Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2021 Hope-Elizabeth Darris. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Shani Evans

Second Advisor

Lisa Smulyan


This research paper answers the questions; What are board members’ motivations for donating to Oliver Scholars? What do board members hope to achieve through their involvement with Oliver Scholars? How do they understand their role as board members in relation to Oliver Scholars? How does race impact board members’ motivation to donate? Through 30 minute semistructured interviews with Oliver Scholars board members and analyzing literature on board member motivations and trends in White, Black, and Latinx philanthropy, I found that to varying degrees, my participants were motivated to join and continue to serve on the Oliver board due to: Professional Background/Professional Knowledge to Contribute, Reduction of Justice, A Self-Serving Mindset, Thinking of the Next Generation and the Future of Scholars, and Identity (Gender, Socioeconomic Status, and Race). These motivations expand on existing frameworks that do not often account for the race or gender of board members. Future research should use board members’ race and gender as points of analysis and examine the role of educational nonprofit organizations in the broader landscape of education.