Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Applying Life Course Theory for Nonprofits: Age Group Differences in Loyalty, Donations, and Referrals
by Phillips, Aaron K., Ph.D., Capella University, 2019, 145; 22622549
Abstract (Summary)

As the demands on nonprofits increase, there is an increased necessity to understand how membership-driven nonprofit organizations can sustain membership and maintain revenue pathways. Business strategies that look for innovative ways to build loyalty have the greatest chance to continue to be available within communities to serve those they are driven to help. As the nonprofit landscape has changed, membership-driven nonprofits have seen an increase in closures and bankruptcies. Membership nonprofits such as the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs are challenged to think differently about their business models. The ability to remain connected to their consumers to attract and retain them as loyal members, volunteers, and donors throughout a life cycle is vital. The life course theory was used to understand differences in loyalty, willingness to volunteer, willingness to contribute to, and willingness to recommend the national nonprofit organization across age groups, gender, and marital status as an individual’s life trajectory changes. The purpose of this study was to determine if loyalty to a national nonprofit organization varies significantly by age group, gender, or marital status. Furthermore, to determine for the national nonprofit organization members, does willingness to volunteer, contribute, or recommend significantly vary by age group, gender, or marital status. The data for this investigation came from a data set of responses to an annual survey conducted by a large national nonprofit organization. The original population sampled encompassed individuals over the age of 17 and affiliated with the national nonprofit. Over 57,000 individuals connected to the national nonprofit organization were targeted. All individuals of the original sample were compiled into categories of member’s age, gender, and marital status. A non-experimental correlational design was used to conclude if there were correlations between the secondary data and the role age, gender, and marital status play in the life course theory and the likelihood to volunteer, contribute to, and recommend the national nonprofit organization. The dependent variables were loyalty to the national nonprofit organization, the willingness to volunteer, the willingness to contribute, and the willingness to recommend the national nonprofit organization. The independent variables included age, gender, and marital status. Results concluded that significant differences were present among the identified independent variables. These findings may further inform how membership-driven nonprofits can evolve their thinking about membership sustainability and provide a deeper understanding of how to approach the consumers and constituents in their communities. Results may help create more sustainable models that can continue to serve consumers and constituents throughout the life cycle.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Krabill, Paige
Commitee: Rockey, Mary, Waugh, Catherine
School: Capella University
Department: School of Counseling and Human Services
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Public administration
Keywords: contribute, Life Course theory, loyalty, Nonprofit, recommend, volunteer
Publication Number: 22622549
ISBN: 9781687966698
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