Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Stumpf, Arthur D.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

King, Sephanie B.

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


The purpose of this study was to survey the chief development officers in selected Mississippi community colleges in order to ascertain the fundraising efforts in which they are engaged. The community colleges were selected based on the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. The institute identified the community colleges based on an assessment of institutional performance, improvement, student retention and measures of completion. The program selected the top 150 United States community colleges out of over 1000 public community colleges for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence 2015. Of Mississippi’s community colleges, 7 were among the top 150 in the nation. Resource Dependency Theory guided this investigation by considering factors, goals, implementation and activities involved in fundraising at the selected community colleges. In order to respond to the problem of this study 4 research questions were generated and a 7-question survey was administered. The results of this study showed that all of the selected Mississippi community colleges are engaging in fundraising. The results also showed that the colleges have goals and they are evaluating their goals at least yearly. Personal letters, personal phone calls, invites to campus and special events were rated as successful fundraising techniques with special events as the method used extensively to obtain donations. The foundation office was rated highly successful for fundraising functions success. Satisfaction with fundraising performance ranked the highest as the method of determining success with gift solicitation as a meaningful effort in obtaining funds.