Volunteer Motivations and Nonprofit Organizations

  • Robert A. StebbinsEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_2581-1

Synonyms

Introduction

The scientific literature on the motives to volunteer is awash with general statements on this proclivity, which is, however, highly personal and individual. Perhaps the best known of these is the altruism/self-interest motive: people volunteer for both altruistic and self-beneficial reasons. This proposition is a well-known part of what Musick and Wilson (2008) call the “functional theory of motives” for volunteering. This theory, they note, “is based on the assumption that all persons have the same basic psychological needs” (p. 34). The goal of research done in the name of the functional theory is to determine these needs as they lead people to volunteer. Motives as needs are thus viewed as antecedents to volunteer action.

After reviewing some of the main points of the functional theory, Musick and Wilson present the sociological position on the motive to...

Keywords

Volunteer Activity Social Entrepreneurship Unpaid Work Volunteer Motivation Durable Benefit 
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.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Albas CA, Albas DC (2003) Motives. In: Reynolds LT, Herman-Kinney NJ (eds) Handbook of symbolic interactionism. AltaMira, Lanham, pp 349–366Google Scholar
  2. Applebaum H (1992) The concept of work: ancient, medieval, and modern. State University of New York Press, AlbanyGoogle Scholar
  3. Elkington S, Stebbins RA (2014) The serious leisure perspective: an introduction. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Floro GK (1978) What to look for in a study of the volunteer in the work world. In: Wolensky RP, Miller EJ (eds) The small city and regional community. Foundation Press, Stevens Point, pp 194–202Google Scholar
  5. Gallant K, Arai S, Smale B (2013) Serious leisure as an avenue for nurturing community. Leis Sci 35:320–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Goffman E (1961) Asylums: essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates. Doubleday, Garden CityGoogle Scholar
  7. Grotz J (2011) We need to think about volunteering: the flawed third principle of volunteering. Institute of Volunteering Research, LondonGoogle Scholar
  8. Kaplan M (1960) Leisure in America: a social inquiry. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Musick MA, Wilson J (2008) Volunteers: a social profile. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  10. Rochester C, Paine AE, Howlett S, Zimmeck M (2010) Volunteering and society in the 21st century. Palgrave Macmillan, HoundmillsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Smith DH (2000) Grassroots associations. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  12. Stebbins, RA (1996). Volunteering: A serious leisure perspective. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 25:211–224Google Scholar
  13. Stebbins RA (2004/2014) Between work and leisure: the common ground of two separate worlds. Transaction, New Brunswick (paperback edition with new Preface, 2014)Google Scholar
  14. Stebbins RA (2007) A leisure-based, theoretic typology of volunteers and volunteering. Leis Stud Assoc Newsl 78(November):9–12. Also available at www.seriousleisure.net – Digital Library, “Leisure Reflections no. 16”
  15. Stebbins RA (2007/2015) Serious leisure: a perspective for our time. Transaction, New Brunswick (published in paperback in 2015 with new Introduction)Google Scholar
  16. Stebbins RA (2009) Personal decisions in the public square: beyond problem solving into a positive sociology. Transaction, New BrunswickGoogle Scholar
  17. Stebbins RA (2012) The idea of leisure: first principles. Transaction, New BrunswickGoogle Scholar
  18. Stebbins RA (2013) Unpaid work of love: defining the work-leisure axis of volunteering. Leis Stud 32:339–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Stebbins RA (2015) Leisure and the motive to volunteer: theories of serious, casual, and project-based leisure. Palgrave Macmillan, HoundmillsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Unruh DR (1980) The nature of social worlds. Pac Sociol Rev 23:271–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Walker GJ, Fenton L (2013) Backgrounds of, and factors affecting, highly productive leisure researchers. J Leis Res 45:537–562Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada