Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Maryann Wangemann


In the last decade, private liberal arts universities have experienced financial difficulties requiring the need to raise private funds. The financial viability of these universities depends on the ability of university presidents to raise money; however, challenges remain to carry out this task. To increase fundraising effectiveness at the university being examined, this case study identified skills and practices of 10 university presidents who achieved fundraising success during their tenure, such as the completion of a capital campaign or the growth of the university's endowment. Transformational leadership style traits were considered to determine their alignment with the successful fundraising behaviors identified. The 10 university presidents were selected to participate through referral sampling that identified peers from the professional networks of study participants that met the selection criteria. The presidents were interviewed, and those data were recorded, transcribed, organized, and coded into emerging themes. Results indicated the importance of setting a vision for the university and implementing behaviors that motivated donors to join that vision. Identified skills were practical applications of a leadership style that were grounded in the importance of personal relationships. The study contributes to positive social change by providing skills and behaviors for university presidents to improve their fundraising effectiveness in order to provide increased resources for universities to better carry out their educational mission.