Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Catherine H. Glascock

Committee Members

Virginia P. Foley, Jeff Anderson, James H. Lampley


At Northeast State Community College (NeSCC) nearly 70% of students need some form of financial aid to attend. State support is flattening or decreasing and the gap is filled by private donors' support (Northeast State Community College, 2011). Hundreds of donors have made significant contributions to aid in the education of those in the Northeast Tennessee region. The purpose of this study was to investigate the philanthropic motivations of a select group of 4 donors who have given a significant amount to a community college and to garner their specific reasons for doing so.

This qualitative study included 4 interviews from current donors in the President's Trust at NeSCC who had contributed at least $10,000. I interviewed an alumni representative, a faculty member, an individual contributor, and a corporate representative to better understand their approaches and perspectives on giving to NeSCC.

Through the interviews, I learned personal stories and motivations for giving. Some of their experiences can be linked to the servant leadership theory, transformational leadership, and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Also, the participants had similarities in stating that it was rewarding to give back and they all agreed that something from childhood spawned their motivations for giving.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.