How Does Required Volunteering Affect Total Volunteering?
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Organizations, non-profit or otherwise, often rely on the work of volunteers to accomplish their goals. And although it is often the case that sufficient volunteers can be procured to complete a given task, it remains an open question as to the most efficient means of attracting volunteers to devote their time and effort to a cause. This study builds upon previous research investigating the demographics of subsequent and long-term volunteerism by expanding on how requests to volunteer are framed: either as events for which one can choose to volunteer however much of their time as desired, or as “mandated” volunteering, where participants are expected to devote a certain minimum amount of time, but are then free either to leave or to continue volunteering as they please. The question is then simply which method achieves the highest amount of total hours worked for an individual. Our study is based on an experimental segment to be conducted in the lab, which derives meaningful conclusions on the most efficacious methods an organization can employ in order to increase their events’ effectiveness. We find that mandated volunteering has negligible effects upon one’s decision making when volunteering, assuming that said mandate is at or near a supposed equilibrium level of volunteering.
Smith, Jonathan Andrew; Hampton, Hunter (2017). How Does Required Volunteering Affect Total Volunteering?. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from