A survey on volunteer motivation was researched, conducted, and analyzed by Mary Dumm, Denver Programs intern, who will graduate with her Master of Social Work degree in June 2018. The survey was conducted in the spring of 2018, and current Colorado Chapter volunteers were asked about their reasons for volunteering, satisfaction with their staff supervisor, and roles they hold as volunteers. Highlights of the results are below:
Sample Size: 95
Gender: 77 females, 18 males
Age: 60-69 was the average age group
Programs: Most common role of volunteers – support group facilitators: 33 individuals
Involved in more than one role: 33 individuals, 35%
Average Length of Time Volunteering: 7 years, 5 months
Reasons For Volunteering:
The top three motivators for individuals, according to the survey, were:
- I can do something for a cause that is important to me
- I am genuinely concerned about the particular group I am serving
- I feel it is important to help others
(This survey was taken out of a study called, Understanding and Assessing the motivations for volunteers: A functional approach [Clary & Snyder, 1998], which sought to explore the motivational foundations of prosocial behavior. This study conducted six investigations to explore motivation on various levels. For the purpose of this study, we chose to only look at the Reasons for Volunteering section.)
Perceived Leadership Satisfaction:
This section measured perceived satisfaction with the volunteers’ staff partner. The research suggested that volunteers are more likely to be satisfied with their organization if they are satisfied with their staff supervisor. There was nothing statistically significant about the findings in this section other than the outpouring of appreciation for the Colorado Chapter’s staff. This survey was taken from a study called, The Perceived Leadership Communication Questionnaire: Development and Validation (Schnieder, Maier, Lovrekovie, & Retzbach 2015), studying employees and their satisfaction with their supervisor. For the purpose of this study, some of the questions were eliminated as they did not apply to Association volunteers.
Statement from the researcher:
The Association would not be able to reach the amount of people it does without dedicated volunteers. Thank you again for participating in this study. Not only was it helpful in completing my program, but it was also helpful in showing the staff of the Alzheimer’s Association how they can continue to be the support you all need!
Mary Dumm is an intern at the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, pursuing her Masters of Social Work at the University of Denver with a summer 2018 graduation date. As a part of her program, Dumm chose to conduct a research project on volunteer satisfaction and retention of the Colorado Chapter. In order to measure this, she looked at an individual’s personal motivation and satisfaction with their staff partner, as these two factors were consistent throughout the research to help predict volunteer satisfaction and intention to stay.