Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Jeffrey S. Williamson

Second Advisor

Dianne M. Dawson Daniels

Third Advisor

H. Stanton Tuttle

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


Higher Education in the United States is a complex industry with fierce competition. A university’s success and momentum are impacted by numerous internal and external factors. The level of an institution’s philanthropic support often mirrors the level of its overall success. Concerns exist over the continued financial affordability of Christian higher education for students. Prior research has identified a correlation between various institutional characteristics and the generation of philanthropic support. Based on the literature review, the following characteristics were studied to determine their ability to predict alumni giving: enrollment, endowment balance, financial responsibility score, graduation rate, institutional age, presidential tenure, retention rate, student debt, student loan default rate, and student selectivity. This study reinforced an idea evident throughout the literature, that institutional characteristics in higher education are often highly correlated with one another. Success in one area of an institution will likely predict success in another area as well. This study revealed graduation rate as the strongest predictor of alumni giving among the study sample. Student debt and institutional size were also significant predictors of alumni giving rate. University administrators and boards might benefit from using these results to guide strategic planning efforts and to train faculty and staff of the significant correlations between these and other variables that affect university momentum and alumni giving.


Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2016 for Olivet Nazarene University.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.