Defense Date

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Education

First Advisor

Katherine Mansfield

Second Advisor

Whitney Newcomb

Third Advisor

Genevieve Siegel-Hawley

Fourth Advisor

Amy Lane

Abstract

Abstract

WHY WOMEN GIVE TO WOMEN: A PORTRAIT OF GENDER-BASED PHILANTHROPY AT A PUBLIC COLLEGE IN VIRGINIA

By Amy Gray Beck, Ph.D.

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019

Chair: Katherine Cumings Mansfield, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, School of Education, UNC Greensboro

The cost of public higher education is steadily increasing, with state and federal government cutting its support year after year. Students are having to pay more out of pocket for classes and tuition, and institutions rely on private funding support to provide educational opportunities to students in need. Historically, fundraising operations in higher education have focused on a traditional solicitation model, focusing on fundraising from men in households, but savvy institutions have begun to focus on philanthropy from specific populations, including women, to increase dollars raised. Research shows women are more philanthropically generous than their male counterparts, especially when giving to education.

The main purpose of this qualitative case study was to highlight the successes of a women and philanthropy program at William and Mary, a public college in Virginia, as it is the first and only women and philanthropy program in the country where the funds donated are given back to benefit women, as well as add to the growing body of literature on women and philanthropy, and the lack of literature that exists on women giving to women in higher education.

The alumnae initiatives endowment funded by the Society of 1918 offers alumnae leadership development, networking opportunities, continuing education, empowerment, and more. Private funding in this case is enabling a social justice program to exist that otherwise would not be funded through tuition and state and federal funding. Interviews, observations, and document analysis were utilized to examine contextual factors contributing to the development of the Society of 1918 and motivations for members joining the Society at a $10,000 level.

A feminist standpoint theoretical framework helped to develop meaning-making of alumnae’s motivations for joining the Society of 1918. Utilizing portraiture as a qualitative method, findings showed how gender and timely social justice movements played a role in influencing alumnae motivations to join the Society of 1918. Finally, best practices are shared for institutions considering a comprehensive women and philanthropy program whose private gifts benefit women.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

12-12-2019

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