Date of Conferral
Nonprofit organizations rely upon volunteers to assist in achieving their mission and reaching strategic operational goals. As the volunteer population in the United States has decreased, nonprofit organizations are challenged to recruit and retain volunteers. To improve operational efficiencies in nonprofit volunteer management, organizations need to implement more effective strategies to assign roles to volunteers and develop a better understanding of how those roles fit into volunteers' lives and the value systems of individual volunteers. The functional theory of volunteer behavior characterizes the values, understanding, social, career, protective, and enhancement functions as they relate to an individual's motivation for volunteering. To investigate how active volunteer demographics related to self-reported ratings of personal and social motivational functions, a multivariate analysis of variance, with designated follow-up post hoc tests, was used to address the research questions and associated hypotheses to provide a basis to make comparative statistical analysis to determine volunteer needs, values, and purpose based on age cohort, sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. It was found that the functional aspect, career, was a significant determinate when focused on the demographics of age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Additionally, an interaction emerged with sex and age with career, social, understanding, and enhancement functional aspects. The results of the study will foster positive social change by increasing the understanding of how volunteer behavior impacts volunteer retention and recruitment, facilitating nonprofit organizations in their ability to effectively match volunteer skills with assignment, thereby maximizing their impact and longevity within the organization.