Give and take in major gift relationships

McDonald, Katie, Scaife, Wendy A., & Smyllie, Susan (2011) Give and take in major gift relationships. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 46(2), pp. 163-182.

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This article investigates the complex phenomenon of major gift giving to charitable institutions. Drawing on empirical evidence from interviews with 16 Australian major donors (who gave a single gift of at least AU$10,000 in 2008 or 2009), we seek to better understand donor expectations and (dis)satisfaction. Given growing need for social services, and the competition among nonprofit organisations (NPOs) to secure sustainable funding, this research is particularly timely. Currently, little is known about major donors’ expectations, wants and needs. Equity theory, with the concept of reciprocity at its core, was found to provide a useful framework for understanding these phenomena. A model of equitable major gift relationships was developed from the data, which portrays balanced relationships and identifies potential areas of dissatisfaction for major donors. We conclude by offering suggestions for NPOs seeking to understand the complexities of major gift relationships, with practical implications for meeting donors’ needs.

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ID Code: 49187
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: major gifts, reciprocity, equity theory
ISSN: 0157-6321
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Accounting Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified (150199)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Authors
Copyright Statement: Any persons wishing to publish
or copy the article may contact the Australian Council of Social Service, c/- The
Publications Officer, Locked Bag 4777, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012, phone (02) 9310
4844, fax (02) 9310 4822 email
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2012 22:26
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 16:51

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