Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
This study examined the characteristics and predictors of Millennial alumni who donated financially to their alma mater and those who did not by reviewing data from the Alumni Attitude Survey (AAS). The data set was composed of 2,108 Millennial respondents and 1,110 as Generation X respondents. This study can help university foundation and alumni association staff members to determine why their donors, specifically Millennial alumni, give to their institution and how to be more effective in requesting for a financial donation from them. Generating consistent support from alumni and other donors is an economic necessity for postsecondary institutions. As current students graduate, institutions need to know how they can entice these alumni to provide financial support. This dissertation fills the gap in the literature by providing new research on the effect Millennial student involvement has on the likelihood they will become donors to their alma mater. This dissertation used Astin's (1984) involvement theory as a foundation for the research. The connection that alumni have with their alma maters and the outcome of donations after graduation may stem from the connections that these alumni established while involved in activities as undergraduates. Astin's involvement theory provides some insights into identifying the experiences that help to inspire alumni to donate financially and helps institutions identify and devise new ways of using these experiences to help increase donations. The positive emotional experiences from undergraduate involvement may be motivation to donate to one's alma mater. This study identified the involvement characteristics of undergraduate Millennial alumni donors, the differences between these donors and nondonors, and predictors of undergraduate Millennial alumni donor behavior. This study focused on the potential relationship between involvement and student satisfaction and subsequently, found statistically significant variables that influenced Millennial alumni to donate to their alma mater. Specifically, Millennial alumni who were involved in organizations that relate to peer involvement; such as fraternity/sorority involvement, participation in intramural athletics, community service, residence halls participation, and the alma mater providing or encouraging relationships with other students, encouraging the attendance at athletic events, providing student leadership opportunities and providing opportunities to interact with alumni relate to one donating to their alma mater. These variables were statistically significant, but they were also practically significant, meaning that the findings do make a difference in helping to identify factors that lead to Millennial alumni to donate to their alma mater. The findings in this dissertation reiterate the importance of student engagement on the campus. An institution's faculty and staff involvement with undergraduates, specifically those staff who work directly with student organizations, are vital for student engagement that lead to graduation and future donations as an alumnus.
This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.