed) Organizational decision making takes into 7.46 (1.68) 7.81 (1.55) account the concerns of donors and other stakeholders. Donors can easily obtain the organizations 8.0 (1.78) 8.06 (1.77) most recent IRS Form 990. It is apparent to donors that the organization 7.98 (1.27) 8.16 (1.37) adheres to the highest ethical standards. Donors have confidence that the organization 7.90 (1.15) 8.10 (1.14) will use their gifts economically and efficiently. Ethics indexes 7.54 (1.17) 7.88 (1.07) Cronbachs alpha .73 .70 (N=144)
88 Table 4-3. Mean scores for re lationship dimensions for annua l giving and major gift donors Item Annual giving donors Major gift donors mean (SD) mean (SD) Trust Donors believe that the organization takes 6.51 (1.57) 7.43 (1.25) their opinions into account when making decisions. Donors feel confident about the organizations 7.99 (1.16) 8.19 (1.06) ability to accomplish its mission. The organization respects its donors. 8.53 ( .88) 8.65 ( .75) Donors believe that the organization has the 7.50 (2.29) 7.54 (2.31) ability to meet its goals and objectives. (Originally reversed) The organization can be relied upon to keep 8.22 (1.06) 8.32 (1.05) its promises. Trust indexes 7.76 ( .95) 8.04 ( .94) Cronbachs alpha .63 .70 Satisfaction Most donors enjoy dealing with the 8.08 (1.01) 8.28 ( .96) organization. Most donors are happy with their interactions 7.82 (1.07) 7.98 (1.08) with the organization. Generally speaking, donors are pleased with 7.63 (1.13) 7.99 ( .99) the relationship the organization has established with them. The organization satisfies the needs of its 7.70 (1.91) 7.70 (2.01) donors. (Originally reversed) Both the organization and its donors benefit 8.26 (1.12) 8.26 (1.28) from the relationship. Satisfaction indexes 7.90 ( .87) 8.04 ( .92) Cronbachs alpha .69 .74 Commitment It is apparent to donors that the organization 7.31 (1.51) 7.85 (1.20) is trying to maintain a long-term commitment with them. Compared to other nonprofit organizations, 7.07 (1.36) 7.43 (1.31) donors value their relationship with this organization more. Donors would rather have a relationshi p with 7.64 (1.34) 7.98 (1.30) this organization than not. There is a long-lasting bond between the 7.53 (1.41) 7.99 (1.34) organization and its donors.
89 Table 4-3. Continued. Item Annual giving donors Major gift donors mean (SD) mean (SD) Commitment indexes 7.40 (1.06) 7.82 (1.01) Cronbachs alpha .74 .63 Overall relationship indexes 7.69 ( .83) 7.97 ( .87) Cronbachs alpha .83 .90 (N=144)
90 Table 4-4. Mean percentages of time spent on steps of the ROPES fundraising process Variable This Study Theoretical Mean % (SD) Norm % N =144 (Kelly, 1998) Research 10.35 ( 6.20) 20 Objectives 11.02 ( 9.05) 15 Programming 48.70 Total 30 Planning 20.31 (10.12) -Implementing 28.39 (14.64) -Evaluation 8.26 ( 5.19) 15 Stewardship 21.70 (15.18) 20
91 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION The purpose of this study was to advance unders tanding of the stewardship step of Kellys (1998) ROPES m odel by studying a random sample of senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums. Specifically, the study sought to answer research questions about the extent to which stewardship and each of its elements are practiced by the museums, the extent to which ethical behaviors are included in the st ewardship practices of accredited museums, and whether there is a relationship between the practice of stewards hip and the amount of money raised. The study also measured the extent to which senior fundr aisers believe relations hips with donors are of high quality, and whether there is a relationshi p between the practice of stewardship and the quality of donors relationshi ps with the organization. The Practice of Stewardship and its Elements AAM-accredited m useums status as an elite gr oup of leaders in their field that have undergone a thorough investigation of their fundraising processes could be a reason that they practice stewardship to a high degree. The muse ums studied follow the best practices of the fundraising profession, and how th e organizations conduct the fundr aising process factors into the accreditation decision. If non-accredited museums were to be studied, there is a strong possibility that the results would vary, because non-accredited museums do not have the same professional oversight and regulation. By practicing stewardship at such a high level, accredited museums also validate the fundraising step itself. The groups rec ognition and apparent commitment to stewardship supports the assertion that stewardship is practical and effective in helping fundraising departments me et objectives and achieve goals. The difference found between the practice of stewardship with annual giving donors and major gift donors is significant. For most mu seums, the large number of annual giving donors
92 and the high cost of many methods of communication prevent highly personalized communication with all donors. This difference is not only practical; it makes theoretical sense as well. Major gift donors give more money than annual giving donors to the organization; therefore, more is required on the part of the orga nization to balance relati onships with major gift donors. To keep this balance, organizations show appreciation a nd recognize donors, act responsibly, report about the stat us of the gifts and their uses, and build on the relationships through continued communication. Reciprocity The findings reveal that reciprocity is th e stewardship elem ent practiced most among AAM-accredited museums. Carried out through acts of appreciation and recognition, reciprocity is an important part of continuing organizati ons relationships with annual giving donors and major gift donors after gifts are made. Similar to other findings that will be explored, reciprocity is practiced significantly less with annual giving donors than ma jor gift donors. The variation is not only indicative of how much reciprocity is practiced but also how it is practiced. Recognition, a key part of reciprocity, can be carried out publicly or privately, but at its most basic, recognition require s that fundraisers know a donor on a personal level. Findings show that major gift donors are recognized as fri ends more than annual giving donors. Inherent in major gift giving is a much longer cultivati on process, allowing time for rapport and feelings of friendship to grow between fundraisers and donors. Less personal are a ppeals to annual giving donors, who often receive requests through the mail. Because the relationship with annual giving donors is more detached, it is understandable that the results reveal this difference between the practice of reciprocity with th e two types of donors. Although th e difference is understandable, fundraisers still should seek to increase more meaningful communication with annual giving donors, because the best prospects for future gi fts are previous donors. It is the annual giving
93 donors who might one day increase their giving a nd become major gift donors. Their word-ofmouth support of the organization could also attract new donors. Responsibility At the m ost basic level, res ponsibility requires that an orga nization keeps its promises to donors, honoring their intentions for the gift. Closely associated with the ethical practice of fundraising, responsibility also encompasses social responsibili ty, recognizing the need for accountability to society as a whole. Results showed that AAM-accredited museums understand the importance of responsibility, because the organizations are above average in their practice of responsibility with both types of donors. As in the practice of other stewardship elements, analysis revealed that AAM-accredited museum s practice responsibility with major gift donors significantly more than with annual giving donors. This was so mewhat disturbing, because one would think that there would be one standard of responsibility a pplied to all gifts, without a distinction between the two types of donors. One of the significant differences was found in the responses to the statement that the organization took donors concerns into account. Results showing that major gift donors concerns were taken into account more than annual giving donors reveal an understandable value placed upon major gift donors by senior fundraisers. While it is important that the concerns of major gift donors are taken into account, accre dited museums should place a greater importance on listening to and considering annual giving donors concerns Most donors who voice unease are acting with the best interest of the organization at heart. These publics provide an outside perspective of the organization and can be va luable in providing accountability not only to donors but also to society. Donors concerns are often about how gifts ar e spent, especially during times of economic unease and budgetary restraints. Acco rding to respondents, it was si gnificantly more apparent to
94 major gift donors than annual giving donors that gifts were used economically and efficiently. The difference could be explained by exploring the uses of rest ricted dollars and unrestricted dollars. Typically given by annual giving donors, unrestricted dollars are often used to pay for administrative and fundraising costs. The details a bout how each gift is spent are rarely shared with the donor. Compared with major gifts, that are often restricted and require a detailed summary of expenditures, annual gift s are more likely to be misused because of the flexibility of gift use given to organizations. Th e disparity might also be the re sult of differences in reporting to the two types of donors. Reporting Reporting, which is essentially keeping donors in form ed, builds confidence and trust in the organization. It is essential for the transparent governance of organizations and for the practice of ethical fundraising. According to the results, AAM-accredi ted museums were above the midpoint of the scale in reporting to both a nnual giving donors and major gift donors, meaning that they are above average in this aspect. The higher level of reporting to major gift donors is indicative of several factors. First are fundraisers understandings that th e best prospects for future gi fts are previous donors. Keeping major gift donors informed through effective repor ting demonstrates a continued interest in donors and the desire to deepen the organizations relationships with them, possibly leading to additional gifts in the future. Secondly, reporti ng to major gift donors is often a contractual requirement to receive the gift. Large gifts ar e often accompanied by legally binding contracts outlining certain obligations that must be fulf illed by the organization. Reporting to donors about the uses of gifts is often a require ment stated in the contracts. Whether reporting is obligatory or not, results showed that accredited museums are above average at telling major gift donors and annua l giving donors how their gifts are used. A
95 significant difference did exist be tween reporting gift use to the two types of donors. Major gifts donors were more likely than a nnual giving donors to be told how their gift was used. As discussed previously, this could be the result of legal requirements or the hesitance to tell annual giving donors that their gifts paid for administra tive costs instead of a more exciting, visible project. Informing donors about how their gifts are us ed is an essential part of building trust. If donors understand how their gift helped the organizat ion, they are more likely to have favorable attitudes about the organi zation and give again. Reporting should not just include informati on about the use of donors gifts but also information about the organization as a whol e. Although respondents pe rceive accredited museums as above average in their reporting abou t their organizations finances, there is still room for improvement with major gift donor s and annual giving donors. Easy to compile, information about the organizations finances could be placed in the annual report or on the Web site. Reporting about the organization and the us es of donors gifts adva nces the fundraising process by making it more ethical and effective. Relationship Nurturing Concentrating on relationshipsnot just m oney raiseddem onstrates an advanced understanding of the fundraising process and its goals. By focusing on developing and deepening relationships with donors through the element of relationship nur turing, the fundraising process becomes cyclical (Kelly, 1998). The continuance of the relationship is the renewal of the cultivation process, because the best prospects for future gifts are past donors. Results showed that AAM-accredited museums are engaged in re lationship nurturing with donors more than an average organization. Part of deepening these relationships is continuing communication with donors even when the organization is not soliciting gifts. At accredit ed museums, senior fundraisers and their staff
96 are better than an av erage organization at communicating with donors at times other than solicitation. Results show that major gi ft donors and annual giving donors receive communication from the organization when it is not soliciting gifts. Fundraisers recognize both groups as important; major gift donors provide the largest amount of dollars to an organization, and annual giving donors provide a consiste nt and reliable source of funding. Organizations do not only communicate wi th major gift donors more, but they communicate in different ways. As explained in chapter 2, major gift donors receive more personalized communication from or ganizations than annual giving donors, an assertion that the results of this study support. This is probabl y because of their smaller numbers and larger contributions. This communication often comes with a donors increased involvement with the organization. According to the results, all donors are encouraged to participate, but major gift donors are encouraged more. They are often asked to speak at events or serve on committees and boards. While involving major gift donors in the or ganization and the decision-making process about the usage of their gifts is important, it is also imperative that the organization remain autonomous, not changing its mission or key goals merely to receive a donors gift. Organizations should encourage all donors to be involved with the organization, because the more that they are involved and informed about th e organization, the more likely they are to give again. To involve annual giving donors, organizati ons could invite them to special events or giver them free admission, encour aging them to attend more. Ethical Fundraising A num ber of scholars and practitioners have id entified stewardships close ties to ethics. Kelly (2001b) asserted that for th e fundraising process to be ethical, it must include stewardship.
97 Rosso (1996) even used the ethical components of trust, responsibility, and accountability when defining stewardship. In setting out to examine the extent to which ethical behavior is included in the stewardship prac tices of accredited museum s, the study found that activities associated with ethical behavior are very pres ent in stewardship practices wi th major gift donors and annual giving donors. The high figures refl ect that AAM-accredited museum s are part of an elite group committed to ethical practices. Criteria for accreditation include requirements that an organization follow best practices if it is to be accredited. If a study were conducted using nonaccredited museums as the population, it would likely produce results that were not as positive. Key activities identified with ethical behavior include reporting to donors about the organizations finances and informing them abou t the uses of their gifts. Embracing open practices, senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums indica ted that they conducted these activities more than the average organizati on would. Demonstrating transparency and a commitment to reporting, these practices exhibit an organizations willingness to be accountable for its actions. An organizati on operating under policies of se crecy provides an environment where unethical actions are more likely to take place. By making the commitment to transparency, an organization aligns itself with opportunities for succe ss and provides the most positive conditions in which relationships with donors can develop. Also indicative of transparen cy is the level of ease in acc essing an organizations IRS Form 990. Completed yearly by nonprofit organiza tions with an income of more than $25,000, the form must be distributed to anyone who requests a copy. Senior fundraisers responses revealed that accessing a copy of the form wa s easy for annual giving donors and major gift donors. One proactive initiative to make the form even more accessible to donors is to provide a
98 copy on the organizations Web site. This action shows an exceptional le vel of transparency, increasing donors trust in the organization. One of the negative findings of the study was a difference between ethical behaviors in the stewardship practices with the tw o donor types. Different ethical standards for relationships with different types of donors are problematic, because it exposes an organizational belief that ethical behavior is flexible. This flexib ility could lead to ethical dilemma s and have a negative effect on donors attitudes toward the orga nization, which is exactly what the results indicate. Analysis revealed that it is more apparent to major gift donors that the or ganization adheres to the highest ethical standards. To inform donors about the et hical standards of orga nizations, organizations could use yearly notes to donors, entries on th e organizations Web site s, or articles in organizations newsletters to clarify and explai n the ethical standards in a manner that would increase donors trust in the organization. Stewardship and Private Gifts Raising m oney to support the mission of a ch aritable organization is the fundamental charge of fundraising, and fundraisers are always interested in ways they can increase the amount of money raised. According to the results, stewardship is not an activity that will directly increase private gifts. Bivariate analysis rev ealed that there is no relationship between the practice of stewardship and th e amount of money raised by AAM-accredited museums during the past year. But before the existence of a relationship between the practice of stewardship and the amount of private gifts an organization receives can be completely discredited, it should be examined further. It is possible that an in-depth, multi-year study conducted to research variations in the stewardship prac tices of a few organizations woul d provide different insight into stewardships relationship with the amount of money raised. Compar ing an organization to itself
99 over a period of several years, determining increa ses and decreases in the practice of stewardship and amounts of money raised, could produce differe nt results than the ones presented in this paper. It should also be noted that there are a numbe r of ways to evaluate the amount of private gifts raised. Just because an organization received a substantial amount of money, it does not mean that the organizations fundraising is effectiv e. This study measured indiscriminate dollars, but private gifts can also be grouped by the amount of money th at supported the mission of the organization or the amount of money that came fr om repeat donors. Continuity of donors may be a better measure of tangible rewa rds for practicing stewardship than indiscriminate dollars raised during one year because of the long-term impli cations. This is a subject that needs further research before definitive conclusions can be made. Though the studys findings offer a significant contribution to the field and to public relations theory, the results shou ld be approached with a thought ful mind to the true purpose of fundraising. According to Kelly (1998), Fund ra ising is the management of relationships between a charitable organization and its donor publics (p. 8). Although a correlation between the practice of stewardship and th e amount of money rais ed was not found in this study, that does not mean that the practice of stewardship has no positive outcomes. The relationship between the practice of stewardship and the quality of relationships with donors will be explored in depth later in this chapter. Relationship Quality There is no success for museum s if there is not a committed, involved, and diverse base of donors supporting the organization in its pursuit of fulfilling its mission. Keeping strong, high quality relationships with donors is what ensure s longevity and prosperity. Three of Hon and Grunigs (1999) relationship dimensions of trust, satisfaction, and commitme nt are variables that
100 measure the quality of relationships. Analysis re vealed that, according to senior fundraisers, these dimensions are present at high levels in AAM-accredited museums relationships with both annual giving donors and major gift donors. Se nior fundraisers perspectives that the organizations relationships with major gift donors are of a higher quality than relationships with annual giving donors could be explained by the different amounts of communication and involvement that the two donor t ypes have with accredited museums. As previous results show, major gift donors have more communication and involvement with the organization. Through effective communication, organizati ons increase the trust that donors have in the organization, the satisfaction that they have with the organization, and the comm itment that that have to the organization. Trust Com prised of integrity, dependability, and comp etence, trust in the organization must be present to have high-qual ity relationships with do nors. Giving private gift s to organizations is a choice, and if donors do not trust an organization, giving is not a choice that they will likely make. According to senior fundraisers at AAM -accredited museums, annual giving donors and major gift donors have high levels of trust in th e organizations. Trust develops from the belief that the organization respects its donors, keeps its promises, and can accomplish its mission, goals, and objectives. Respecting donors is essential in the formati on of high-quality relati onships that include trust, because a donor must feel valued and ad mired before trusting an organization. Analysis reveled that accredited museums highly respect both annual giving donors and major gift donors. The item measuring respect for donors received the highest mean scores of any item in the questionnaire, showing that it is a common attitu de present in relationships with donors at AAMaccredited museums.
101 Another way that an organization can establish high levels of trust is simply by fulfilling the promises it has made to donors. Results show that accredited museum s are above average in their fulfillment of promises ma de to annual giving donors and major gift donors. This is a basic aspect of trust, because if an organization does not keep its word, a donor is unlikely to believe anything else it has to say. If broken promises are about the donors gift, it is very likely that levels of trust will decrease, negatively affec ting the donors satisfaction with and commitment to the relationship. Beca use donors would be likely to share their experience with others, broken trust could not only cost the or ganization future donations from that donor but also donations from others. Indicative of high levels of tr ust are donors beliefs that an organization can accomplish its mission and short-term goals and objectives. Analysis revealed that although senior fundraisers perceived that both donor types ha d above-average levels of c onfidence that the organization could accomplish its mission and meet its goals and objectives, they were much less confident about the latter. These findings reveal a weakne ss in AAM-accredited museums relationships with donors. If donors are not as confident in th e organizations ability to accomplish specific, short-term goals, there is a need for more communication wi th donors to show how it is progressing and what it is doing to accomplish the goals and objectives. Media through which these updates could come include a blog, a monthly or bi-monthly newslett er, or the organization Web site. Any extra steps that the organization takes to increase leve ls of trust are also likely to increase donors satisfacti on with the relationship. Satisfaction According to Hon and Grunig (199 9), satisfacti on is the extent to which each party feels favorably toward the other because positive expe ctations about the relationship are reinforced (p. 3). As presented in the litera ture review, a satisfyi ng relationship is one in which the positives
102 outweigh the negatives. Analysis of this study s results shows that, according to senior fundraisers, major gift donors and annual givi ng donors relationships with AAM-accredited museums are very satisfying. These high levels of satisfaction show that donors positive expectations about the relationshi ps with the organizations are being reinforced, because they enjoy dealing with the organiza tion and consider the relationshi p to be mutually beneficial. Results show that, according to senior f undraisers, annual giving donors and major gift donors find enjoyment in dealing with the organi zation. Contrary to what some might believe, most donors do not find giving to be a burden. Rather, it is an opport unity to invest in something that they are passionate about. This is suppor ted by the findings that major gift donors and annual giving donors view their relationships w ith accredited museums as mutually beneficial. Through the support of private gifts, organizations can fulfill their missions and accomplish goals and objectives while the donors find joy in supporting an organizatio n with a mission they want to see fulfilled. When donors have high levels of satisfaction with the organization, they are also more likely to be committed to seeing it succeed. Commitment Comm itment is the recogniti on on the part of the donor or organization that the relationship is important and should continue to be nurtured. Committed donors have an interest and an investment in seeing the organization accomplish its mission, goals, and objectives. The findings reveal that, according to senior fundr aisers, annual giving donors and major gift donors have high levels of commitment to accredited museums, which likely contributes to the organizations successes. Without the continuous support of a wide range of donors, accredited museums would not be capable of the excellence for which they are recognized. Short-term commitment does very little to advance the mission of an organization. Focusing on the long term provide s fundraising departments with an established vision of the
103 future, allowing them to make wise decisions abou t relationships with donors. Analysis revealed that it is more apparent to major gift donors th an annual giving donors th at the organization is trying to maintain a long-term commitment w ith them, according to senior fundraisers perceptions. Although it is still above average, this number could be improved by increasing communication with annual giving donors and informing them about the progress of long-term projects. Donors are generous people who are likely to gi ve to multiple organizations. Results show that major gift donors and annual giving donors are likely to value their relationships with accredited museums more than their relationshi ps with other charitable organizations. Though there is not a win-lose competition for dollars among nonprofit organizations, the added interest and investment in the organization often enc ourages committed donors to make additional gifts or gifts of a greater amount. Stewardship and Relationship Quality One of the more significant findings of the study was the positive relationship between the practice of stewardship and the quality of organizations relati onships with donors. Pearsons correlation tests revealed strong re lationships between the practice of stewardship and the quality of relationships with both annual giving donor s and major gift donors. Although measured only through the view of senior f undraisers, representing just th e organizations side of the relationship, findings show that the higher the practice of reci procity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurturing, the more donors trust, are satisfied with, and are committed to the organization. The reverse also holds. Although causation was not analyzed, results strongly suggest that the more a charitable nonprofit or ganization practices stew ardship, the higher the quality of its relationshi ps with donors will be.
104 The results are important, because they contri bute to the practice of fundraising and public relations theory. The findings provi de fundraisers with an empiri cally supported prescription to improve the quality of relationships with both ty pes of donors. This practical information has the potential to positively impact the way fundraisers car ry out the definition of their function, the management of relationships between a charita ble organization and its donor publics (Kelly, 1998, p. 8). The findings also contribute to public relati ons theory by deepening the understanding of stewardship. Adding to Waters (2007) findings that reciprocity, reporting, responsibility, and relationship nurturing had the highe st mean scores for both majo r gift donors and annual giving donors, this study shows that the elements are widely practiced among senior fundraiser at AAM-accredited museums. In addition, the study supported his findings that the elements of stewardship are practiced mo re with major gift donors th an annual giving donors. These findings should encourage the widespr ead implementation of the appreciation and recognition of donors, responsible gift use and so cially responsible behavior, reporting about donors gifts and the organizations finances, a nd the nurturing of relationships between donors and the organizations. The findings also offer a significant contribution to fundraising theory by supporting Kellys (1998) asserti on that without the elements of stewardship, fundraising would be incomplete. Without the practice of recipr ocity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurturing, the quality of relationships with donors w ould likely be very low, failing to realize the purpose of fundraising, effectively managing relationships be tween donors and a nonprofit organization. ROPES Model As this was only the second tim e that the ROPE S model has been meas ured in qualitative research, the results are especially significan t in understand ing how the model is practiced.
105 Analysis revealed that the percentage of tim e spent on some steps in the ROPES model is substantially different that th e percentage of time that Kelly (2008) recommends. The results showed that senior fundraise rs at accredited museums condu ct research far less than recommended. This lack of research is lik ely preventing accredited museums from taking advantage of all of their opportunities and achieving the greatest possible level of success. Increased research could identi fy new prospects or ways to connect with previous donors. Additionally, more research could identify strengths and wea knesses of an organizations fundraising process. The study found similar differences in the time spent formulating objectives and conducting evaluation. These lower percentages are troubling, because without objectives, an organizations plan for the fundraising process ha s no specified outcome. This could lead to a waste of resources and time. Th e lower percentage of time spent on evaluation does not provide organizations with the opportunity to evaluate the success or failure of certain tactics or the fundraising process as a whole. If organizations are able to evalua te the fundraising process, they will gain useful information for future improveme nt. It is possible that the two percentages are related. Evaluation is often conducted by determini ng if organizations fulfilled the objectives that were put forth. Because organizations are spendi ng less time on forming objectives, it is likely that they do not know what to eval uate. The results also showed a large percentage of time spent on programming, which is comprised of planning and implementing. It is of interest that the percentage of time that senior fundraisers at AAM-accredited museums report that they practice stewardship is within a few percentage points of Kellys (2008) suggested time allotment. This supports her assertions, giving credibil ity to the claim that the theory is both descri ptive and normative.
106 Implications for the Practice There has never been a more urgent tim e to understand fundraising and explore ways to make it more effective. Museums across the nation are cutting budgets, programs, and staff members. Through layoffs and attrition, the Philade lphia Museums of Art is eliminating 30 staff positions (Itzkoff, 2009). It is joined by countle ss others, such as the High Museum of Art eliminating 7% of its workforce and the Detroit Institute of Arts laying off 20% of its employees. With the state of the economy devastating museums endowments and prompting sweeping funding cuts from the government, museums must rely on their own mean s to raise the money needed to fulfill their missions. For some museums, there is not enough priv ate support to survive. On February 28, 2009, the Las Vegas Art Museum closed its doors, citi ng its heavy reliance on ra pidly declining private funding as the reason (Peterson, 200 9). According to the former ex ecutive director, Alex Codlin, it is a problem that museums across the nati on are facing. In an ar ticle published by the Las Vegas Sun, he commented that other museums are lik ely staying open because they have more established donors or bigger endowments (paragraph 11). Building an established base of donors is precisely what stewardship is about. This study provides evidence that the practice of reciproc ity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurturing is correlated with the quality of relati onships with donors. For enlightened fundraisers, who understand fundraising is about building rela tionships and not just raising money, the findings are practical and applic able. Senior fundraisers should increase the practices of appreciation and recognition th rough actions such as sending thank-you letters or displaying donors names on recognition walls or in annual reports. By using gifts economically and efficiently, they would act in a responsible ma nner. Increasing the amount and type of reporting by telling donors about the organizat ions finances and the uses of their gifts through outlets such
107 as annual reports and Web sites would also enhance the quality of relationships with donors. Finally, taking the time and effort to nurture relationships with donor s by welcoming their involvement and continuing communication in times other than solicitation would increase donors trust, satisfaction, and commitment, building a base of donors who are likely to consistently support the orga nization in the future. The findings revelation that AAM-accredited museums are above average in their practice of stewardship and their quality of relati onships with donors reflects positively on the fundraising practices of respondent s. Still, the study identified areas in which AAM-accredited museums could improve, namely in the practice of stewardship with annual giving donors. The significant difference between annual giving dono rs and major gift donors in every index indicates an opportunity for muse ums to improve the interactions with, and subsequently the relationships with, annual giving donors. As discussed in chapter 2, annual giving donors are the lifeblood ( p. 101) of charitable organizations (Greenfield, 1999). Though gifts from major gift donors contribute substantially to the fulfillment of organizations missions, it is an nual donors that can be counted upon to support organizations throughout the years. Consistent su pport from a broad base of donors is especially important during times of economic turmoil. Add itionally, if senior fundraisers choose to focus on major gift donors instead of building a broad base of donors, Congress could revoke special privileges, such as tax exemptions, th at are given to nonprofit organizations Another opportunity for improvement for accredit ed museums is in the area of research. Senior fundraisers reported that they or a member of their st aff spent only 10.35% of their time on research, half of the 20% that Kelly (2008) recommends. By failing to conduct more research, accredited museums are undoubtedly missing opportuni ties to build bonds with prospective
108 donors and strengthen bonds with previous donors. As discussed in chapter 2, research is the most important step in the fundraising process (Kelly, 1998). According to Kelly, research can reveal whether the opportunity fits with the prospective donors in terests, which is essential for the process to be ethical. Fundrai sers should research their orga nization, the opportunity they are provided with, and the publics with whom they will be communicating. Also, senior fundraisers reporte d that they form objectives and conduct evaluation less than Kelly (2008) recommends. Objectives play an es sential role in guiding the remainder of the fundraising process. As discussed in chapter 2, they provide direction when planning, offering guidance for fundraisers and criteria for eval uation (Broom & Dozier, 1990). Evaluation is another step in which senior fundraisers should improve their practices. Evaluation provides organizations with ways in which they can impr ove their practices, becoming more effective or efficient. Conducting internal a nd external evaluation would provi de organization with useful information that could impact future efforts. Impact on Fundraising and Public Relations Theory The studys most significant co ntributions are from the exam ination of Kellys (1998) ROPES model of fundraising, a model about wh ich there are few published studies. Adapting Waters (2007) items and testing new items, the study contributes to future research by providing new items measuring the practice of the four stewardship elements. The findings validate Kellys model, showing that there is a relationship between the practice of stewardship and the quality of or ganizations relationships with donors. These findings are foundational, allowing future studies to build upon th em and investigate the model with other research questions. Additionally, the study provides desc riptions of the practice of stewardship and the quality of donors relationships with organi zations that are part of a previously unstudied population.
109 The study also contributes to the advancem ent of relationship management theory. Studying three of Hon and Grunigs (1999) relationship dimensions, it validates the existence of trust, satisfaction, and commitment in relationships with donors. Furthermore, it establishes a positive correlation between the practice of stewardship and the presence of these outcomes in organizations relationships with donors. The co ntributions of the study undoubtedly advance the understanding of the ROPES m odel, relationship management theory, and the population studied, but they also provi de a foundation on which future studies may ground research. Limitations of the Study By exam ining a little-resear ched population and subject, this study has successfully addressed a number of deficiencies in the body of knowledge about stewardship and the quality of museums relationships with donors. Sti ll, it has several limitations that should be acknowledged. Although the studys findings could be genera lized because the respondents did not differ significantly from the population, the response rate was only 36%. A higher response rate would have provided more confidence in the generalization of the findings. It is likely that the response rate could have been higher were it not for the budgetary constraints of conducting a study of this type and magnitude. The utilization of mail questi onnaires necessitated high costs in the areas of printing and postage. Was it not for the additiona l costs that would have been incurred by the researcher, added waves of reminder postcards woul d have been sent to members of the sample, likely increasing the response rate. The low reliability of some indicators also re vealed a limitation of the study and a need to improve the measurement of some variables, su ch as responsibility and commitment. Showing a wide range of reliability, the 20 indexes created for the study had Cronbachs alpha values ranging from .47 to .90. This variation is not un usual given that many of the indexes had not
110 been tested previously. The removal of items to strengthen the reliability of the responsibility and commitment indexes was not ideal, but proved to be a necessity. The study examines the practices of stewards hip and the quality of relationships with annual giving donors and major gift donors. In light of the significant differences between the two groups, there is the po ssibility that significant differenc es also exist among other groups as well. Planned giving donors are a type of major donor but factors such as th e nature of the gift and the timing of its receipt may impact the donors relationships with organizations in ways that differ from major gift donors. Also, differences could exist between the way stewardship is practiced with individuals and the way it is practiced with corporat e and foundation donors. Studying these groups could have given a more co mprehensive account of accredited museums relationships with donors of all types. The studys chosen population of AAM-accredited museums only represents a fraction of museums across the nation. Though this limited popul ation provided an excel lent opportunity for foundational research, it is composed of mu seums that have all undergone the rigorous accreditation process. Because of this, the muse ums have similar standards and practices. A study including non-accredited museums would provi de a more comprehensive description of the practices of the field as a w hole, looking not only at the elite but also at struggling museums. Additionally, the sampling frame only included museums that employed a senior fundraiser, which was about half of a ll accredited museums. Another limitation inherent in the design of the study was the reliance on the perspective of the fundraiser to judge stewards hip practice and relationships w ith donors. With a study using this design, there is the possibility that senior fundraisers misjudge relationships with donors. Ideally, a coorientation study of sample populati ons of donors and the senior fundraisers would
111 have been conducted. This would have provided a more accurate description of the relationships between AAM-accredited museum s and their donors. This ty pe of study would require a significant amount of time, resources, and coope ration from a number of accredited museums, most of which were not available for this study. Finally, the inability to show causal re lationships among variables weakens the conclusions one is able to draw from the re sults. Although survey re search allows for the formation of correlations, it cannot be determined with certainty that these correlations equate to causal relationships. To arrive at these conclusions, one must conduct an experiment, a difficult if not impossible task when dealing with this subject matter and population. The alternative is to conduct multi-variate analysis. Suggestions for Future Research The process of preparing for and conducting this study has given rise to num erous suggestions for future research. Many of these suggestions are meant to build upon the conclusions of the study, and a ll present studies that would contribute to the body of knowledge about fundraising, stewardship, and the quality of organizations relati onships with donors. Building directly upon this study, one could form focus groups comprised of 8 to 12 respondents to explore why respondents answered the items th e way that they did. This type of research would provide insight into res pondents reasoning and possibly illu minate aspects of the subject matter that researchers have not previously identified. This research method would be particularly effective, be cause there are few published studies about stewardship. To achieve an understanding of the field in its entirely, researchers could also study museums that are not accredited by the AAM. The results of a study examining a population of non-accredited museums could be compared with re sults from the study presented in this paper.
112 The results would reveal any differences betwee n the two groups practices of stewardship and quality of relationships with donors. As mentioned in the previous section, studying the donors and not just relying on fundraisers perceptions of the relationships would provide a more comprehensive description of accredited museums relationships with donors. Th e use of a coorientation study similar to the study conducted by Waters (2007) would reveal the possibility of inaccurate views from fundraisers who misinterpret the organizations practice of stewardship or quality of relationships with donors. For future research ers with the time and money, this study could provide insightful data about bot h sides of the relationship. The findings of third research question necessitate further study to determine if there is a relationship between the pract ice of stewardship and the amount of money raised by organizations. Although the study presented in th is paper contributes to the body of knowledge about a possible relationship between the practice of stewardship and the amount of private gifts received, there are deficiencies in the conclusions, leaving other avenues of research open. As stated in the results section, a multi-year, in-depth study looking at variations in the practice of stewardship and the possible relationship with the amount of money raised by individual museums could produce data with the depth and br eadth to answer this question conclusively. Researchers could also study the amount of mone y raised from donors who have given before or the amount of money raised that suppor ts the mission of the organization. One of the limitations of the study was the us e of indexes that had low reliability. Though disappointing, the low relia bility of some items is not surprising as many of the items were modified from previous studies, testing some items for the first time. This provides opportunities for future researchers to build upon the items used in this study and develop and test new items
113 to measure reciprocity, responsib ility, reporting, and relationship nurturing. Developing reliable items to measure the elements of stewardshi p would advance the study of the fundraising in general and stewardship in pa rticular, providing countless cont ributions to the field and simultaneously building theory. Future researchers could also conduct an experiment to study the causal effects of stewardship elements on intention to give or probability of repeat giving. Researchers could provide a sample of students with pretend curre ncy. The researchers coul d recreate tactics used in the practice of stewardship to see how this impacts the samples intention to give, their probability of giving, or even th e amount of money they give. There is also an opportunity fo r researchers to conduct stud ies using more sophisticated analyses, for example, conducting multiple regr ession analysis of stewardship elements on relationship quality. Conducting more in-depth analyses provides researchers with a better understanding of the results. Another contribution to theory building w ould be a study of planned giving donors. Although these donors are a type of major gift donor, there are unique circumstances affecting their relationship with the organizations receivi ng their gifts. Chief among these is the delayed reception of the gift. Using surveys, focus groups, or an in-depth interviews, future researchers could determine if the unique conditions surroun ding the gifts of planned giving donors impact the practice of stewardship and the quality of relationships. The study could also be conducted with corporate and foundation donors. Lastly, variables and indicators used in the study could be applied to studies of other populations. The field of fundrai sing is broad, and there is a need for information about fundraising at all types of char itable organizations, including uni versities, hospitals, churches,
114 and human services organizations. Research-based contributions to knowle dge about stewardship and the quality of charitable or ganizations relationships with donors would not only strengthen fundraising practice bu t also its theory.
115 APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRE This questionnaire should take about 15 minutes to co mplete. It is important that you answer every item. Your confidentiality and that of your organization are guaranteed. Throughout the questionnaire, your organization, whether it is an art museum, history museum, aquarium, zoo, or any other type of institution, will be referred to as an organization. Please answer the following questions based upon the organization where you work. 1. Classify the primary discipline of your organization. (check one) ___ Art museums and center ___ History museum ___ Historic houses/site ___ General museum ___ Natural history museum ___ Science/technology museum ___ Specialized museum ___ Arboretums/ botanical garden ___ Zoological park ___ Childrens/youth museum ___ Nature center ___ Aquarium 2. How many staff members are employed in the fundraising department of your organization? _________________ 3. In your best estimate, how many total staff members are employed by the entire organization? (circle one) a. 30 staff members or less b. 31 100 staff members c. 101 200 staff members d. 201 staff members or more 4. In your best estimate, how much did your organization receive in private gifts the year before this one? $___________ 5. In your best estimate, what is the annual budget for the organization? (circle one) a. $500,000 or less b. $500,000.01 to $1,000,000 c. $1,000,000.01 to $3,000,000 d. $3,000,000.01 to $5,000,000 e. $5,000,000.01 or more 6. The following are steps associated with raising gifts. Please estimate the percentage of time that you or others on your fundraising staff spend on each of these steps. Your answers should total 100%. Research _____% Objectives _____% Programming Planning _____% Implementing _____% Evaluation _____% Stewardship _____%
116 7. For each of the statements below, please evaluate your view of the organizations relationships with annual giving donors on th e left side and major gift donors on the right side. Please circle the number that best represents your response from the 9-point scale provided, where 1 equals strongly disagree and 9 equals strongly agree. Donors include individuals, corporations, and foundations. Annual giving donors include members. Your view of the organizations relationships with ANNUAL GIVING DONORS Your view of the organizations relationships with MAJOR GIFT DONORS SD SA SD SA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Most donors enjoy dealing with the organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 It is apparent to donors that the organization is trying to maintain a long-term commitment with them. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization welcomes donors involvement. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization informs donors about its finances. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization does not acknowledge gifts in a timely and appropriate manner. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Most donors are happy with their interactions with the organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Donors believe that the organization takes their opinions into account when making decisions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Generally speaking, donors are pleased with the relationship the organization has established with them. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Donors feel confident about the organizations ability to accomplish its mission. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
117 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Donors can easily obtain the organizations most recent IRS Form 990. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Compared to other nonprofit organizations, donors value their relationship with this organization more. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization respects its donors.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Donors are confident that the organization appreciates their gifts. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization is more concerned with its fiscal well-being than with its relationships with donors. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization always sends thank-you letters for gifts. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Donors would rather have a relationship with this organization than not. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Donors believe that the organization does not have the ability to meet its goals and objectives. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 It is not apparent to donors that the organization wants to maintain a relationship with them. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization fails to satisfy the needs of its donors. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Because of their past giving, donors are recognized as friends by the organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization uses gifts where needed, regardless of donors preferences. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
118 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 There is a long-lasting bond between the organization and its donors. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization does not tell donors how it has used their gifts. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organizations annual report details how much money was raised in that year. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Donors have confidence that the organization will use their gifts economically and efficiently. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The organization can be relied upon to keep its promises. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Both the organization and its donors benefit from the relationship. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Organizational decision making takes into account the concerns of donors and other stakeholders. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Donors only hear from the organization when it is soliciting gifts. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Donors receive personalized attention from the organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 It is apparent to donors that the organization adheres to the highest ethical standards. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
119 Please circle one answer to the following questions based on your personal demographic information. 8. What is your gender? Male Female 9. What is your age? a. 29 years old or younger b. 30 39 years old c. 40 49 years old d. 50 59 years old e. 60 years old or older 10. What is your race? a. African-American/ Black b. Asian c. Caucasian d. Hispanic/ Latino e. Native American f. Other__________ 11. How long have you been in your current position at the organization? a. Less than 1 year b. 1 4 years c. 5 10 years d. 11 15 years e. More than 15 years 12. How many years of experience do you have in fundraising? _______________ years 13. What is the highest level of formal education you have completed? a. High school b. Some college c. Bachelors degree d. Masters degree e. Doctoral degree Thank you for your participation. The following space is for any comments or additio nal information about the fundraising practices of your organization that you would like to offer. Confidentiality is guaranteed. Please return your completed questionnaire and th e consent form in the enclosed self-addressed, stamped envelope by January 16, 2009, to: Courtney Dell 2338 NW 38th Ave. Apartment 104 Gainesville, FL 32605
120 APPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT I am a graduate student in the Department of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen Kelly, APR. The purpose of this study is to research the stewardship practices of museums and the organizations relationships with donors. Participation in the study is comp letely voluntary. To participate, please read the following information about the pr oject and complete the enclosed questionnaire. Then, place the completed survey in the self-addre ssed, stamped envelope and mail it back to the researcher. Thank you, Courtney Dell University of Florida Masters Candidate Protocol Title: Stewarding Culture and Donors: A Study of Stewardship in the Fundraising Practices of U.S. Accredited Museums Please read this consent document carefully before deciding to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the stewardship practices of museums and the orga nizations relationships with donors. What you will be asked to do in the study: Upon reading the description about the study and agreeing to participate, you will be asked to complete the enclosed questionnaire. The questionnaire consists of three sets of que stions: (1) questions a bout your organizations relationship with donors, (2) que stions about your organizatio ns characteristics, and (3) questions about your individual demographics. Your name and contact information nor your organizations name are being asked for. Time required: 10-15 minutes Risks and benefits: There are no anticipated physical, psychological, or economic risks involved with this study. There are no direct be nefits to you for partic ipating in this study; however, your participation in the study will increase knowledge about effective fundraising. Compensation: There is no financial compensation fo r participating in this research. Confidentiality: Neither your name or contact informati on will be collected for the study. Your responses are anonymous, and neither you nor your organization will be linked to your responses. The data will be kept confiden tial to the extent provided by law.
121 Voluntary participation: Participation in this study is volun tary. There is no penalty for not participating. You do not have to answer a ny question that you do not wish to answer. Right to withdraw: You have the right to withdraw fr om this study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Courtney Dell, Masters candidate, Department of Public Relations, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Flor ida, 205-602-8097, firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Kathleen S. Kelly, Professor, Department of Public Relations, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Fl orida, 352-392-9359, email@example.com Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: Institutional Review Board Office, Univers ity of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611; (352) 392-0433, firstname.lastname@example.org Agreement: By signing the line below and comple ting the following questionnaire, I acknowledge that I have read the procedure described above I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure, and I have receiv ed a copy of this description. Signature of Participant Date Signature of Principal Investigator Date
122 APPENDIX C COVER LETTER January 2, 2009 (FIRST NAME) (LAST NAME) (MUSEUM) (ADDRESS) (CITY), (STATE) (ZIP CODE) Dear (INSERT FUNDRAISERS NAME), I am writing to ask you to participate in a study about fundraising to advance our body of knowledge. I am a student at the University of Florida, pursuing a masters degree in mass communication, and I am currently conducting research to complete my thesis. The purpose of the thesis study is to evaluate the fundraising practices of organizations and the organizations relationships with donors. If you choose to participate in the study, your answers will be combined with other fundraisers answers to provide more information about the fundraising process. You were randomly selected to participate in this study from a list of accredited museums, because you have been identified as the senior fundraiser for your organization. All organizations being studied are accredited by the American Association of Museums. Your response is extremely important and valuable as the sample is smaller than the total number of all of the organizations. In other words, you represent more than just your organization in this elite group. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to co mplete. Your answers will be used for statistical purposes and will remain strictly confidential. If you decide to participate in these efforts, please read and sign the enclosed informed consent document, which details the purpose of the study. Please return the signed document and the completed questionnaire to me by January 16, using the self-addressed, stamped return envelope provided. If you have any questions about the study, please contact me at (205) 602-8097 or email@example.com. You may also contact my thesis advisor, Dr. Kathleen Kelly, by calling (352) 392-9359 or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org fl.edu. Also, if you would like to receive a summary of this studys findings, please send a business card along with your completed questionnaire. Thank you for your time and help. Sincerely, Courtney M. Dell University of Florida Masters Candidate Enclosures: Survey questionnaire, Consent document, Self-addressed, stamped envelope
123 APPENDIX D POSTCARD REMINDER You recently received a questionn aire about the fundraising practices of your organization. If you have not yet completed the questionnaire, please take a few moments to do so and return it to me in the envelope that was provided. Your answers will be kept confidential. If you have any questions, please contact me at (205) 602-8097 or email@example.com. Thank you in advance, Courtney Dell University of Florida Masters Candidate
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130 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Courtney Dell received her Mas ter of Arts in Mass Communication from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florid a in the spring of 2009. She is currently the marketing and public relations coor dinator at a university-affiliated art museum. Before attending the University of Florida, Dell received her Bachelor of Arts in public relations in the Department of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University in 2007.