Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


John W. Murry

Committee Member

Michael T. Miller

Second Committee Member

Ketevan Mamiseishvili


African American, Alumni Giving, Development, Fundraising, HBCU, Higher Education


Throughout the literature, HBCU alumni non-donors were perceived to possess the opposite characteristics of alumni that do give financially. In order to further examine the lack of alumni giving at HBCUs, this study evaluated previously identified characteristics of HBCU alumni that choose not to financially support their alma maters. The purpose of this study was to examine how income, student experience, religious charitable giving, alumni perceptions, and alumni engagement, relate to alumni giving at HBCUs. An explanatory correlational design was used to address the research questions posed in this study. The 4,500 person sample, which consisted of donors and non-donors, was selected from two HBCUs using a stratified random sampling process. Data collection occurred through an 18-question online survey. The large majority of the participants were donors, while 44% of the non-donors reported not being contributors due to a limited discretionary income. The participants were overwhelmingly satisfied with their academic experience, extracurricular experience, decision to attend their alma mater, and post-graduation success. In addition, a large percentage of the participants attended a church and made charitable contributions on a weekly basis. All of the relationships were found to be statically significant (p < .05) except for religious charitable giving and alumni giving, and alumni involvement and alumni giving. The results of this study suggest: (a) HBCU donors and non-donors have positive overall undergraduate experiences; (b) religious charitable giving and attendance may not influence alumni giving at HBCUs as much as previously assumed by earlier researchers; and (c) the low annual income of African Americans was not as high of a justification for not giving by non-donors as previously assumed by other scholars.