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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Delores McNair

First Committee Member

Ronald Hallett

Second Committee Member

Paul Lanning


Private schools often face a gap between their tuition income and the cost of the educational program. Private school administrators, tasked with balancing the school budget, seek to fill this gap through the acquisition of supplemental revenue. Private school administrators have often reported feeling unprepared for the unique responsibilities of the position. In addition, both individual and organizational donors have been noted to assert influence on educational programs. This study adds to the literature specific to supplemental revenue practices for elementary private schools and was influenced by the field of social entrepreneurship. A qualitative case study approach was used. Through purposeful sampling, a private school site was selected in California with fewer than 200 elementary students, evidence of successful fundraising, and tuition under $10,000. The chosen site was a Jewish community day school operating a program for infants through sixth graders. It was the only Jewish school in the county and adjacent areas. Data was collected from ten participant interviews, multiple documents, the school website, and observations. Data components were coded for themes, and a constant comparative method of analysis was applied. The data revealed five themes: (a) systems, (b) purposes of fundraising, (c) constraints on supplemental revenue, (d) operational concerns, and (e) relationships. Thirteen conclusions were drawn from the study. Unanticipated elements included a culture of student fundraising for charity, the coexistence of separate fundraising arms within the school, restrictions religion brought to supplemental revenue efforts, the role tuition discounts played in creating the schools price-cost gap, and differences in donor motivation behind monument building and annual operational support. Recommendations were made for both practitioners and researchers, including the illustration of applying social entrepreneurship to private schools.





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