Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Repeated College Alumni Giving: Application of the Commitment-Trust Theory of Relationship Marketing
by Lowe, LaKeisha D., Ph.D., Capella University, 2019, 151; 13805949
Abstract (Summary)

Various determinants have been found to explain the donor status and giving levels of college alumni. Limited research exists on what motivates college alumni to give repeated donations to a higher education institution. The purpose of this study was to determine if commitment and trust significantly related to higher education institutions receiving repeated annual gifts from college alumni. The extent of the relationship that commitment and trust had with college alumni donating repeated annual gifts was investigated using the commitment-trust theory of relationship marketing (commitment-trust theory) as the theoretical framework. Demographic variables (i.e., gender, age, race, marital status, number of dependents in a household, annual income, highest degree earned, family legacy, and number of years since graduating) were also included and examined to assess how strongly commitment and trust predicted college alumni giving repeated annual gifts. A quantitative, correlational, nonexperimental research design was used in the study to collect and analyze data from online survey responses. The study's sample consisted of 478 college alumni that were purposively drawn from a population of 43,381 college alumni at two 4-year higher education institutions located in the southeastern region of the United States. This sample was comprised of college alumni who graduated from one of the two higher education institutions during or before 2007. Most of the study's alumni were older Caucasian females who were married or in a domestic partnership and without any dependents living in the participants' households. The majority of the alumni also reported having an annual income of more than $100,000, earning a bachelor's degree as the highest level of education and not having any family ties at either institution involved in the study. Multiple regression analyses were performed and revealed commitment and trust to be statistically significant predictors of repeated giving by the sample. A second multiple regression model showed that the demographic variables were insignificant predictors of repeated giving. Including the demographic variables contributed to very small declines in the strength of commitment and trust as predictors of repeated giving. The commitment-trust theory was found to align with the results of the study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Johnson, Richard
Commitee: Gambino, Thomas, Martin, Magy
School: Capella University
Department: Counseling and Human Services
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Marketing, Behavioral psychology, Higher education
Keywords: College alumni, Commitment-trust theory, Higher education, Nonprofit, Relationship marketing, Repeated giving
Publication Number: 13805949
ISBN: 978-0-438-96098-5
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