Why do volunteers volunteer? - August 2011

Knowledge @ Australian School of Business

”Not-For-Profit Volunteers: Selfless Or Selfish?
Freelance writer: Chris Sheedy
Editor: Deborah Tarrant
1600 words

Not-for-profit organisations often thrive on the strength of volunteers so understanding what drives people to give time and effort free of charge is vital. Typically, volunteering is considered a selfless, empathetic activity, but quite often the "me" factor is at play. A new study from the Australian School of Business shows the motivations of volunteers vary greatly between age groups and indicates the need for not-for-profits (NFPs) to profile their volunteer bases to understand where gaps exist. Self-interested volunteers can work well, as long as the NFP knows how to wrangle them.

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