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Student Capstone Projects

All Master's in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy and Master's in Strategic Fundraising & Philanthropy students complete a capstone project in the Advanced Management/Fund Development seminar NMP 670/675.

The capstone is the culmination of the student’s’ graduate education and provides an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the skills and knowledge gained through the degree program. Each student identifies an applied research topic of interest to them, conducts primary research such as surveys, interviews, etc. and completes an academic thesis/capstone paper. Topics chosen by students have been very varied and represent different aspects of leadership, management, fund development and programs in the nonprofit sector.

The list below is a sample of some capstone papers by topic area.

Strategic Fundraising

  • Fundraising Strategies of Wildlife Conservation Organizations in the Greater Yellowstone Area
  • Impact of Hospital Mergers on Donor Support in Local Markets
  • Metrics for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Major Gift Stewardship Programs
  • Building Donor Loyalty in the Nonprofit Sector: How Can Brand Loyalty Strategies be used to Build Donor Loyalty?
  • Generational Differences in Donors: How Age Affects Giving
  • The Use of Storytelling in Donor Engagement
  • Cultivating Annual Donors to Build Retention
  • The Evolution of Major Gift Officer Metrics: Incorporating Relationship Building
  • The Impact of Stewardship on Donor Retention Outcomes to Emergency NGOs
  • Providing Donors with Tax Benefit Information: A Decision for Nonprofit
  • Performing Arts and the Annual Fund: The Impact of Seasonal Programming
  • Donors of Color in Philanthropy: Understanding the Barriers to Engagement in Connecticut

Nonprofit Leadership

  • Executive Transition between the Sectors: For-Profit to Nonprofit Careers
  • Founder’s Syndrome: Organizational Leadership in Times of Change
  • The Implications of Succession Planning in Small Nonprofits
  • The Impact of Chief Executive Leadership Styles on Employee Retention in Nonprofits
  • Considering the Third Party: Alternative Work Arrangements, Coworkers, and Issues of Fairness & Justice
  • Factors that Impact Women Moving into CEO Positions in Large Nonprofit Organizations
  • Navigating the Challenges of Leadership in Work Integration Social Enterprises
  • How Women Attain and Maintain Executive Leadership Positions in Nonprofits
  • Nonprofit Lifecycle, Board Governance, and the Impact on the Board Chair-Executive Director Relationship
  • Shared Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of Shared Leadership and Traditional Leadership
  • Board Diversity and Organizational Effectiveness
  • Nonprofit Boards: The Motivations and Reasoning for Engagement and Overall Success

Organizational Management and Decision-Making

  • The Use of Data in Organizational Decision-Making
  • Fighting Turnover: Practices for Retaining Fundraisers in U.S. Nonprofits
  • Strategic Mergers: Sustainable Growth and Mission Advancement for Human Service Organizations
  • Competition and Collaboration: Is Competition a Factor in Building Collaborative Efforts?
  • Strategies that Support Recruiting for Nonprofit Community Health Centers
  • Fraud Prevention :How Grassroots Nonprofits Stay Accountable to their Communities through Financial Controls and Leadership
  • Employee Job Satisfaction and Implications for Accredited US Zoos and Aquariums
  • Philanthropy at Work :Examining Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Satisfaction
  • Payment in Lieu of Taxes: The Effects of PILOT Programs on the Municipal and Nonprofit Relationship
  • An Examination of the Communication Preferences of the Five Adult Generations in Nonprofit America
  • Effectiveness of Remote Working in Nonprofit Organizations

Program/Product Development

  • In Pursuit of Earned Income: Enabling Nonprofits to Successfully Realize New Ventures
  • Military Service and the Link to Volunteering with Nonprofit Organizations in the Community
  • The Relationship between Marketing Strategies, Based on Consumer Interest, and Program Participations Rates in Recreational Nonprofit Programs
  • Creating a Financially Sustainable Eco-Healing Arts Retreat Center That Serves a Socially and Environmentally Responsible Purpose
  • Non-Profit Organizations & Lobbying: Advocacy Efficacy in the Face of Restrictions
  • Successful or Not? Educational Supports for Homeless Children Provided by Schools and Nonprofits
  • Building Relationships with Community Members in the Appalachian Region
  • Nonprofit Collaborations for Bereavement Support After Child Loss
  • Volunteer Onboarding and the Impact on Volunteer Retention
  • The Potential of Gamification to Increase Volunteer Engagement and Data Collection for Nonprofits
  • Assessing the Effectiveness of the Program Design of Nonprofit Early College High School