Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kortegast, Carrie A.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


Over the last 20 years, there has been a significant decrease in funding for higher education. Institutions are increasingly forced to look at alternative methods for financing their college operations. One-way institutions are combatting the decrease in funding is through increased fundraising efforts. Fundraising by colleges and universities has become a mission critical fiscal need, especially for those institutions that are publicly funded. In general, charitable giving to institutions of higher education has been on the rise, with foundation support being one of the largest entities, followed by alumni giving. Community colleges are relatively new to the fundraising arena compared to their four-year counterparts and thus are significantly trailing in their alumni solicitation efforts. With alumni giving accounting for one quarter of all charitable giving to institutions of higher education, alumni are a key component in a successful fundraising strategy.

This study examined the relationship between degree attainment and alumni giving at a rural community college in Northern Illinois. The community college studied is regionally co-located with a four-year state university, with which a significant number of alumni are shared. The study hypothesized that community college alumni would align their donating behavior with the institution for which their highest degree was awarded. Thus, the community college alumni who transferred on to the local four-year institution would align their donating behavior with the university, essentially diminishing the community college foundation’s ability solicit funds from those alumni. The study found the opposite effect; the community college alumni with a bachelor’s degree from the local four-year state university were more likely to give than the community college alumni without a bachelor degree from there. In addition, alumni who graduated from a local high school were more likely to give than alumni from an out of district high school.


78 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type