Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

What motivates people to volunteer? A survey research study to analyze characteristics and motives of individuals that donate time
by Stein, Deborah D., Ph.D., Capella University, 2011, 105; 3491214
Abstract (Summary)

Volunteerism is an essential component of the nonprofit workplace today, especially in light of the fact that nonprofits are experiencing diminishing financial resources. Volunteers have demonstrated their value to nonprofits and play important roles in all operations of nonprofit organizations. The volunteer contribution has led researchers to investigate different aspects of volunteering. The problem for nonprofits is that one in three volunteers turns over during the course of the year. The retention of volunteers is a goal of nonprofits. Volunteers play a critical role in nonprofits, and past research on volunteerism shows the value that these individuals have in providing high-quality programs. Yet for nonprofit agencies, these turnover rates in the volunteer workforce can be both costly to and disruptive of their operations. Knowing the volunteers' motives and their characteristics would help nonprofits with volunteer retention. This quantitative study was conducted by surveying volunteers using an instrument developed by Dr. Perry. The survey respondents were members of local Chambers of Commerce and one civic club. Data collection was done via an online survey using Survey Monkey.com. The purpose of this research was to study individual volunteers in order to provide information to help nonprofits develop strategies to assist in retaining volunteers. Understanding the motivations of individual volunteers and their characteristics may help nonprofits retain their commitment, and thus decrease the turnover. This survey research study investigates whether differences in motivation to volunteer are based on characteristics of income, gender, and ethnicity. These respondents feel reasons for volunteering are based in a feel good factor and the characteristics provide an interesting value.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mueller, Dale
Commitee: Hunt, Jean, Ryser, Rudolph
School: Capella University
Department: School of Public Service Leadership
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 73/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Occupational psychology
Keywords: Motivation, Nonprofit, Volunteer, Volunteer motivation, Volunteer retention
Publication Number: 3491214
ISBN: 978-1-267-13121-8
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