Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

5-17-2021

Comments

Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics, College of Liberal and Professional Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: Jean-Marc Choukroun

Abstract

One of the most common questions for alumni relations professionals is how to accurately measure alumni engagement. This capstone examines alumni engagement metrics from an organizational perspective as a way to identify why such a complex relationship exists between development and alumni relations teams. Limited research exists on this topic, so I reviewed the related literature on goal setting theory, characteristics of engaged alumni, the relationship between giving time and giving money, and alternative ways to measure donations of time. Given my position at Wharton External Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania, I employed the method of Action Research within my own organization. I collected data through my professional experience, including 22 informational interviews with colleagues at Wharton, Penn, and six peer institutions. While I did discover new methods for how to measure different types of alumni engagement, my primary conclusion focuses on five key organizational changes that I believe will help improve the dynamics between alumni relations and development teams.

Keywords

alumni relations, alumni engagement, development teams

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Date Posted: 09 June 2021