This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Major Gifts Officers’ Perceptions of Master Teaching




Jones, Tara Grant

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This study examined Major Gifts Officers’ (MGOs’) perceptions of master teaching behaviors exhibited by university faculty. Using an online survey, the Teacher Behavior Checklist was administered to Major Gifts Officers working at Southeastern Conference institutions. Based on their undergraduate experience, fundraisers were asked to rate faculty on the 28 items of the Teacher Behavior Checklist (TBC) using a Likert rating scale (1 = never exhibited this quality to 5 = frequently exhibited this quality) (Buskist & Keeley, 2018). Results indicated that MGOs rated master teachers with the following top behaviors: (1) knowledgeable; (2) approachable/personable; (3) confident; (4) promotes critical thinking; (5) accessible; (6) prepared; (7) enthusiastic; (8) respectful; (9) punctuality/manages class time; and (10) effective communicator. This study affirmed the four universal and near-universal principles of excellent teaching (knowledgeable, approachable/personable, enthusiastic, and effective communicator) as MGOs in this sample rated those qualities in the top ten list of TBC item means (Buskist & Keeley, 2018). Data regarding those who were more enthusiastic about raising faculty support and engaging with faculty imply that there is shared agreement related to creative/interesting and promotes critical thinking which could indicate near universal perceptions of teaching behaviors for the ideal Major Gifts Officer. In each analysis of this study, Major Gifts Officers rated the professional competency/communication subscale higher than the caring/supportive subscale. MGOs’ TBC item rankings and subscale ratings in this study were more aligned with faculty responses than student responses. In comparing MGOs’ top ten rated TBC qualities with five faculty samples, there were five shared items: knowledgeable, approachable/personable, promotes critical thinking, enthusiastic, and effective communicator. In comparing responses of Major Gift Officers with five samples of students in previous studies, two TBC qualities, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, appeared on each top ten list. Data in this study indicated that the undergraduate experience with faculty can impact future fundraising partnerships and processes. Results suggested that Major Gifts Officers often identify faculty partners for development who exhibit behaviors associated with their undergraduate master teachers. MGOs who identified as more enthusiastic to raise funds for faculty support and were more willing to partner with faculty during the fundraising process rated both TBC subscales higher which may indicate a more positive experience with an excellent undergraduate teacher and a greater understanding of the need for this type of philanthropic investment.