Donor relations and stewardship and their relationship to private philanthropy in universities
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Universities depend on private gifts to help fill the funding gap between tuition and state and federal funding sources and thus, it is imperative that university personnel do all they can to retain donors who support them. The purpose of this study was to determine if purposeful stewardship and donor relations have a direct correlation to overall dollars raised from year to year by universities for scholarships. Stewardship data was collected from 45 Carnegie classified bachelors and masters colleges and universities who had participated for six consecutive years in the Voluntary Support of Education Survey (VSE) as administered by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE). Data analysis was performed utilizing frequencies and the Pearson r correlation coefficient. The overall data analysis did not show a significant correlation between six specific stewardship activities and the average dollars given for scholarships each year nor the average year to year change in giving for scholarships. However, current stewardship practices were identified through the multiple choice survey which also included an open-ended response question allowing participants to elaborate on stewardship activities not mentioned in prior questions. Further research is needed to determine if there is a significant correlation between donor stewardship and giving.