Date of Award

12-2016

Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management

Advisor

Dr. Bill Hendricks

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to apply the Revised Theory of Planned Behavior and EVENTQUAL models to explore (1) event qualities that significantly impact guests’ satisfaction with a university event that they attend, (2) significant factors influencing university loyalty as a result of an event, and (3) willingness to make a charitable donation to a university as a result of attending an event. An online survey was sent to attendees of an annual Cal Poly auction event between 2002 and 2016 that directly benefits Cal Poly students. The data were used to test a series of hypotheses to determine the fit of a proposed theoretical model.

Although the study was limited by a small sample size of 74 subjects, it resulted in the creation of a revised event fundraising model. Student involvement proved to be the only quality significantly predicting a guest’s overall satisfaction with the event, explaining 12% of the variance. The combination of overall event satisfaction with a subset of the revised theory of planned behavior variables (attitude, descriptive norm, and moral norm) explained 51% of the variance in predicting university loyalty. Finally, intention to donate was best predicted as a combination of prescriptive norm, attitude, and university loyalty, accounting for 57% of the variance.

Overall, the revised model is applicable in aspects of university event planning including event branding, marketing, and the involvement of students at the event. Of serious note is the statistically significant attitude variable. If an event planner can utilize a university event to shift the guests’ attitudes towards the event and university, this can greatly enhance not only intention to donate at one particular event, but the loyalty these people feel to the university or program.