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ERIC Number: EJ864295
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1744-6503
Why Alumni Don't Give: A Qualitative Study of What Motivates Non-Donors to Higher Education
Wastyn, M. Linda
International Journal of Educational Advancement, v9 n2 p96-108 Sep 2009
This project explores why non-donors do not give to their alma mater by interviewing 12 non-donors for an in-depth examination of their decision-making processes. The Van Slyke and Brooks (2005) model of alumni giving provides the conceptual framework. This study concludes that where donors and non-donors differ is in the ways in which they socially construct their college experiences to create their own realities. The stories they tell themselves and others about their college experiences and the values they attach to those stories create a reality in which giving does not fit. They tell themselves that the college is too expensive for them or their children today, that other charities need their money more, and that the education they received was a product for which they already paid. This reality becomes the narrative lens through which non-donors interpret and evaluate requests for donations to the college. Variables such as their reasons for attending college, how they fit college into their life and whether they viewed college as a commodity emerged as important themes in these non-donors' narratives. Other process variables--who makes the giving decisions and how they prioritize giving--come into play for these non-donors as well. This study shows the need to include non-donors in research that explores factors that motivate alumni to give to their alma mater and confirms that examining the impact of demographic characteristics and experiences on alumni giving relies on oversimplified pictures of donors' and non-donors' decision-making processes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A