Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Determinants of Giving to Hispanic-serving Institutions
by Forde, Althea A., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2019, 144; 13899545
Abstract (Summary)

This study set out to examine factors that influence and motivate foundations in their decision-making strategies to support Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and how decisions are shaped by the identity, characteristics, and institutional advancement offices at these institutions of higher learning. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with program officers from foundations that ranged in size from one staff member to more than 25. Some of these foundations were ranked in the Top 50 for Total Giving and the Top 50 for Total Assets, according to the Foundation Center. My primary finding showed that foundations reflect an ethos of care for institutions that serve low-income, first-generation, and minority students (students they care about). Four subthemes also emerged, all related to my overarching finding pertaining to the ethos of care. First, the HSI identity per se is not a determinant in foundation giving to HSIs, although foundations are certainly committed to supporting low-income, first-generation, and minority students. The second theme is that institutional advancement offices impact foundation giving to a lesser extent than anticipated. On the other hand, the reputation, accomplishments, and vision of presidents and institutional leaders were represented as potential deciding factors for foundations’ grant-making decisions. Third, many foundations are engaging in “strategy resets,” rethinking how they have worked in the past and moving in the direction of increased collaboration at multiple levels, resulting in a more highly networked landscape of higher education and philanthropy. Last, foundations are simultaneously interested in both student success and institutional transformation. Overall, foundations give to higher education primarily because they see this as a way to promote social justice and equity for the students they care about—first-generation, low-income, and minority students. As a result of this study, institutions such as HSIs that serve these students can gain a better understanding of how foundations are thinking about and approaching their work for the students they care about. This study augments the currently sparse literature related to foundation giving to HSIs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gasman, Marybeth
Commitee: Eynon, Diane, Drezner, Noah
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Fundraising, Giving, Hispanics, HSI, Latinos, Philanthropy
Publication Number: 13899545
ISBN: 9781085651691
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