Charitable giving as obligation or option: An analysis of Cuban alumni and Jewish alumni at a private research university

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan - Committee Chair


This study was conducted to examine the influence of ethnicity, gender, giving potential, volunteer membership, and, for Cuban alumni, country of birth, on alumni giving by Cuban alumni and Jewish alumni to the University of Miami. In addition, the study examined the motivating for giving from a sample population of these two groups. Responses were analyzed within two frameworks: charitable giving as obligation or option.A Multinomial Logistic Regression analysis was used for quantitative analysis. Six-hundred ninety Jewish alumni and 373 Cuban alumni constituted the population. Telephone interviews with 60 purposively selected Jewish alumni and 37 purposively selected Cuban alumni were conducted. Content analysis was used for qualitative analysis.Significant findings included the following: Cuban alumni and Jewish alumni were donors in similar percentages to the university; Jewish alumni supported the university at higher giving levels than did Cuban alumni; for both Jewish alumni and Cuban alumni membership in volunteer organizations was the most significant predictor of giving to the university; for Jewish alumni, being male was a significant predictor of giving to the university but was not a significant predictor for Cuban alumni.Within the obligation framework, major findings were as follows: those Cuban alumni and Jewish alumni with strong religious beliefs viewed giving as an obligation; Cuban alumni considered feelings of indebtedness as a motive for giving; Jewish giving was more national and oriented toward social causes; Cuban giving centered on church, children, and local organizations. For both groups, there was a strong relationship between voluntarism and giving.Within the optional framework, major findings were as follows: tax and income considerations were not factors in giving; donor recognition was more important a fact than readily admitted; group membership was a motive for giving.Further study is recommended on the factors which influence charitable giving including gender, race, ethnicity, family history, and voluntarism. In addition, further study on giving from the perspective of the donor should be examined by both scholars and practitioners.


Education, Finance; Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies; Education, Higher

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text