Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-7-2021


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Ronald C Arnett

Committee Member

Janie Harden Fritz


nonprofit communication, emotional appeals, loss of logos, celebrity advocacy, Kenneth Burke, Lilie Chouliaraki, Sonja Foss and Cindy Griffin, Aristotle


Beginning with Greeks’ concept of virtuous friendship philanthropy has been part of society. Metaphors of civitas, caritas and social responsibility dominated man’s understanding of charity until the explosion of neoliberal thought in the 1980s. The Band Aid movement in response to the Ethiopian famine permanently changed the way we view philanthropy. This movement created an environment of extreme commodification of charity which has created a highly competitive nonprofit sector and a loss of the collective spirit upon which it was founded. This competitive atmosphere has led nonprofits to chase dollars at the expense of their missions while also relying heavily on the ethos of celebrity advocates and overly emotional pathos laden messaging. The logos inherent in the nonprofit mission itself has too often been lost. This work explores how the historical metaphors of philanthropy coupled with the communication and rhetorical theories of Lilie Chouliaraki, Kenneth Burke, Sonja Foss and Cindy Griffin can provide direction in finding that inherent logos and building the sustainable relationships necessary to fulfill their mission and for longevity.