Author(s)

Amy HallFollow

Date

12-2016

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Eric G Lovik

Keywords

Alumni Donation, Alumni Engagement Strategies, Alumni Giving, Community College Alumni, Facebook, Social Media

Disciplines

Community College Leadership | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Education Economics | Higher Education | Other Education

Abstract

Community colleges have begun to rely more heavily on private funding sources like alumni donations to support their overall fiscal health. This correlational study tested the theory of planned behavior as it relates to level of engagement through social media for community college alumni and alumni giving behavior for Virginia’s community colleges. More specifically, it attempted to determine whether a relationship exists between alumni use of their alma mater’s Facebook page and engagement behaviors. Survey data were gathered from participating colleges and from a randomly drawn sample of alumni of Virginia’s 23 community colleges (N=4,100) using the Virginia Community College Alumni Giving Survey, an instrument that incorporates the Ranganathan and Henley (2008) measure of giving intention. Multiple regression analysis was used to provide insight into the strength of relationships among the variables. While the original null hypothesis could not be rejected at the .05 alpha level, additional analyses revealed statistically significantly relationships among the variables, under different conditions, led to the conclusion that consistency of effort in building and maintaining relationships with alumni is vitally important to alumni fundraising programs. Recommendations for further research include repeating the current study under more consistent conditions with broader participation by community colleges, studying alternative forms of engagement – with or without the mitigating factor of social media – in pre-test/post-test format, and utilizing qualitative research methods to provide greater insight into donor motivations in general and alumni giving motivations specifically.