Book Reviews

Book by Thomas E. Miller
Review by Kerri Fuller
Athletics Academic Advisor in University College 
Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois


Advancement work in student affairs has implications for more than just the student affairs professional as it offers basic information about fundraising and development for those who are not directly charged with these tasks. The authors’ points and suggestions can be applied to those in the academic advising area making it applicable to advisors. After all fundraising and development are hot topics in today’s world with decreases in state and federal funding resulting in budget cuts. This book offers simple starting points and strategies for partnering with development officers at your institution and takes an interesting look at fundraising at community colleges. 

According to the authors, it is important to establish programs that will appeal and attract donors, create a donor database and build collaborative partnerships with development staff on your campus in order to begin advancement work. Because advisors work with students in a different capacity outside of the classroom just as student affairs staff members, it is easy to apply the same suggestions for student affairs staff to academic advisors. As we can provide information to development staff about students and alumni that go beyond their academic records. As a result, student affairs professionals and advisors can also provide development staff with a list of satisfied graduates to help them build their donor database and in turn strengthen alumni relationships. 

Fundraising has become even more important at the community college level, not only because of the economic downturn but also because of the colleges open access mission. Community colleges grant admission to a variety of students, many of whom may be considered to be first generation, low income or minority students. Many of these students need funding to attend college and while some financial aid may be available, they may not receive much as many awards are becoming more merit based rather than need based (p. 57). Therefore helping students pay for college becomes a major focus for community college staff, including both student affairs and academic advising professionals. The authors recommend several strategies for staff to implement. They are to think big about a transformational gift, seek hot buttons to raise money in service to the community, inform the greater community, agree on priorities and have open communication, have faculty and staff model giving, target events to build relationships with fundraising, align the donors personal mission and the institutions mission, show others what’s in it for them, identify partners, and steward or say thank you (p. 65-67). 

This book is also full of examples of how student affairs staff have successfully partnered with development staff at higher education institutions. These examples, along with the starting points and strategies previously mentioned are transferrable from student affairs staff to those in academic advising. This book provides an understanding of how advisors may be able to work with development officers in gaining support and resources for students and the college as a whole. Advancement work in student affairs is a great introduction for advisors who are interested in this field, or who have begun their own advancement programs at their institutions. 


Advancement work in student affairs: The challenges and strategies, (2010), Book by Thomas E. Miller. Review by Kerri Fuller. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 88 pp. $29.00. ISBN# 978-0-470-88004-3
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