Altruism and Philanthropy: The Impulse to Do Good

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Professional Studies

Organizational Unit

University College, Organizational Leadership


Leadership and Organizations

First Advisor

Erik Estrada


Altruism, Philanthropy, Self-interest, Fundraising, Donor motivation


The current economic climate presents increasing challenges for nonprofit organizations none the least is how to effectively engage individual donors and successfully secure their financial support. Why people choose to help others and the role that altruism plays in their decisions and motivations to act philanthropically is essential to understanding the individual donor. Secondary research clarifies altruism as an innate impulse to lessen the suffering of others and identifies certain behaviors, personality indicators, and nurturing influences that intensify altruistic tendencies. Using these findings, an Altruistic Propensity Scale (APS) has been developed to gauge the level of altruism in individuals. Utilization of the APS by fund-raisers will help provide insights into the core altruistic motivations of their donors.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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