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Dissertation Abstract

Donor OPR and Values-Fit Incongruence: Predictors of Donations of Unrestricted Funds for 501(c)(3) Publicly-Supported, Tax-Exempt Nonprofit Organizations

Marshal H. Wright
Regent University

The purpose of this study was to examine the dynamics of the values-based organizational donor development process in 501(c)(3) publicly-supported tax-exempt organizations. The theoretical base of the study was that 501(c)(3) publicly-supported tax-exempt organizations operate in competitive environments within a resource dependence open systems framework. In an effort to better understand the nonprofit organizational donor development process in a values-based context, the research design measured the predictive/explanatory relationship among donor organization-public relationship (OPR), donor/organization values-fit incongruence, and donor willingness to contribute unrestricted funds in 501(c)(3) publicly-supported tax-exempt organizations using Huang's (2001) Organization-Public Relationship Assessment (OPRA) and McDonald and Gandz' (1992) Taxonomy of Values. Eighty-four useable surveys were returned out of 935 deliverable surveys that were mailed to the 1990s undergraduate alumni of the university that was the subject of the study. The cause and effect hypotheses were tested using simple and multiple regression analysis where statistical significance of F was set at p < .05. The results support that donor OPR significantly predicts donor willingness to contribute unrestricted funds. However, the results also indicate that it is not necessary to include donor/organization values-fit incongruence in a comprehensive prediction model as it is a construct that already seems to be sufficiently accounted for in the donor OPR construct. Finally, the results reveal that the prediction model is still lacking in completeness and that further research is needed in an effort to identify other variables that, if included in a comprehensive multivariable model, would improve upon the usefulness of the OPR model as a predictor of donor willingness to contribute unrestricted funds.