Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Research


Because of declining state funding and rising costs for institutions of higher education, support from alumni is of major interest to university administrators, alumni associations, university advancement officials and other stakeholders. Gifts from alumni are becoming more important in sustaining revenue streams for institutions of higher education. In addition, alumni support their alma maters by recruiting new students and promoting the institution to others. Understanding more about the attitudes which underlie the relationship between alumni and their alma maters provide insights useful to university and alumni relations in building and managing the future of their institutions.

Included in this study were University of North Dakota alumni who were members of graduating classes between 1945 and 1995. The sample, drawn by a proportional stratified sampling method, consisted of 2,500 alumni from the UND Alumni Association database.

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of selected student demographics, student academic involvement, student social involvement, alumni demographics, alumni social involvement, and alumni attitudinal measures with alumni supportive behaviors. A conceptual model was developed from previous research to predict alumni support. Canonical correlation was utilized to analyze a set of 22 independent variables with a set of dependent variables, namely promoting the institution to ethers and donating financial resources.

Using logistic regression to first predict whether or not alumni would donate, 71.41 % were correctly classified as donors or non-donors. Further analysis by stepwise linear regression provided predictive models for individual giving amounts and promoting the institution to others. Predictors of individual giving amounts included individual income, perception of financial need, years since graduation, attendance at alumni activities, and number of children. Predictors of promoting the institution to others included organizational prestige, social identification, years since graduation, and respect for alumni leaders.

Marketing strategies involving targeting and segmentation of alumni can aid an institution of higher education in attracting support in an environment of increasing competition for private and public resources. Key to these marketing strategies is the identification of factors that influence the relationship between an individual and the institution of higher education.