Date of Award

Summer 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Administration and Urban Policy

Committee Director

William M. Leavitt

Committee Member

John B. Ford

Committee Member

Katrina M. Stevens


Research and practice in nonprofit fundraising has increasingly been focused on the benefits of relational exchange. This dissertation examines relationships between donors and nonprofit organizations and their impact on the charitable giving levels using identity salience and relationship satisfaction as key mediators of nonprofit relational exchange. Previous research has shown that there are a plethora of charitable giving motivations that contribute to supportive behaviors in the nonprofit context; however, this research does not provide a comprehensive understanding of the intervening variables. This study modified previous studies by introducing relationship satisfaction in addition to identity saliency, as mediating constructs. Results confirm that both identity saliency and relationship satisfaction partially mediate charitable giving motivations and charitable giving. Additionally, perceived organizational performance, emotional utility, and parental socialization and youth participation were significantly related to identity salience. Finally, perceived organizational performance, emotional utility, and satisfaction with the solicitation process were found to significantly related to relationship satisfaction.