In recent years, state appropriations to higher education decreased. In response, universities of all sizes, both public and private, are forced to shift many of the associated burdens to their students in the form of increasing tuition rates and decreasing institutional quality to cut costs. As such, increasing alumni giving rates is essential to all institutions of higher education as they seek to maintain high academic standards, attract the best prospects, and foster future growth and financial stability. There is a large body of research seeking to address these pressing issues in higher education, many focusing on athletics as a stimulus for alumni giving. This paper builds upon the existing literature and ultimately answers the question: how does athletic success affect alumni giving? A fifteen-year panel data set comprised of 65 Division I universities is examined and the results show an insignificant relationship between athletic success and alumni giving. However, the analysis informs the influence of the macroeconomy and parameters for institutional quality. While athletics do not provide any substantial predictive power in this paper, the significance of other explanatory variables justifies this re-examination of athletics and alumni giving and explicitly highlights further avenues for research.
In 2012 Colorado College has a low rate of alumni giving of less than 19%. The top colleges in this category boast a rate of more than 50%. At this time, Colorado College is a highly selective and competitive private liberal arts college. In 2012, philanthropic giving to institutions of higher education totaled more than $31 billion. This study seeks to identify the motivations of Colorado College alumni to give philanthropically to their alma mater. A survey used by Hubert (2009) was modified and sent out to 1000 CC alumni. Five groups of alumni were targeted: those who give regularly, those who used to give but no longer do so, those who have never given, alumni who live outside the state of Colorado, and alumni who live in Colorado. In addition, different direct mailing strategies were used to attempt to influence response rates. This study finds that the major motivations of charitable giving among CC alumni are loyalty to the institution, the establishment of a relationship with the institution, and financial security.
Alumni giving is a major priority for any and all top liberal arts colleges. Not only is total alumni donation a major funding contributor to liberal arts colleges’ annual operational costs, but it has a 5% weight in U.S. News and World Report ranking. Specifically, Colorado College has seen a significant decrease, per annum, of alumni giving participation rates since 1995. This thesis aims to understand potential causes behind this decrease in participation rates by interacting directly with a specific alumni sample in order to understand their perception of this phenomenon. Through a phone interviewing methodology, informed by prior data collection and analysis of survey results/alumni characteristic, findings will suggest actionable ways in which to improve alumni connection to Colorado College in order to foster increase alumni giving participation rates.