A Tiger’s Call: An Investigation of Student Solicitors and the Culture of Giving at Princeton University

Lehman, Abigail [Browse]
Senior thesis
113 pages


Zelizer, Viviana [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year
Restrictions note
Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Summary note
This thesis asks if different kinds of social ties affect the process of solicitation. Does money in the form of donations and compensation affect relations between solicitors and donors? How might gender affect the meaning and outcome of these transactions? Methods: I conducted and analyzed twenty-one semi-structured interviews with student solicitors from two groups at Princeton University. One group is compensated for soliciting alumni by telephone while the other is voluntary and solicits current Undergraduate Seniors in person. Results: The unique relations between donors and solicitors affect the meanings they share about donation dollars and other gifts. These media are carefully selected to match social relations. Solicitor’s gender performance also affects donation outcomes. Conclusions: Money does not necessarily undermine personal relations; it can strengthen close relationships and create new ones. University solicitation that requires emotion-work is performed in a gendered way. Relational-work and gender-performance may be more influential in determining educational donation outcomes than previously thought.

Supplementary Information