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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Delores McNair

First Committee Member

Ronald Hallett

Second Committee Member

Paul Lanning


The current funding challenges affecting public colleges and universities place a greater reliance on philanthropy, and women represent one of the most attractive donor segments. As private giving becomes increasingly essential to ensuring access to quality public higher education, the need exists to better understand women’s philanthropic patterns, motivations, and behavior so that practitioners of higher education fundraising can apply the knowledge tools that will facilitate more effective strategies when cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major donors. This qualitative study explored an existing conceptual framework with the intent to substantiate its application with women who were major donors to public higher education. The framework, coined by its authors (Shaw & Taylor, 1995; Shaw-Hardy, 2005; Shaw-Hardy & Taylor, 2010) as the Six Cs Plus 3 of Women’s Giving, consists of nine themes, each starting with the letter C, that embody the motivations and outcomes of women philanthropists. Using collective case study methodology and cross-case synthesis as an analytic technique, a composite of six women was presented and reported as a representative case to protect the confidentiality of the study’s participants. The representative case displayed evidence of support for five of the nine C s in the women’s philanthropy framework (create, connect, celebrate, control, and confidence). Across the cases, minimal or no support surfaced for four of the Cs (change, commit, collaborate, and courage). Based on the data collection criteria relating to geographical parameters, the study introduced an additional C, context, as a motivation to donate. From these findings, suggestions on the application of the women’s philanthropy framework in relation to donor giving levels is proposed. Moreover, the study’s conclusions underscore the call for continued scholarship in the area of women and philanthropy, particularly as it relates to women making significant financial contributions.





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