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How We Can Attract Higher Quality Volunteers Qualitative Research Essay


For organisations like EW (Event Workforce), being able to attract volunteers is an integral aspect of the company’s success.

The reason behind this is connected to the concept of “quality staffing” which is defined by having volunteers that have the capacity to take the initiative to resolve issues, are able to follow instructions promptly, and have the necessary cognitive and physical capabilities to accomplish a job properly (Bathini & Vohra, 2014).

This is essential for the various sporting events that EW sends its volunteers to since quality volunteers within any organisation are in high demand. The term “quality” in this case is often related to the amount of dedication and reliability that is inherent within volunteerism (Coleman, 2002).

A sporting event simply cannot have volunteers one day and have a distinct lack of volunteers the next. Reliability is essential for success and this is one of the reasons why finding good volunteers for an outdoor sporting event is absolutely essential (Joseph, 2013).

Despite the nature of volunteerism (i.e. working for free), (Griffin, 2009) explains that in order to retain volunteers in the long term some form of tangible benefit that they can accrue is needed. Based on the work of Auld & Cuskelly (2000), it was noted that one of the macro factors involved in volunteerism was connected to the perception of volunteers towards an event.

For instance, events such as the World Cup, the Olympic Games and championship cricket matches usually have higher numbers of people that wish to volunteer as compared to small sporting events that few people have even heard of.

From a micro perspective, Skirstad & Hanstad (2013) shows that networking can be considered as an effective tool for gaining volunteers since there are multiple organisations out there with their own pool of volunteers. Some form of inter-organisation exchange could occur where volunteers from one organisation would help and attend the events of the other (Kay & Bradbury, 2009).

This process would ensure that EW would have access to a wide pool of possible candidate that have already been vetted and examined by their individual organisations. Based on what has been presented so far, it must be questioned as to what strategies would be effective in attracting and retaining high quality volunteers to EW.

Literature Review

Understanding What Attracts Volunteers

It is normally the case that people volunteer in various organisations due to a variety of potential reasons. These can range from truly enjoying the process of volunteering for a sporting event, being curious about volunteering in general or other such reasons that are too numerous to mention.

Based on the work of Downward, Lumsdon & Ralston (2005), it was noted that that process of attracting and retaining volunteers often centred on the concept of appealing to their sense of “motivation” in that volunteers must feel that they are getting something out of the time they are investing into the sporting activity.

Through the analysis of Waikayi, Fearon, Morris & McLaughlin (2012), it was revealed that this sense of satisfaction for volunteers can be divided into two distinct categories, namely: intrinsic and extrinsic methods of motivation. Intrinsic methods of motivation for volunteers are often influenced by internal factors that create their sense of motivation (Waters & Bortree, 2010).

Volunteers that are intrinsically motivated often commit their time and effort into an organisation simply because they enjoy the act of volunteering (Karl, Peluchette & Hall, 2008). This can come in a variety of forms such as:

  1. People that truly enjoy the sporting activity that they are volunteering at
  2. Individuals that derive a certain sense of joy from interacting with people
  3. People that simply enjoy the practice of volunteering

Appealing to this subset of the volunteer population is actually quite simple since all that would be needed to be done is to create the means by which they can join up with the organisation in a very easy way (Starnes & Wymer Jr., 2001).

This can be done through the use of online application forms where the organisation can have them fill out a variety of questions which are designed to gauge the capacity of the volunteer and whether they would be a “good fit” for EW. On the other end of the spectrum are extrinsic methods of motivation for volunteers wherein they are primarily motivated by outside factors (Griffin, 2009).

This can come in a variety of forms such as giving monetary rewards, certificates, prizes or other types of gifts (Skoglund, 2006). One way in which EW can leverage this type of volunteerism is by providing incentives in the form of certificates for their resume or the capacity for networking during events in order to help them acquire jobs in the future.

EW could form agreements with nearby Universities in order to gain volunteers by having their time volunteering at sporting events be given as school credit (Schlesinger & Nagel, 2013). By implementing this sort of agreement, it is likely that EW would be able to exponentially increase its current pool of volunteers by focusing on the extrinsic method of increasing their motivation to volunteer at EW.


Networking is the practice of attending various events in order to develop contacts in a variety of organisations, industries or markets. This is often invaluable for individuals that are looking to expand their network of contacts in order to better serve their needs.

From the perception of Joseph (2013) which focused initially on networking when it came to finding female talent, it was revealed that the practice is effective when it comes to finding people that “fit the bill” so to speak when it comes to a variety of jobs. From a volunteerism perspective, networking can be utilised in order to develop contacts with other organisations within Australia that also have pools of volunteers (Joseph, 2013).

This can include, but is not limited to, schools, non-profit organisations, hospitals, and a variety of other examples that have people volunteering in them. By networking with these organisations, EW could potentially create some form of volunteer sharing program where volunteers from one organisation can be asked if they would like to volunteer for a particular sporting event (Kim, Trail, Lim & Yu, 2009).

Through this process, EW can gain access to literally hundreds of possible volunteers which would result in a considerable boon for the company in terms of the amount of people that it can field for an event at any given time.

Social Media Promotion

Another of the methods that can be utilised in order to attract volunteers comes in form of social media promotion. This can be done by having several local sporting celebrities such as David Becham post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter their support for EW and that more people should volunteer (Saul, 2004).

This particular strategy appeals to the current popularity of sports icons and would definitely bring in a lot of volunteers.

Reference List

Auld, C., & Cuskelly, G. (2000). Volunteer Management Program Managing Event Volunteers. Australian Sports Commission, 1(1), 1-33.

Bathini, D., & Vohra, N. (2014). Volunteering: The Role of Individual-level Psychological Variables. Vikalpa: The Journal For Decision Makers, 39(2), 113-126.

Coleman, R. (2002). Characteristics of volunteering in UK sport: lessons from cricket. Managing Leisure, 7(4), 220.

Downward, P., Lumsdon, L., & Ralston, R. (2005). Gender differences in sports event volunteering: insights from Crew 2002 at the XVII Commonwealth Games. Managing Leisure, 10(4), 219-236

Griffin, N. (2009). Role of Volunteer Workforce in Moving from Emergency Response to Development in Post-Conflict Societies. Conference Papers – International Studies Association, 1-34.

Joseph, C. (2013). Leveraging a women’s network to attract, develop and retain high potential female talent. Strategic HR Review, 12(3), 132-137.

Karl, K. A., Peluchette, J. V., & Hall, L. M. (2008). Give Them Something to Smile About: A Marketing Strategy for Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers. Journal Of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 20(1), 71-96.

Kay, T., & Bradbury, S. (2009). Youth sport volunteering: developing social capital?. Sport, Education & Society, 14(1), 121-140.

Kim, M., Trail, G. T., Lim, J., & Yu, K. (2009). The Role of Psychological Contract in Intention to Continue Volunteering. Journal Of Sport Management, 23(5), 549-573.

Saul, P. (2004), Human Resource Management’s Role in Creating Volunteer Cultures in Organisations. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 42, 202–213.

Schlesinger, T., & Nagel, S. (2013). Who will volunteer? Analysing individual and structural factors of volunteering in Swiss sports clubs. European Journal Of Sport Science, 13(6), 707-715.

Skirstad, B., & Hanstad, D. (2013). Gender matters in sport event volunteering. Managing Leisure, 18(4), 316-330

Skoglund, A. (2006). Do Not Forget about Your Volunteers: A Qualitative Analysis of Factors Influencing Volunteer Turnover. Health & Social Work, 31(3), 217.

Starnes, B. & Wymer Jr., W. (2001). Conceptual Foundations and Practical Guidelines for Retaining Volunteers Who Serve in Local Nonprofit Organisations: Part II. Journal Of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 9(1/2), 97.

Waikayi, L., Fearon, C., Morris, L., & McLaughlin, H. (2012). Volunteer management: an exploratory case study within the British Red Cross. Management Decision, 50(3), 349-367.

Waters, R. D., & Bortree, D. (2010). Building a better workplace for teen volunteers through inclusive behaviors. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 20(3), 337- 355.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "How We Can Attract Higher Quality Volunteers." June 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-we-can-attract-higher-quality-volunteers/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'How We Can Attract Higher Quality Volunteers'. 22 June.

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