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Journal article

Enthusiasts, conscripts or instrumentalists? The motivational profiles of event volunteers

17 Dec 2013

Recent research into volunteer motivation offers the possibility of improved recruitment and retention techniques for volunteer organizations by designing organizational recruitment messages to match volunteer motivations. Using a sample of event volunteers (N = 488) drawn from five event organizations, this paper tests for the existence of distinct groups of volunteers with similar bundles of motivations (‘motivational profiles’), using cluster analysis. This paper finds six distinct motivation profiles: three types of enthusiasts who love different aspects of the volunteering experience; two types of conscripts, who serve with varying degrees of reluctance; and instrumentalists, who choose to volunteer to obtain some form of material benefit. This finding has potentially great significance for volunteer managers – enabling them to recruit the type of volunteer they want, to be able to identify the volunteer type they do not want, and to design volunteer management practices that better meet the needs of the volunteers they want to retain.

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