Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Educational Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Shirley Freed

Second Advisor

Jerome Thayer

Third Advisor

Lilya Wagner



Adventist universities rely on donor support. The predictors of Adventist alumni giving behavior are vital in order to optimize the fundraising capability of a university, but perceptions of who gives among Adventist alumni and why they give or do not give are not based on research.


This empirical study analyzed the relationships between independent variables (demographics, psychographics, reasons for giving, and reasons for not giving) and dependent variables (donor status, level of support measured by largest gift and cumulative gift total, and frequency of support measured by percentage of gift years). The dependent variables were derived from gift data of two comprehensive Adventist universities. The independent variables were created from responses to a survey mailed to alumni of the Universities. The Identification Theory, rather than social exchange, altruism, or obligation theories, was used as a framework for the reasons for giving and not giving. Chi-square, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and correlation tests were used to analyze the relationships between individual variables; multiple regression tests were used to analyze models composed of selected variables.


Significant differences between donors and nondonors and significant relationships with level and frequency of support variables existed for all four types of independent variables. Being older, having a spouse with a degree, and receiving the highest degree earlier were demographic predictors of donors. Psychographic predictors of giving behavior included: giving to more than three nonprofits and being involved with the University. Reasons for giving predictive of giving behavior included: being asked to give, believing in the mission, respecting past and current faculty, and returning help as one was helped.


The discovery of predictors of Adventist alumni giving behavior will assist university personnel both in identifying alumni who are potential donors and preparing effective funding proposals to optimize philanthropic education and resource acquisition. Additional study of the relationships between the various predictors of Adventist alumni giving behavior is recommended. Encouraging philanthropy, in general, by alumni appears to enhance alumni-giving behavior to their Adventist alma mater.

Subject Area

Universities and colleges|--Alumni and alumnae; Seventh-day Adventist universities and colleges--Alumni and alumnae; Universities and colleges--Endowments; Seventh-day Adventist universities and colleges--Endowments; Universities and colleges--Benefactors; Seventh-day Adventist universities and colleges--Benefactors; Endowments; Gifts

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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