The Sources and Uses of Annual Giving at Selective Private Research Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges
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Ehrenberg, Ronald G.; Smith, Christopher L.
[Excerpt] While there have been numerous studies of the determinants of total annual giving and of alumni giving to institutions, including those by Bade & Sundberg (1996), Clotfelter (forthcoming), Cunningham & Cochi-Ficano (2002), Dugan, Mullin & Siegfried (1999) and Shulman & Bowen (2000), no study has sought to explain why the shares of annual giving coming from different sources varies over time or across institutions. Similarly no study has sought to explain why the share of giving going to different uses varies over time or across institutions. Our study addresses the determinants of the cross section variation in these shares using panel data for 30 major private research universities and 30 selective liberal arts colleges that historically have been ranked among the top undergraduate institutions included in U.S News & World Report’s national research university and liberal arts college categories. The next section of our paper provides background data on the variation over time and across institutions at a point in time, in the shares of annual giving coming from different sources and going to different uses at these institutions. Section III sketches the analytic framework that leads to the specification in section IV of sets of equations for the sources and uses of annual giving. These equations are then estimated using panel data that span the 1968-69 to 1998-99 period. We conclude by illustrating how these estimates can be used to simulate how changes in key explanatory variables influence an institution’s shares of giving coming from different sources and going to different uses.
liberal arts colleges; alumni giving; revenue sources; private institutions
Required Publisher Statement: Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University.