Who Gives? Characteristics of Community College Alumni Donors
Skari, Lisa Ann
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As higher education becomes more dependent on sources of external funding, alumni provide a large pool of potential donors. In order for colleges and universities to capitalize on their relationship with former students and generate private gifts, they must understand who gives. Using predictive models, institutions of higher education develop profiles of alumni donors so that they might target efforts to those alumni most likely to give. While many studies examine attributes of alumni donors, they do so within the four-year institution context. A profile of the community colleges alumni donor does not exist.Guided by social exchange theory, the study explores the characteristics of community college alumni donors to understand giving at two-year institutions, with a focus on student experiences and demographics. The study uses logistic regression to examine a large sample of community college alumni from 18 two-year public colleges across the United States (n = 7,330). Results are consistent with research conducted at four-year institutions, and suggest the likelihood of community college alumni giving has a positive relationship to: the student experience, including levels of satisfaction, involvement, and relationships; age; giving to other organizations; how long ago they attended their alma mater; and income. New knowledge emerged with regard to levels of achievement showing community college alumni who graduated with an Associate degree are twice as likely to give as those who did not. The study breaks ground for future research on community college alumni donors, and the findings provide direction for two-year college administrators, in addition to fundraising and alumni professionals.