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The Practitioner Roles of Fund Raising:
An Assessment of Gender Differences
Richard D. Waters
Department of Public Relations
College of Journalism and Communications
University of Florida
Kathleen S. Kelly, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA
Professor and Chair
Department of Public Relations
College of Journalism and Communications
University of Florida
Mary Lee Walker
Running Head: Fund-Raising Roles
Richard D. Waters
700 SW 16th Ave #102
Gainesville, FL 32601
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Paper submitted to the Public Relations Division, Association for
Education in Journalism and Mass Communication 2005 Convention.
A national study of members of the Association for Healthcare
Philanthropy found that Kelly's (1998) adaptation of public relations
roles—liaison, expert prescriber, problem-solving process
facilitator, and technician—account for the daily activities of
fund-raising practitioners. Similar to public relations studies, all
but the last role were found to be highly correlated, indicating a
two role typology might be a better descriptor. One-way ANOVAs
revealed that males enacted managerial roles more than females;
however, no significant differences were found for the technician role.
Even though fund raising has been practiced for as many years as
public relations, it has not attracted equal scholarly
inquiries. Public relations scholars generally ignored the
profession until Kelly (1991) demonstrated the similarities of the
two practices. In 1998, Kelly formally defined fund raising using
public relations terminology: Fund raising is the management of
relationships between a charitable organization and its donor publics.
In the past 15 years, scholars have explored several public
relations' concepts in the context of fund raising, including J.
Grunig's four models of public relations (Kelly, 1995), the public
relations campaign process (Worley & Little, 2002; Hall, 2002), and
J. Grunig's situational theory of publics (Kelly, 1998). However,
despite the popularity of inquiry into the roles enacted by public
relations practitioners, very little investigation has been made as
to the extent to which these public relations roles represent fund
raisers. The purpose of this study is to assess the applicability of
public relations role theory to the fund-raising profession and to
determine if men and women perform these roles equally.
Currently, there are more than 1.6 million nonprofits in the United
States, of which more than half are charitable organizations that are
eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions according to IRS
guidelines (Schwinn, 2004). In 2003, Americans donated $241 billion
to charitable organizations (Wellner, 2004). Over the past 50 years,
Americans have consistently given donations to the charitable sector
that are equivalent to two percent of the nation's gross domestic
product (Salamon, 2002). Fund raisers play a large role in ensuring
that individual nonprofit organizations receive their share of these
As practiced in the United States, fund raising is carried out by
full-time and part-time fund-raising professionals (Hager, Rooney &
Pollak, 2002), volunteers (Lysakowski, 2002), and outside groups,
such as consultants and solicitation firms (Hooper & Stobart,
2002). Kelly (1998) estimated that in the late 1990s, there were
approximately 80,000 full-time fund raisers; Hager, Rooney, and
Pollak (2002) placed the number much higher, saying there are as many
as 296,000 full-time U.S. practitioners. The precise number of fund
raisers is difficult to assess for the same reasons that counts of
public relations practitioners are imprecise, such as diverse titles
and absence of licensing.
Fund raisers are most frequently hired by education and healthcare
organizations (Kelly, 1998). Scholars outside of public relations
have conducted several studies to determine the characteristics of
the average fund raiser. Their research has shown that fund raisers
lack a formal training program and that most knowledge about the
profession and its processes come through on-the-job training and the
apprentice system (Carbone, 1987; Bloland & Bornstein, 1991; Duronio,
1993). Fund raisers are predominantly Caucasian; minorities
represent only 10 percent of the memberships of the three major
fund-raising associations: the Association for Healthcare
Philanthropy (AHP), the Council for Advancement and Support of
Education (CASE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
Fund raisers generally have high job satisfaction, though roughly 40
percent want more management responsibility (Mongon,
1992). Regarding personal traits, Duronio (1994) found that AFP's
members believed that integrity, honesty, commitment, intelligence,
and possessing an outgoing personality were the characteristics
attributed to the "best" of the profession; however, Miltner (1990)
found that the only personal traits that statistically correlated to
a fund raiser's potential for success were age and years of experience.
Paralleling trends in public relations, fund raising has experienced
a feminization of the profession since the early 1980s. Drawing on
literature on the differences in the orientations between men and
women, J. Grunig and White (1992) concluded:
Conventional wisdom has been that these differences make men more
suitable as managers because of their preference for competition and
"toughness." However, researchers have begun to realize that women's
preferences for nurturance and relationships may be exactly what is
needed. (pp. 49-50)
Today, more than half of the members of the major fund-raising
associations are women. Despite their presence in the field, women
earn less than their male counterparts even when other factors are
even. Williams (1996) and Kelly (1997) calculated that in the late
1990s, women were paid almost $13,000 less per year than their male colleagues.
According to Katz and Kahn (1978), "Role behavior refers to the
recurring actions of an individual, appropriately interrelated with
the repetitive activities of others so as to yield a predictable
outcome" (p. 189). They concluded that organizational roles are
abstractions of these continuing features. Roles provide an
important insight into the function of professions, including public
relations (Dozier, 1984). A practitioner's role may be influenced by
an individual's level of autonomy, organizational expectations, or
emerging standards of the profession. Other practitioners might
perceive a set of role expectations, but modify their behavior based
on their skills and training. These influences allow for a wide
range of role expectations (Katz & Kahn, 1978).
Dozier (1992) said that the existence of a range of role
expectations is key to the evolution of public relations as a
management function. To assess roles enacted by public relations
practitioners, Broom (Broom & Smith, 1979; Broom, 1982) developed 24
items to measure the extent to which practitioners perform four
organizational roles, conceptualized from a review of the
literature: (a) communication facilitator, (b) expert prescriber,
(c) problem-solving process facilitator, and (d) communication technician.
A full description of the four roles can be found elsewhere; the
following is a brief summary of the roles. The communication
facilitator acts as a mediator between an organization and its
publics. The expert prescriber is viewed as the organization's
authority on public relations problems and solutions. Practitioners
in this role research and define the problem, develop and implement
plans of action, and take responsibility for success or failure. The
problem-solving process facilitator, on the other hand, collaborates
with other managers to define and solve organizational problems. The
communication technician carries out the technical services for the
public relations function (Broom, 1982; Broom & Dozier, 1986; Cutlip,
Center & Broom, 1994).
Drawing on results from factor analysis of role data, Dozier (1992)
argued that practitioner roles were more parsimoniously accounted for
as two main roles, manager and technician. Toth and L. Grunig (1993)
also believed that using the manager/technician typology was
important. Nonetheless, Broom (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1994) argued
that important conceptual differences are lost when the three
managerial roles are combined. Kelly (1998) viewed these
distinctions as critical to understanding fund raisers' behavior patterns.
Guided by public relations role theory, Kelly (1998) analyzed
practitioner literature on fund raising to identify four
organizational roles enacted by fund raisers, which she named: (a)
liaison, (b) expert prescriber, (c) problem-solving process
facilitator, and (d) technician. As with public relations,
fund-raising practitioners play all four roles to some extent, but
enact one predominantly.
Liaison is the role predominantly enacted by consultants, who do not
solicit gifts but advise organizational managers and volunteers on
doing so (Kelly, 1998). The role casts practitioners as interpreters
and mediators in bringing together organizational representatives
with prospective donors. A weakness of this role is its reliance on
other actors, which makes fund raising vulnerable to unmet goals and
Expert prescriber is the exact opposite of liaison (Kelly,
1998). Fund raisers in this role act and are viewed as the only ones
in their organization with the skill and responsibility for raising
gifts. Senior administrators, trustees, and faculty are content to
leave fund raising in the hands of the _expert_ and assume relatively
passive participation. Among the role_s many weaknesses, fund
raising is isolated from the institution_s operations, which hampers
efforts to address institutional needs and establish meaningful
relationships with donors. Commitment to fund raising and its
success is limited to practitioners, which often leads to unrealistic
expectations and dissatisfaction with results.
Practitioners enacting the problem-solving process facilitator role
are part of the management team (Kelly, 1998). They collaborate with
others in the organization and manage key actors_ participation in
the fund-raising process. In turn, they participate in decision
making on organization-wide problems. Kelly argued that the role is
superior to the other three because it integrates fund raising in the
overall management of charitable organizations.
Fund raisers usually begin their careers in the technician role, in
which they primarily are concerned with producing and implementing
the various techniques used in raising gifts (e.g., direct mail;
Kelly, 1998). Technicians carry out decisions made by others. They
are not part of the management team, and they generally are
indifferent to the purpose of their work. Problems arise when
fund-raising departments consist only of technicians. In such cases,
the function contributes little to advancing the organization_s
mission or meeting its goals.
An exploratory study testing the four roles was conducted using
in-depth interviews with a small sample of fund-raising practitioners
(Kelly, 1998b). The study provided evidence that the four roles do
describe how individual fund raisers behave in carrying out their job
responsibilities. The next step in theory development called for
empirical research on a large sample to verify the four roles. This
study attempts to do so by addressing the following research question:
RQ (1): To what extent do the technician, liaison, expert
prescriber, and problem-solving
process facilitator roles explain the behavior patterns of fund
Public relations studies have shown that men tend to outnumber women
in managerial roles and that women tend to cluster in technician
roles (Broom, 1982). Studies also reveal significant salary
differences between male and female members of the Public Relations
Society of America (PRSA; Jacobson & Tortorello, 1990; Tortorello &
Wilhelm, 1993; Dozier & Broom, 1995). Even when controlling for
years of experience, a significant gap exists between salary for male
and female public relations practitioners. A review of public
relations roles studies found that male practitioners advance faster
and earn more money than their female counterparts (Cline, Toth,
Turk, Walters, Johnson, & Smith, 1986; Toth & Cline, 1989; Creedon,
1991; Toth, Serini, Wright, & Emig, 1998). After reviewing evidence
from a series of longitudinal studies that showed women were not
advancing to the manager role, Broom and Dozer (1986) concluded that
"professional growth in public relations [is] a function of the
practitioner's gender and role" (p. 55).
Exploring role activities within the context of a technician/manager
typology, Toth and L. Grunig (1993) found that women performed both
technical and managerial functions for less money than men. Men were
also found to do more managerial tasks while working in the
entry-level technical role, which prepares them for advancement into
Broom (1982) found that men and women differ significantly on their
role behavior activities. Men were more likely to predominantly
enact the expert prescriber role, while women reported the
communication technician as their dominant role. While the role
indicators were found to be reliable, three of the roles were highly
intercorrelated: expert prescriber, problem-solving process
facilitator, and communications facilitator. This intercorrelation
led to the conclusion that despite having conceptual distinctions,
the roles were performed interchangeably by some practitioners. No
correlation was found between the managerial roles and the
communication technician role.
Dozier, Chapo, and Sullivan (1983) believed that the technician role
of public relations created a ghetto for women by providing the
organization a place to put them so they can be used but paid less
than their male counterparts. Kelly (1998) claimed the same
situation exists in fund raising. She stated, "One reason female
fund raisers occupy lower status positions and earn less than men is
because the expectations of women and the role they predominately
carry out are as technicians not managers" (p. 99).
Philanthropy scholars also have recognized gender
discrepancies. Conry (1991) predicted that female fund raisers would
find difficulty in progressing in their chosen career and that they
would mainly occupy technician positions in nonprofit
organizations. Cutlip, Center, and Broom (1994) argued that
practitioners who understand the roles are able to adapt their
behavior to take on additional responsibilities to break out of the
technician role. Kelly (1998) advocated that female fund raisers
should learn managerial skills, such as strategic planning, to
advance beyond technician status.
Drawing on previous work regarding gender and roles, this study
explores job discrepancies in fund raising by attempting to answer a
second research question:
RQ (2): To what extent are the four roles of fund raising practiced
differently by gender?
A random sampling of the professional fund raisers who are members
of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) was conducted
for this study. Six hundred questionnaires were mailed to the sample
in 1999. After the initial mailing, a follow-up mailing was sent
requesting participation in the study.
The survey consisted of two main parts: 24 statements describing
typical fund-raising activities, which were modified from Broom's
(1982) indicators of public relations roles; and 19 descriptive
questions, which included questions on personal demographics and
organizational characteristics. The 24 statements consisted of six
items associated with each of the four fund-raising roles. Broom's
(1982) statements were altered to reflect the fund-raising profession
in accordance to suggestions from Kelly's (1998b) qualitative
study. Personal demographic information that was collected included
gender, ethnic background, age, salary, education level, years of
fund-raising experience, and fund-raising certification. In terms of
organizational characteristics, information collected included the
size of the fund-raising department, the number of dollars raised
annually, size of the organization, and the number of years the
organization has been operating.
The role items were measured with a fractional open-ended
scale. Respondents were asked to evaluate each of the 24 items on
the basis of how much time they spend performing the activity. They
were asked to give a number representing their time on a scale of
zero to as high as they wanted to go; instructions on the survey
indicated that 100 was the average rating that a fund raiser would
have on each item. Following the method used by J. Grunig et al.
(1992) in the Excellence in Public Relations and Communication
Management study, figures were transformed by taking the square roots
of the reported results to reduce the positive skew of the open-ended
scale. Indices were developed for each of the four roles by summing
scores on the six items associated with the role.
The indices achieved varying levels of statistical strength. Of the
four roles, the technician role (.86), the problem-solving process
facilitator (.85), and the expert prescriber (.86) met the Carmines
and Zeller (1972) alpha standard of .80 for measuring index
reliability. The remaining index, liaison (.76), failed to meet this
standard; however, it was significantly over the minimum alpha level,
.70, that Bowers and Cartright (1984) urged communication scholars to
adopt in the early phase of index development. Indices reliability
assessment and statistical analysis were completed using SPSS© software.
The survey had a response rate of 47 percent, with 286 useable
questionnaires being returned. There were 101 male and 179 female
respondents. The average age of the fund raisers was 46 with a range
of 23-years-old to 80-years-old. The vast majority of the
respondents were Caucasian (85.7%), with Hispanics (5.1 percent) and
Native Americans (2.8 percent) constituting the largest minority
representations. There was only one African-American and one Asian
respondent, representing .6 percent of the sample; the remaining 5.8
percent did not identify their ethnicity.
One-fourth of the sample earned less than $50,000 per year while 56
percent earned between $50,000 and $100,000. Slightly more than 19
percent of the respondents earned more than $100,000. In terms of
education, 33 percent had a bachelor's degree, 33 percent had a
master's degree, and five percent had a doctoral degree; 18 percent
had some graduate school, 9 percent had some college but no degree,
and less than one percent had only a high school diploma.
One-fifth of the respondents had received their Certified Fund
Raising Executive (CFRE) certification from CFRE International,
somewhat equivalent to the APR credential. Only five percent had
become certified through the AHP association. Two individuals held
APR certification. The average respondent had 16.3 years of
fund-raising experience, of which 9.4 years were with his or her
Kelly's Four Roles
Mean scores were calculated for the items that comprised the roles
indices, as well as a total mean for each of the role indices. The
indices were shown to be reliable, and they were correlated among
themselves to test their validity. The findings of this study
support Kelly's (1998) four roles of fund raisers.
Respondents were asked to indicate the extent to which the six items
for each role reflected their daily activities as a fund raiser. The
mean scores reveal that the expert prescriber (11.34) and
problem-solving process facilitator (10.12) roles are enacted on a
daily basis more frequently than the liaison (8.73) and technician
(8.25) roles. Table 1 presents the total mean scores for the four
indices and the items that comprise each role.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Insert Table 1 Here
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
These results indicate that fund-raising practitioners in healthcare
are more often involved in the managerial roles than that of the
technician. Examination of the mean scores for each item indicates
that these practitioners are fund-raising leaders for their
organizations and are active in strategic planning and developing the
Validity of the Roles
To explore the relationships between the four roles, the indices
were correlated against one another to determine if Dozier's (1992)
two-level typology of technician and manager for public relations was
applicable to fund raising. These correlations are shown in Table 2.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Insert Table 2 Here
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
As shown in Table 2, the technician role correlates moderately with
the liaison role (.49), and the technician activities have little
correlation with those of the other two roles. The problem-solving
process facilitator role has strong correlations to both the expert
prescriber (.86) and liaison (.75) and weak correlation with the
technician role (.25). Similar to Broom's (1982) findings, this
study found strong evidence for an intercorrelation between the three
roles that have managerial activities associated with them and that
none of the roles have strong correlation to the technician
role—though this role did have a modest correlation with the liaison.
Gender Differences and the Roles
Broom (1982) found that there were significant differences in the
roles that male and female public relations practitioners performed
on a daily basis. To evaluate these distinctions in the fund-raising
profession, mean scores were tabulated for each of the 24 activities
by gender. Table 3 contains the mean scores of the items in the four
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Insert Table 3 Here
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
For the three roles consisting of managerial activities, males had
higher mean scores on the entire index than females did. The
greatest difference between the mean scores was on the expert
prescriber role, for which male practitioners had a mean score of
12.16 and their female counterparts had a mean score of 10.87. The
difference was not as great for the liaison (9.22 for males, 8.46 for
females) and the problem-solving process facilitator (10.68 for
males, 9.79 for females) roles; however, male practitioners were
still likely to perform more managerial tasks in their healthcare
organizations. Females had a higher mean score (8.36) than males
(7.99) on the technician role.
For two activities, the genders had mean scores that ran opposite of
the overall trends. On the technician index, males indicated that
they were more likely to write fundraising materials that presents
information on issues for donors and for the organization; on the
problem-solving process facilitator index, results indicated that
females were more likely to encourage management participation when
making important fund-raising decisions.
To test the statistical significance of the variation in the
genders' mean scores, a one-way ANOVA was run. As Table 4 shows,
three of the four roles were found to have statistically significant
differences. Males were more likely to enact the liaison (p<.05),
problem-solving process facilitator (p<.05), and the expert
prescriber (p<.01) role than female practitioners. Even though women
had higher mean scores on the technician items, differences with men
were not statistically significant.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Insert Table 4 Here
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
When the two activities that displayed opposite trends of the index
were removed, the significance of the remaining items did
grow. Despite a widening gap in the mean scores of the technician
index, the relationship still was not statistically significant when
the writing fund-raising information for donors and the organization
item was removed from the index. The original p-value (.416) did
shrink, although the result was not significant (.261). Removal of
the item measuring practitioners' encouragement of management to
become involved in fund-raising decisions from the problem-solving
process facilitator also resulted in a strengthening of the variance
of the index. The p-value of the original six-item index was .017;
the p-value from the five-item index was .006.
This study produced two significant findings: (1) the study
provides strong evidence that Kelly's (1998) fund-raising roles do
describe how individual practitioners behave in carrying out their
job responsibilities, thus confirming her original thesis that public
relations role theory can be used to explain fund raisers behaviors;
and (2) the study supports previous public relations studies that men
are more likely to engage in managerial tasks while women more often
enact the technician role.
Similar to the roles research conducted by Broom (1982), three of
the fund-raising roles were strongly intercorrelated, indicating that
they were routinely performed by some of the same individual. The
correlations between the liaison, expert prescriber, and
problem-solving process facilitator roles support Dozier's (1992) and
Toth and L. Grunig's (1993) recommendation that the four roles should
be condensed into two roles, manager and technician.. Although
still statistically significant, the somewhat weaker correlation
between the liaison and the expert prescriber roles reiterate Broom's
(Cutlip, Center, and Broom, 1994) argument that scholars consider the
four-role dichotomy in order to preserve distinctions that would be
lost when three roles are combined into one.
While the results show that the four roles do account for a
fund-raising practitioner's daily behavior, further analysis of the
mean scores provide a deeper understanding of their actions. Even
though men were found to participate in managerial activities more
frequently than women, statistical tests did not establish a strong
relationship to show that women enacted the technician role more than
men. While women did have a higher mean score on the technician
index than men, the women's mean score on the technician index (8.36)
was actually lower than their mean scores on the liaison (8.46),
expert prescriber (10.87), and the problem-solving process
facilitator (9.79). The results suggest that fund raisers in
healthcare nonprofits—regardless of gender—are more likely to guide
the organization's fund-raising efforts and participate in strategic
planning with their nonprofits' dominant coalition.
When comparing female respondents' mean scores on all four role
indices, women did participate in managerial activities more
frequently than technical ones. However, they have not attained the
same level of management responsibilities that their male
counterparts have. Nonprofit management and philanthropy scholars
have argued that "women have long been the backbone of the everyday
activities, carrying out essential, mundane, unpaid or low-paid
responsibilities, while men have filled the top leadership roles"
(Critz, 1981, p. 285). These sentiments have long been echoed in
trade publications (Goss, 1989; Joseph, 1992; Mongon, 1992; Greene &
Murawski, 1996; Williams, 1996) and in scholarly works (Conry, 1991;
Kelly 1998b; Walker, 1999).
In describing the hierarchy of fund-raising careers, Kelly (1998)
maintained that women are more frequently found in the lower-level
positions that have low pay, such as special event planning and
annual giving programs. She argued that in order to break through
the glass ceiling in their organizations and pursue advanced
fund-raising positions (e.g., major gifts or foundation relations),
women must take on greater managerial responsibilities within their
Though there are no previous data to compare against the current
results, it appears that women are beginning to take on additional
managerial activities to advance in the fund-raising profession. The
lower mean score of the technician index for female practitioners
when compared to the mean scores of the other three role indices is
promising; additional data needs to be collected to confirm this trend.
This study found that healthcare fund raisers are more frequently
involved in managerial roles than technical roles. The four roles
did account for the daily activities of these fund raisers. Even
though women were more likely to enact the three managerial roles
than the technical one, tests of statistical significance showed that
men were far more likely to be managers in their organizations.
Implications for Practice
The results of this study found that fund raisers primarily enact
managerial roles more than technician roles. While public relations
literature advocates for its practitioners to be involved in the
management of the organization, these nonprofit organizations are
setting themselves up for potential fund-raising crises as the
practitioners are most commonly performing the expert prescriber
role. As defined by Kelly (1998; 1998b), fund raisers in this role
often are placed in charge of the program with little input from
management. These practitioners are held accountable for the
fund-raising campaigns' successes or failures though they often
receive little support from outside of their department.
For both men and women, the mean scores of the expert prescriber
index were significantly higher than the remaining three roles. A
one-way ANOVA post hoc test showed that the expert prescriber role
was enacted more frequently than the technician (F = 1.616, p =
.006), liaison (F = 3.144, p = .000), and problem-solving process
facilitator (F = 8.212., p = .000) roles. In this role,
practitioners "are viewed as the only ones in their organization with
the s kill and the responsibility for raising gifts" (Kelly, 1998, p.
195). While this role is appealing to many practitioners because of
the increased authority, it is dangerous for an organization. For a
nonprofit to reap the benefits of cultivating prospective, current,
and past donors, the dominant coalition (e.g., board of directors,
upper management) must understand the fund-raising process. The
compartmentalization of the fund-raising department is risky,
especially as the demand for fund raisers grows. Practitioners not
gaining the support and assistance of others within the organization
are likely to seek another fund-raising position where they do
receive this support.
Fund raisers have been aware of the increasing demands of the expert
prescriber role since the early 1990s. Grace (1991) stressed that
organizations who ask practitioners to enact this role are in danger
of fund-raising failure. Carbone (1989) interviewed a practitioner
with 10 years of experience who said, "Organizations tend to have
unrealistic expectations of their development professionals; tend to
see them as (isolates) who should do their work without commitment
from and integration with the rest of the organization" (p. 29). A
comparison of two studies of development results at U. S. colleges
and universities shows that the role of the expert prescriber is
rapidly increasing. Winship (1984) found that only 23 percent of
major gifts were raised by fund-raising staff; studying the same
universe, Winfree (1992) found that 57 percent of major gifts were
raised solely by development personnel. This hands-off approach by
organizations' upper management runs opposite of the fund-raising's
best practices (Rosso, 1991; Worth, 2002).
This study assessed the daily activities of fund-raising
practitioners in healthcare organizations. Even though fund raising
is conducted similarly across the nonprofit sector, the structure of
hospitals and healthcare research centers might have an impact on how
their practitioners function. The respondents were a random sample
of fund-raising practitioners who are members of AHP; therefore, the
results are generalizable only to that specific population. Despite
the similarities of the profession, it is plausible that a study on
the other two other major associations, CASE and AFP, might yield
The use of a professional association is another limitation of the
study. Practitioners who join professional associations are more
likely to be in higher paid positions because of the cost of dues;
therefore, they may be more likely to enact managerial roles in their
organizations. Practitioners who enact the technician role may be
unable to pay association dues.
The findings of this study provide several areas for future
research. Public relations scholars first began studying role theory
more than 20 years ago, and it continues to be a bountiful source of
inquiry. Similar to the work of Broom and Dozier, research needs to
be replicated on the fund-raising roles to determine if the four
roles explain the behavior better than the two-role typology. While
the results in this study indicate that women are working more in
managerial tasks, they have not achieved the same levels of
management as male fund raisers. Comparisons to future results could
be made to determine if women are heeding Kelly's (1998) and Conry's
(1991) advice and taking on additional tasks to move into management
Additional work needs to be conducted to evaluate the significance of
other demographics on the four roles. Does education impact a
practitioner's role more than gender? If practitioners earn their
fund-raising certification, are they more likely to enact the managerial role?
One other promising area of study concerns the population being
studied. This project examined AHP, an association for fund raisers
that work for hospitals and healthcare research
organizations. Scholars should examine to what extent fund raisers
belonging to CASE and AFP enact these roles. Research involving
these other membership groups would provide a better understanding of
the roles practitioners enact.
Much like the independent public relations practitioner, fund-raising
consultants operate independently of the organizations they
serve. Because consultants are outside of the organization's
operating environment, do they enact roles differently than in-house
practitioners? Specifically, do they predominantly practice the
liaison role, which would be a logical hypothesis?
In conclusion, this study represents an important step, one that not
only adds to the public relations body of knowledge but also aids in
building support that fund-raising is indeed a specialization of
public relations. Fund-raising practitioners enact roles in patterns
similar to their public relations counterparts. These parallel
experiences in the workplace reinforce Kelly's (1991) original view
that public relations and fund raising do share not only similar
goals and processes, but also similar career experiences.
Table 1: Means and Standard Deviations for Four Roles of Fund
Raisers and Cronbach's Alpha for Scales of Roles Indices
Role Mean Std. Deviation
I write materials and present donor information. 9.59 4.20
I edit materials produced by others. 9.02 4.38
I produce brochures, pamphlets, etc. 8.89 4.31
I manage technical aspects of production. 8.49 4.63
I coordinate photography and graphics. 6.84 4.99
I maintain media contacts and place press releases. 6.57 4.98
Index Mean 8.25 (Alpha = .86)
I represent the organization at events and meetings. 11.9 3.56
I inform management of donor reactions. 10.34 3.58
I create opportunities to hear donor views. 8.99 4.23
I keep the organization informed about media reports. 8.09 4.55
I report donor opinion survey results to management. 7.06 4.75
I conduct research on problems with donors. 5.96 4.80
Index Mean 8.73 (Alpha = .79)
I take responsibility for fund-raising success. 12.36 4.69
I stand accountable for success to others. 11.91 3.76
Others consider me the fund-raising expert. 11.36 4.51
I plan actions for fund-raising campaigns. 11.24 3.55
I make fund-raising policy decisions. 10.72 3.91
I diagnose fund-raising opportunities. 10.58 3.95
Index Mean 11.34 (Alpha = .88)
Problem-Solving Process Facilitator
I encourage management participation in decisions. 10.92 3.40
I encourage the organization to follow systematic procedures. 10.82 4.08
I keep management actively involved in all phases of fund raising. 10.32 3.4
I outline alternative fund-raising opportunities. 10.07 3.76
I operate as a catalyst in management's decisions. 9.43 4.20
I work with managers to increase their skills. 9.06 4.30
Index Mean 10.12 (Alpha = .85)
Table 2: Correlations of the Fund Raising Roles
TE LI EP PSPF
Technician (TE) 1.00 .48* .22* .25*
Liaison (LI) 1.00 .69* .75*
Expert Prescriber (EP) 1.00 .86*
Problem-Solving Process Facilitator (PSPF) 1.00
*All correlations significant at p <.01 (2-tailed).
Table 3: Means of Fund-Raising Activities for the
Four Roles of Fund Raisers by Gender
Role Male Female
I write materials and present donor information. 9.73 9.44
I edit materials produced by others. 8.72 9.15
I produce brochures, pamphlets, etc. 8.21 9.20
I manage technical aspects of production. 8.22 8.64
I coordinate photography and graphics. 6.39 7.17
I maintain media contacts and place press releases. 6.55 6.49
Index Mean 7.99 8.36
I represent the organization at events and meetings. 12.4 11.68
I inform management of donor reactions. 10.5 10.2
I create opportunities to hear donor views. 9.62 8.63
I keep the organization informed about media reports. 8.27 7.95
I report donor opinion survey results to management. 8.07 6.51
I conduct research on problems with donors. 6.35 5.77
Index Mean 9.22 8.46
I take responsibility for fund-raising success. 13.13 11.9
I stand accountable for success to others. 12.54 11.58
Others consider me the fund-raising expert. 12.83 10.55
I plan actions for fund-raising campaigns. 11.83 10.9
I make fund-raising policy decisions. 11.28 10.4
I diagnose fund-raising opportunities. 11.43 10.07
Index Mean 12.16 10.87
Problem-Solving Process Facilitator
I encourage management participation in decisions. 10.9 10.92
I encourage the organization to follow systematic procedures. 11.8 10.24
I keep management actively involved in all phases of fund raising. 10.70 10.10
I outline alternative fund-raising opportunities. 10.6 9.73
I operate as a catalyst in management's decisions. 10.3 8.93
I work with managers to increase their skills. 9.81 8.66
Index Mean 10.68 9.79
Table 4: One-way ANOVA Testing of the
Differences of Mean Scores of Indices by Gender
Technician Index Mean 7.99 8.36a
Liaison Index Mean 9.22 8.46b
Expert Prescriber Index Mean 12.16 10.87c
Problem-Solving Process Facilitator Index Mean 10.68 9.79d
Five-item Technician Index Mean 7.60 8.13e
Five-item Problem Solving Process Facilitator Index Mean 10.65 9.57f
a Analysis of Variance F Score: 0.664 (p = .416)
b Analysis of Variance F Score: 4.348 (p = .038)
c Analysis of Variance F Score: 10.083 (p = .002)
d Analysis of Variance F Score: 5.727 (p = .017)
e Analysis of Variance F Score: 1.271 (p = .261)
f Analysis of Variance F Score: 7.759 (p = .006)
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