What motivates volunteering? (FAQ)

There is a substantial literature on motivations for volunteering. We recommend a search of the Foundation Center's

Catalog of Nonprofit Literature ( for a detailed annotated list.

(The database is located under Researching Philanthropy. We searched for the subject "Voluntarism--analysis.")

Perhaps the most widely cited author on the topic is Paul Schervish of Boston College.

Some of the relevant articles from the Foundation Center's database include:

Chambre, Susan Maizel. Good deeds in old age. Volunteering by the new leisure class . Lexington : Lexington Books ,

1987 . xvi, 135 pp.

Chambre, Susan Maizel. "Kindling points of light : volunteering as public policy ." Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector

Quarterly 18 (Fall 1989 ) 249-68 .

Clary, E. Gil Copeland, John T. French, Simone A. Snyder, Mark. "Promoting volunteerism : an empirical examination

of the appeal of persuasive messages ." Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 23 (Fall 1994 ) 265-80

Clary, E. Gil Snyder, Mark. "A functional analysis of volunteers' motivations." Part 2, no. 3 of The nonprofit

sector (NGO's) in the United States and abroad : cross-cultural perspectives . Washington : Independent Sector ,

1990 . 14 p .

Clary, E. Gil Snyder, Mark. "Motivations for volunteering and giving : a functional approach ." New Directions for

Philanthropic Fundraising (Summer 1995 ) 111-23

Clary, E. Gil Snyder, Mark. "Volunteers' motivations : a functional strategy for the recruitment, placement, and

retention of volunteers ." Nonprofit Management & Leadership 2 (Summer 1992 ) 333-50

Clary, E. Gil Snyder, Mark. Stukas, Arthur A. "Volunteers' motivations : findings from a national survey ."

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 25 (Dec 1996 ) 485-505

Coles, Robert. "Doing well by doing good : why we volunteer ." Advancing Philanthropy 2 (Spring 1994 ) 14-7

Danoff, Autumn. "What are the motivational needs behind volunteer work? ." Journal of Volunteer Administration 12

(Summer 1994 ) 13-8

Added 03/06/2002 by tpollak, Modified 04/07/2010 by asblackwood


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