Identifying Successful Advancement Approaches in Four Catholic Universities: The Effectiveness of the Four Advancement Models of Communication

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Jean-Pierre K. Bongila, Ed.D.

Abstract

The current longitudinal study of the most successful Catholic universities in the United States identifi es the prevalence of four advancement models of communication that have contributed to make those institutions successful in their philanthropic efforts. While research by Grunig1 and Kelly2 maintained that the two-way symmetrical model of advancement causes an institution to be effective, successful Catholic universities rely mostly on the two-way asymmetrical model of fundraising. However, Catholic universities using the symmetrical model to some degree have shown an increase of their gift contributions. The dominant coalition (or the power control theory) helps to explain why leaders of Catholic universities determine the advancement model(s) their institutions practice. This study calls for further investigation to determine the extent to which leaders of Catholic universities can increase the size of their philanthropic gifts by investing more effort in a two-way communication model, consisting of a balanced interest between the seeker and the donor.

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Author Biography

Jean-Pierre K. Bongila, Ed.D., University of St. Thomas

Jean-Pierre Bongila is Assistant Professor of Leadership, Policy, and Administration at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN.