Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Art (BA)


Social Psychology


Marc Lavine

Subject Categories

Nonprofit Administration and Management


Development, or fundraising, is essential to non-profit institutions. Hospitals, universities, and charity groups rely on the support of individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies to fund their endeavors. Educational fundraising has existed in America as long as the higher education system itself. Private institutions like Harvard College originally gained funding by sending solicitors from America to England. (Worth, 1993, p. 18) Throughout the years, departments that focus exclusively on development have been established in universities and non-profits, with subdivisions focused on various constituent segments. At educational institutions, alumni relations departments often form partnerships with development offices because of the similarities between the departments’ goals. Alumni relations departments have existed since the mid-1800’s, but have evolved to serve many purposes both independent of and linked with the goals of the development office. (Worth, 1993, p. 19) Alumni relations offices host networking events and reunions, as well as collaborate with the development office to solicit the alumni.

In this paper, I will provide an introduction to the development and discuss the role of the annual fund and current annual fund solicitation channels. I then will share the results of interviews with eight development professionals, and reflect on my experience in various development positions. Finally, I will provide suggestions, based on my research, interviews, and experience, on ways to increase annual fund participation at universities in general and at the University of Massachusetts Boston in particular.