Motivation for alumni donations: a social identity perspective on the role of branding in higher education

Amber L. Stephenson, Nikki Bell
  • International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, May 2014, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/nvsm.1495

Social identity perspective on alumni donations

What is it about?

We explored donor motivations from social identity and self-congruity theoretical perspectives. We analyzed responses about why alumni donate and why they choose not to donate. We offered observations on the basis of respondent commentary and also raised the question of what happens when university branding efforts conflict with the perceptions of a large stakeholder group such as alumni.

Why is it important?

The results showed that if the level of identification with the university increased, the expected number of donations would also increase. More interestingly, however, we further assessed the non-donors, the results suggested that if an alumnus were to identify with the university, he would be 43% less likely to be definitive nondonor and would find a way to give money.

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