Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Dr. Janice Garfield


Without systematic strategies to increase their donor base, some leaders of nonprofit organizations might be unable to develop and sustain a solid financial foundation to support programs and services related to organizational missions, values, and goals. Grounded in the relationship management theory, the purpose of this qualitative single case study was to explore strategies three executive leaders of a nonprofit organization in the northeastern United States used to increase and sustain their donor base using digital marketing. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, the organization’s website, organizational documents, publicly available data, and organizational social media channels. Data were analyzed using Castleberry and Nolen’s 5-step process. Three themes emerged: digital marketing is an effective tool to develop and sustain relationships with the donor base, developing digital marketing strategies based on donor base demographics might improve relationship quality with NPOs, and communication is a crucial factor that supports NPO leaders’ efforts to secure and sustain relationships using digital marketing. A key recommendation is that nonprofit executive leaders implement digital marketing as a tool to foster quality long-term relationships. The implications for positive social change include the potential to build a consistent support stream from stakeholders, which allows executive nonprofit leaders to expand services offered to communities and customers.

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Business Commons