Volunteerism of volunteers (150) Transient nature of volunteers

Volunteerism
according to Louis A. Penner (University of South Florida, 2002) is “a long
term, planned, prosocial behaviours that benefit strangers and occur within an
organisational setting”. Volunteer
on the other hand is a person who provides service, without monetary
compensation as the prime motive and works for a group or organisation. This
can be any unpaid help provided to schools, religious organizations, sports or
community associations etc. A volunteer can be any person, a student, an
employee or a housemaker. The duration of volunteerism depends upon numerous
factors. It can be either personal reasons or professional. Many factors
together contribute to the transient nature of volunteers (150)

Transient nature of volunteers is defined as a
“short time period a volunteer works for an organisation and eventually moves.”
The articles discussed in this report gives us a panorama of several factors
that adds to this nature of volunteerism. The Journal of Social Issues (Penner, 2002) throws light on
different elements that act together and hence motivates a volunteer to quit.
The two variables that author talks about in his journal is Dispositional and
Organizational variables. According to Penner These both variables play a key
role in the duration of volunteer work. Dispositional
variables are “different enduring attributes of individuals. These include things such as
their personal beliefs and values, personality traits, and motives” where on
the other hand Organizational Variables can
be defined as (1) “an individual member’s perceptions of and feelings about the
way he or she is treated by the organization and (2) the organization’s
reputation and personnel practices.”  According
to the researchers for this study both dispositional and organizational
variables are important in determining long-term volunteerism in young people
and confirmed the role identity is the best predictor of intention to volunteer.
Another study published by Pan-Canadian Research study (Volunteer Canada and Manulife Financial, 2010) discusses about the
different volunteer groups such as Youth Volunteers, employer supported
volunteers, baby-boomer volunteers, family volunteers. Another thing that study
lays emphasis on is the gaps between the volunteers and the organizations that
somehow play a role in motivating the volunteers to work. The gaps identified
were different for each group of volunteers. Some were looking for professional
skills whereas others looked for short term opportunities. Organizations does
have goals to fulfill but every volunteer comes with a different goal in mind which
should be clear to the organization. This clarity also helps identify the
transient nature of volunteerism. The research done shows that Two-third of the
volunteers had bad volunteer experience due to underutilization of skills, poor
management, organizational politics etc. The summary is based on findings in
the articles discussed. These key findings can be used as the stepping stones
to know these factors and on what level they impact the decision of a
volunteer.

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