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Interventions to Encourage Volunteerism

What specific interventions might encourage more volunteerism?

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Interesting question! Let's take a closer look at ways to encourage and recruit volunteers from various sources.


1. What specific interventions might encourage more volunteerism?

Interestingly, individuals who argue that people don't volunteer like they used to, are right. The world has changed and the profile, needs and contributions of prospective and current volunteers have also changed. However, research shows that most people are no less willing to support volunteer initiatives; however the way in which they contribute could be different. This suggests that volunteers still care about the issues and initiatives they value, but require diverse ways of responding with time and talent. Therefore, specific interventions to encourage more volunteerism need to consider these new trends.

(1) Political and/or educational interventions

Advertising and/or educational campaigns suggesting different ways citizens can become active participants in their communities, through or outside of the political process, e.g. promoting the concept that volunteerism is not a chore but a civic responsibility; using fables or stories in schools and/or colleges illustrating how characters reveal their values through their actions and provide extensive information about what a lifetime of giving can mean to a community and a family/individual. Promoting educational campaigns on how to use economic reasoning to make sound choices in allocating their scarce resources for community service and illustrate a step-by-step personal plan for volunteering.

Trends: In the recent past, "researchers and practitioners have recognized the demand among volunteers for short-term or episodic assignments. Episodic volunteer opportunities include both positions that are short in duration - with definite start and end dates - and positions that occur at regular intervals such as annual events. (MacDuff 1991, pp. 7-8) While some volunteer positions require a long-term commitment on the part of volunteers, many assignments can be successfully completed on a short-term basis. In addition to allowing time-crunched people to serve, short-term service opportunities "provide the volunteer with the opportunity to see how they like working with the agency, its staff and its clientele". (McCurley 1991, p. 10, full citation) Try breaking up a long-term commitment into several short-term placements that can build on one another" (from http://www.serviceleader.org/new/managers/2004/03/000213.php#3-1b).

(2) Organizational recruitment strategies (see excerpt below)

EXCERPT: Volunteer Recruitment Tips

Once an organization has determined its volunteer ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the specific interventions that might encourage more volunteerism. Many types of interventions are given as examples, including informative articles of recruitment strategies and barriers to volunteerism.