Winning Does Matter: Patterns in Private Giving to Athletic and Academic Programs at NCAA Division I-AA and I-AAA Institutions

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In a study of “big-time” athletic programs, Stinson and Howard (2004) documented a shift in donor giving patterns toward increased support of athletic programs at the apparent expense of giving to academic programs. The shift toward greater athletic giving was most evident at those schools with major football programs. This study's primary purpose is to determine whether the changes found at the Division I-A level are also evident at schools that compete at the Division I-AA or I-AAA level. Linear mixed models indicate that successful athletic programs influence both the number of donors making gifts to an institution and the average dollar amount of those gifts. However, unlike the giving patterns at I-A football schools, winning football and men's basketball teams have direct effects on both athletic and academic gifts. Rather than producing a crowding-out effect, athletic success appears to enhance support for both athletic and academic programs.


This article was originally published in Sport Management Review. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Sport Management Review


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