Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Nicholas Markette, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Julie McCann, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Yvette Ghormley, Ph.D.


The influence of online education on higher education fundraising practices and giving patterns is not well understood. This qualitative case study explored how fundraising managers perceived the impact of online education on higher education fundraising. To explore this phenomenon, the researcher interviewed fundraising managers at private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the western United States, and reviewed publicly available documents on the participant schools fundraising and financial information. The interviews demonstrated that study participants were concerned about connecting with graduates of online programs, and perceived that online students may have less affinity for their alma mater than on-ground alumni. The fundraising managers interviewed reported that data on the giving patterns and the most effective strategies to engage online alumni are still emerging. Despite this lack of information, the fundraising managers interviewed believed that targeted, personalized solicitations may be the best way to engage and solicit funds from graduates of online programs.