Self-Esteem and Altruism Perceived as Motivational Factors for Alumni Giving, and Their Relationships to Various Donor Characteristics
Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Dr. John Kofel
Dr. Uldis Smidchens
Dr. Ken Simon
Dr. Ernest Stech
The purpose of this study was to investigate relationships between alumni donor characteristics and self-esteem and altruism with the assumption that donor self-esteem and altruism are related to alumni giving behavior. Eight donor characteristics perceived to represent a cross-section of donor characteristics having a direct or indirect relationship to either self-esteem, altruism, or both, in regard to philanthropy, were selected for study. Self-esteem and altruism were selected because they are perceived to represent factors that are paramount in motivation for giving.
A survey instrument consisting of two sections was developed. Section one provided information regarding donor characteristics which included gender, age, household income, amount of contribution, level of degree, career preparation, rank, and tax-incentive. Section two measured self-esteem and altruism. Thirty-six questions that comprise the altruism subscale of the Omnibus Personality Inventory and 24 questions that constitute the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory were randomly selected and combined to provide a single set of questions that became section two of the instrument. This instrument, named the Donor Motivation Inventory, subsequently consisted of 68 items, eight questions regarding donor characteristics and 60 questions used to measure donor self-esteem and altruism. The population investigated consisted of Western Michigan University alumni who made a financial contribution to the Western Michigan University Alumni Fund between January 1, 1979 and December 31, 1979. A sample of 400 alumni was obtained through a systematic random sample process. Donor names used for this study were made public through the WMU Foundation 1979 Annual Report To Donors published in the February 1980 issue of University Magazine, a Western Michigan University publication. All participants were mailed the questionnaire (Donor Motivation Inventory) with 254 (63%) returned in usable form.
Sixteen research hypotheses were investigated through the testing of the relationships between donor characteristic variables and the two perceived motivational factors of self-esteem and altruism. Eight hypotheses investigated relationships between selected donor characteristics and self-esteem and eight hypotheses investigated relationships between selected donor characteristics and altruism. The one-way analysis of variance was used to test these hypotheses at the .05 level of significance.
Results of the hypothesis testing indicated the following relationships between self-esteem and donor characteristics as well as altruism and donor characteristics: (1) self-esteem for male donors is greater than self-esteem for female donors; (2) altruism for female donors is greater than altruism for male donors; (3) donors who perceive their career preparation at Western Michigan University to be above average have greater self-esteem than donors who perceive their career preparation to be average; (4) donors who perceive their career preparation at Western Michigan University to be above average have greater altruism than donors who perceive their career preparation to be average.
Possible implications and recommendations for future study were reported.
Anderson, Gerald Leonard, "Self-Esteem and Altruism Perceived as Motivational Factors for Alumni Giving, and Their Relationships to Various Donor Characteristics" (1981). Dissertations. 2555.