Date of Conferral



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




Rocky Dwyer


The purpose of this single case study was to explore the strategies that leaders of a nonprofit organization used to build long-term donor relationships through social media. Participants included a purposeful sample of 3 senior leaders of a small nonprofit organization in Southern California who demonstrated successful approaches to using social media to manage donor relations. The conceptual framework for this study was Hon and Grunig’s concept for measuring long-term organization–public relationships. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with organization leaders, review of publicly available organizational documents, and information including financial statements, strategic planning documents, organizational budgets, employee handbooks, and board manuals. Member checking and methodological triangulation were used to validate the findings. Data from organizational documents and interviews were manually coded, and themes were identified using content analysis. Five themes emerged related to process strengths and opportunities including leadership succession and performance evaluation, workforce capacity, revenue diversification, performance measurements and data collection, and the expansion of relationship management via social media. The findings from this study might contribute to positive social change by providing strategies for building long-term relationships with donors through social media and the supporting processes that nonprofit leaders can use to increase financial resources through a loyal donor community and enhance organizational sustainability.

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