Date of Conferral





Human Services


Pamela Denning



Human trafficking is a worldwide crisis, and agencies rely on volunteers to help serve its victims. Past researchers have suggested that motivation to volunteer is multifaceted and that volunteer turnover hinders accomplishing mission objectives. The research question was to examine if there were any differentiating motivations of antitrafficking volunteers from the current literature. This study was a qualitative case study of an antitrafficking religion-sponsored agency in the United States. Self-determination theory guided the research consisting of 7 agency volunteers. Candidates met the established criteria of minimum age and duration of service. The interpretive phenomenological analysis process helped to assess individual data separately and then collectively with participants adding clarification and member checking through follow-up e-mails. The analysis process produced themes about relating to others, work competency, autonomy, sense of obligation, religious motivations, personal satisfaction, recognition, and agency leadership styles as motivators. Their religious affiliation with the agency produced a strong emphasis on spiritual motivations. An element of egocentric motivations emerged as differences from the current volunteering literature. The egocentric motivations emerged from the participant's view that God was watching and their actions brought God's favor to them. Agency leaders need to focus on helping potential and current volunteers feel important as contributors to the spiritual wellbeing of themselves and others. This finding was a key aspect of recruitment and retention of volunteers, who could help this underserved population and thus promote positive social change.

Included in

Psychology Commons