As both academic and athletic programs have become increasingly reliant on private support, the relationship between academic and athletic fund-raising has drawn increased research attention. The current study seeks to clarify the disparate findings of previous research by using the Voluntary Support of Education database of private support to colleges and universities to examine giving by alumni and nonalumni to academic and athletic programs at institutions participating in NCAA Division I-A football. Linear mixed-model analyses revealed the moderating role of academic reputation on institutional giving. Total giving to schools with the strongest academic reputations was less susceptible to the changing fortunes of athletic teams than total giving to institutions not included in the top tier of academically ranked schools. Although the top-ranked schools appeared immune to the influence of athletic performance, analysis of allocation patterns indicated that an increasing percentage of total dollars donated was directed to athletic programs at all levels of schools.
Stinson is with the Management, Marketing, and Finance Dept., North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105. Howard is with the Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.