Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Joonghwa Lee


This dissertation is a two-part study to explore the differences in donation habits and preferences between rural and non-rural non-profit donors. First, a secondary data analysis was conducted on the nearly 160,000 donations from 4,459 real-life non-profit donors utilizing a donor database from Altru Health Foundation. Based on the secondary data analysis results, 28 non-profit donors were recruited for individual in-depth interviews to discuss their experiences and attitudes toward donating money, their motivations to give back to non-profits, and their donation preferences and habits, such as preferred mode of donation, causes they donate to, and types of solicitations they like to receive. It was found that rural and non-rural donors have several differences in their donation habits and preferences. Additionally, rural donors prefer to give back to areas that directly affect their communities and have concerns with donating via social media and prefer email solicitations over mail solicitations. Practical and theoretical implications are explored.