This study introduces and explores the value of SPLIT donors (donors making gifts to both academic and athletic programs at educational institutions). Detailed empirical records of donor giving to three NCAA Division I institutions establish that significant value of SPLIT donors to educational institutions. In the short term, SPLIT donors give higher total average gifts than donors making athletics-only gifts. In the long-term, SPLIT donors are retained at a higher rate than donors making academics-only gifts. The combination of gift size and retention rate maximizes the lifetime value of SPLIT donors to the institution. However, despite having higher lifetime value to the institution, there may be a disincentive for athletic programs to cultivate SPLIT donors. While the average total gifts of SPLIT donors are higher than the average gifts of their counterparts supporting only athletic programs, their average gift to athletics is lower.
Jeffrey Stinson and Dennis Howard
Liz Wanless and Jeffrey L. Stinson
While managing the intercollegiate athletic development office is critical to contributions generation, the nearly 40 years of research modeling intercollegiate athletic fundraising emphasized limited factors external to this department. Both theoretical and statistical justification warrants a broader scope in contemporary factor identification. With a resource-based view as the theoretical foundation, a list of 43 variables both internal and external to the intercollegiate athletic development office was generated through an extensive literature review and semistructured interviews with athletic and nonathletic fundraising professionals. Based on the factors identified, random and fixed effects regression models were developed via test statistic model reduction across a 5-year panel (FY2011–FY2015). Ninety-three schools were included, representing 73% of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) membership (85% of public FBS institutions). The results highlight the role of both internal and external factors in explaining intercollegiate athletic fundraising procurement.
Jeffrey L. Stinson and Dennis R. Howard
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.