Traditional Philanthropic Service Volunteering

  • Angela Ellis-Paine
  • Steinunn Hrafnsdóttir
  • Chul-Hee Kang
  • Laila Kundzin¸a-Zwejniec
  • Sarah Jane Rehnborg
  • Kalinga T. Silva
  • David H. Smith


Traditional philanthropic volunteering (TPV) has dominated volunteering practice, research, and policy for the past century (e.g., Joseph 1989; Leigh et al. 2011). Closely related to the concept of service, TPV has a number of defining features: it represents a gift relationship, with a direct beneficiary who is generally outside of the giver’s immediate family; is non-compulsory, largely unremunerated, and often motivated by altruistic impulses; and it occurs largely within a range of nonprofit and public sector social welfare organizations, particularly those within the fields of health, education, and social care.

Most TPV occurs in volunteer service programs (VSPs) as the volunteer departments of larger, parent organizations, usually nonprofit agencies (Smith 2015b) or government agencies, but sometimes also larger businesses (e.g., in corporate volunteer programs). (See also Handbook Chapters 15 and 16.) However, there are also some kinds of membership associations (MAs) that involve TPV (Smith 2015a).

This chapter examines definitional challenges and features of TPV.


Voluntary Action Welfare Service Voluntary Sector Social Policy Journal Formal Volunteer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Ellis-Paine
    • 1
  • Steinunn Hrafnsdóttir
    • 2
  • Chul-Hee Kang
    • 3
  • Laila Kundzin¸a-Zwejniec
    • 4
  • Sarah Jane Rehnborg
    • 5
  • Kalinga T. Silva
    • 6
  • David H. Smith
    • 7
  1. 1.UK
  2. 2.Iceland
  3. 3.South Korea
  4. 4.Latvia
  5. 5.USA
  6. 6.Sri Lanka
  7. 7.USA

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