Publication Date

Spring 4-24-2022

Document Type

Student Project

First Advisor

Schatteman, Alicia

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)


Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies


This paper discusses why donors choose to give through membership at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb, Illinois. Information regarding the Egyptian Theatre is found within the methodology section, describing its history, size, and events held at the Theatre. Within this piece, the topics of defining membership, membership at nonprofits, member’s impact of giving to nonprofits, member’s motivation for giving at nonprofits are explored within the literature review. These draw from other works and look towards existing information within the academic world in regard to donor motivation and the impact of reoccurring giving. The methodology explains how this research was conducted and how it will be used. The results, implications, and recommendations expand upon the findings of this study and give insight as to how the Egyptian Theatre can use this information moving forward to improve their membership programs. From the research done, it is concluded that many members give solely based on associated perks with the given level of membership. All the interviewed members used some perks associated with their status the last few times they attended an event at the Egyptian Theatre. It was also found that most members of the Egyptian Theatre live within DeKalb County, leading to the assumption that the Egyptian Theatre retains donors closer in geographic location better than those further with the exception of five members outside of Illinois (including Florida, Minnesota, Iowa, and Pennsylvania). Overall, it is concluded that members at the Egyptian Theatre give because of the associated perks, geographic location, and because they want to support the Theatre.