Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Brown-Welty, Sharon


Higher education is a funding priority every state should invest in. However, the great recession of 2008 left a catastrophic impact on how public universities in the United States are funded thus mobilizing higher education institutions to seek external support. This focus has led to public universities developing advancement programs to cultivate and solicit alumni support. With the average alumni giving rate at 10% across the nation and 2.8% more specifically for HSIs, and more Latinx students graduating with their bachelor’s degrees, it is important for universities to understand philanthropic motivations among their Latinx alumni population.

This study explored Latinx alumni donor motivations at Hispanic Serving Institutions and how giving amounts changes based on donor motivations as well as examining university priorities Latinx alumni are interested in supporting. A hermeneutic phenomenological study using semi-structured interviews was conducted on ten participants from four HSI’s - two public regional and two public research institutions.

The findings from this study show that the participants all had a positive student experience and while some were not engaged as alumni, they still supported their alma mater because of an inherent desire to give back and support the institution that provided them with opportunities. In addition, the theme of family influence and trust in their alma mater emerged as a powerful theme for why alumni financially support their alma mater.