Getting and staying involved: What motivates volunteers in a non-profit organization

by Johnson, Jonathan A., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 111 pages; 3278016


Non-profit organizations rely on volunteer workers to fulfill many of their day-to-day functions. Without a volunteer workforce, many organizations would simply cease to exist. It is vital that we understand what inspires people to provide their services without the desire for monetary compensation. This study was conducted with the volunteers at a Non-Profit Organization, a Christian church in Southern Arizona, to discover what motivates volunteers to get involved and stay involved. This study employed a qualitative research design. Data were collected through questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and observations. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyze the data through a three-step codification process: open coding, axial coding, and selective coding. Through this process, a theory emerged to explain the motivational forces at work amongst the volunteers at the Non-Profit Organization. The findings revealed that the volunteers are intrinsically motivated because of the value they attribute to their volunteer activities. Volunteers are motivated to serve because they personally value their volunteer activity as seen in their desire to impact the lives of others, desire to build meaningful relationships with others, and their desire for personal enjoyment; and they spiritually value their volunteer activity as seen in their desire to be obedient to God, desire to grow spiritually, and their desire to use their abilities to serve the church and God. The findings are supported in the literature and provide several implications for practical application and future research.

AdviserLois Bartelme
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsReligion; Management; Adult education
Publication Number3278016

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