TitleBuilding Communities of Philanthropy in Higher Education: Contextual Influences
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMcAlexander, J, Koenig, H
JournalInternational Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
Date Published2012

In this era of constrained and declining economic resources, institutions of higher education are turning to advancement professionals to identify and cultivate the financial resources that are becoming an increasing and larger portion of the fundamental funding of the institution. In this high stakes arena, advancement professionals have a need for the tools that can assist them in cultivating philanthropic relationships more effectively and efficiently. To that purpose, this research empirically explores ways in which the brand community construct can be adapted to philanthropic intent for non-profit organizations to aid in the cultivation process. This paper presents the results of a survey of college alumni drawn from a commercially provided on-line panel, and examines the potential impact that institutional size may have upon the relationships of an alumni brand community and the community’s expressed willingness to offer financial donations to the alma mater. From a theoretic perspective, this paper reveals that brand community is a significant contributor to this expression of philanthropic intent across universities of differing size. As a practical consideration, our findings produce additional evidence to affirm the notion that brand community is a robust construct that can be of value to development professionals who seek to build financial support for both small and large universities.