Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Public Policy and Administration

Advisor

Dr. Michael Knight,

Abstract

Members of ethnic- and nationality-based community organizations in the United States support their communities with their membership fees and donations, but they often show little interest in participating in volunteer activities. The purpose of this case study was to examine what motivates people to engage in ethnic- and nationality-based community organizations and provide information to leaders of the ethnic- and nationality-based community organizations to develop best practices with ways to attract and retain volunteers. This study was based on Clary, Snyder, and Stukasâ??s conceptualization of functional motivations of volunteerism. Interview data were collected from 32 individuals who volunteer in a community organization that seeks to support and preserve the culture of Bosnia in a southern state in the United States. These data were transcribed and then subjected to a three-tiered coding and analytic strategy by using open coding, axial coding, and selective coding. Key findings of this study revealed that participants viewed volunteering itself as the reward for service because it provides a sense of fulfillment, a mechanism for continuing commitment to others, and the preservation of a way of life for Bosnian Americans. The implication for positive social change includes direct recommendation to leaders of similarly situated organizations to recognize the importance of volunteersâ?? feedback related to ways to improve volunteer management practice. The recognition of volunteersâ?? feedback promotes sense of being valued for their roles with the organization, especially when they play other key roles in the organization, such as being members and donors in addition to being volunteers.