Date of Conferral



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




Deborah Nattress


Colleges and universities in the United States could end operations in record numbers largely from financial shortfalls. The Urban Institute reported that nonprofit organizations lost $3.4 billion in reneged pledges from 2013 to 2014 from donor dissatisfaction, creating a problem because financial losses can occur from a lack of understanding on how media marketing efforts affect fundraising. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to identify traditional and social media marketing strategies that some nonprofit college and university leaders use to increase alumni financial support. Interviews took place with 7 college or university leaders at 3 private, nonprofit colleges or universities in the southeastern United States. The 7 leaders consisted of 3 vice presidents, 2 provosts, and 2 presidents. The conceptual framework differentiated media into categories, 2 of which were owned media and earned media. As the primary data collection instrument, collection of marketing literature for each school and 7 semistructured interviews occurred. In the data analysis process, transcription of interview data and coding using the modified van Kaam method took place discovering themes. The 4 themes discovered included social media effectiveness, evolution of traditional marketing blending with social media marketing, social media marketing efficiency, and the multiplier effect of social media. Implications for social change included increasing the scholarship ability of schools, creating an affordable environment for students to receive postsecondary education. Additional benefits included enhanced economies for communities where a college or university resides and an improved level of education per capita in the areas surrounding a college or university.