National interest surrounding all facets of intercollegiate athletics has reached an all-time high in capturing public attention. Athletics has captured the attention of important outside audiences, especially major donors and annual fund contributors to the university (Coughlin & Erickson, 1984). Government appropriations at the federal, state, and local level directed to institutions of higher education have been declining over the past twenty years (Masterson, 2009). Consequently, colleges and universities are supplementing financial deficiencies by increasingly soliciting gifts and grants from private donors, corporations, and alumni. Donations by alumni are a significant source of revenue for colleges and universities, and their importance promises to grow in the future (Clotfelter, 2001).
Financial contributions from alumni have become an increasingly important source of revenue for intercollegiate athletic departments. The ability to secure monetary donations to intercollegiate athletics has become an integral part of maintaining and building successful athletic programs. This study contributes to the literature in higher education by examining characteristics and motivations of the donating behaviors of intercollegiate athletic alumni from a comprehensive regional university. The purpose of this study was to identify key determinants that influence athletic alumni intent to give financially to intercollegiate athletic department fundraising campaigns. Those determinants were shaped from six models associated with charitable giving, which include altruistic giving, organizational identification, social identification, economic or utility satisfaction, receiving services, and relationship-marketing. Two significant studies that influenced this research explored developing a donor profile scale for intercollegiate athletics (Strode & Fink, 2009) and examined factors impacting athlete alumni donating to their alma mater (O‟Neil & Schenke, 2007). The work of Mann (2007) also provided an excellent framework for theoretical or model perspectives for understanding donor motives by applying his philosophies in studying collegiate athletic alumni financial giving.
A survey questionnaire collected data from 122 athletic alumni who graduated within a 50-year span of time, from 1960 to 2010. The response rate was 30.5 percent for athletic alumni surveyed. In the instrument, there were demographic questions and questions pertaining to trends, attitudes, opinions, experiences, motives, and identification of why the athletic alumni participant in the survey gave or did not give financially to intercollegiate athletic department fundraising campaigns.
Descriptive statistics using one-way ANOVA and Chi-Square measures were analyzed to identify key determinants shaped from six models associated with charitable giving, exploring athletic alumni financial giving levels to the athletic department for the most recent tax year and total lifetime. Demographic variables were also analyzed. To encourage athletic alumni to give financially to fundraising campaigns, this study identified a number of initiatives that can be implemented by the athletic department. Results suggest that these initiatives should be derived from the charitable giving models of altruistic giving, organizational identification, social identification, economic or utility satisfaction, and relationship-marketing strategies. The information obtained in this study can assist in predicting donor behavior and developing actions that will increase the effectiveness of development campaigns for intercollegiate athletic departments.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. November 2011. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Darwin D. Hendel, PhD. 1 computer file (PDF) xi, 223 pages, appendices A-D.
Holquist, Gary W..
Identifying key determinants that influence athletic alumni intent to give financially to intercollegiate athletic department fundraising campaigns..
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