Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Capstone Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Jeremy N. Phillips, Ph.D., MPA



This paper examines data from a public university to determine what statistically significant variables may exist that could influence the likelihood of alumni-to-university donations. Over the previous five years, this university has seen a 17% reduction in state funding to support its current operational budget. Therefore, alternative methods of revenue generation must be relied upon to fund the school’s budget, one of which is alumni donations. Alumni donations are not consistent in their annual reliability, so the school may benefit from having a greater understanding of which demographics are most likely to donate. Previous studies have found that gender, marital status, occupation, and distance from alma mater were strong determinants of charitable giving. Consequently, this study examines 92,548 data points of alumni graduates received from a public university alumni database to examine the statistical relevance of such variables. Predictive modeling is used to determine the statistical significance of variables. The ideal donor was found to be someone who was a member of three or more university groups, possess both a bachelor’s and graduate degree, has participated in 21 or more alumni events, is non-single in marital status, and received a scholarship while attending college. Further studies of other universities are recommended to determine if one or more of these characteristics are unique.