Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Casey Reason

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Scott Self

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Scott Strawn


Alumni giving is increasingly important to the vitality of institutions of higher education. With governmental financial support of public institutions steadily declining, understanding philanthropic giving is more important than ever. Advancement offices that serve alumni populations benefit from analyzing predictors of the behavioral phenomenon of charitable giving. It is also known that enrollment in distance education programs is on the rise in the United States. For university administrators and advancement professionals to be proactive in cultivating relationships with alumni that attended through an online modality, more research was needed to understand what motivates philanthropic giving from this alumni constituency. Using the theory of planned behavior as a theoretical framework, this quantitative study employed logistic regression to explore if independent variables proven to predict philanthropic giving from alumni that attended through a residential education experience also predicted philanthropic giving from alumni who completed 80% or more of their learning experience through the online modality. The population of participants was alumni who have graduated from a midsized master’s degree-granting public university in the Midwest with a degree from an online program. The institution in this study was at the forefront of implementing distance education programs, with beta testing starting in 1995 and full programs launched in 1998. The logistic regression model tested was statistically significant. Of the 11 predictor variables, nine were statistically significant. Overall, the strongest predictor of alumni giving in the model was having also earned a degree through a residential experience at the institution. Other strong predictors were alumni event attendance, marital status of married and divorced when compared to single, and having graduated from the Kinesiology academic program when compared to the Aviation academic program. The findings of this study can help inform decision making and strategy creation of higher education leaders in securing financial support from this emerging audience of prospective donors while also helping inform student engagement and alumni engagement strategies regarding the subset of students that attend university through distance education. Ultimately, the results add to the body of research about philanthropic giving from alumni that attended universities through the online modality.

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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