This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book argues that the myth of the volunteer solicitor and its corollary, the myth of the invisible fund raiser, are primarily attributable to the historical evolution of the fund-raising function and to the self-interests of commercial fund-raising firms that do not solicit money as part of their consulting service. It analyzes the perspectives of fund raising as a sales or marketing function and strongly criticizes such perspectives as inappropriate for an understanding of an organizational behavior dealing with donor motivations that encompass more than the quid pro quo of the marketplace. The book focuses on the issue of autonomy within the context of environmental interdependencies by analyzing the relationship between the educational concept of “institutional autonomy” and private support.