Volunteer Functions Inventory

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This page is for teaching and research related to use of Clary and Snyder's Volunteer Functions Inventory[1] which assesses motivations for, and rewards (functions) of, volunteering - or volunteer motivations.

Assumptions[edit]

  1. People are purposeful, planful, goal-directed -- Volunteers engage in volunteer work in order to satisfy important personal goals
  2. Different people may do similar things for different reasons -- Volunteers performing the same volunteer activity for the same organization may have different reasons for volunteering
  3. Any one individual may be motivated by more than one need or goal -- An individual volunteer may be attempting to satisfy two or more motives through one activity at your organization
  4. Outcomes depend on the matching of needs and goals to the opportunities afforded by the environment – Successful volunteer recruitment, satisfaction, and retention is tied to the ability of the volunteer experience to fulfil the volunteer’s important motives

Motivations for volunteering[edit]

Function Description
Values expressing or acting on important values, such as humanitarianism and helping those less fortunate
Understanding seeking to learn more about the world and/or exercise skills that are often unused
Enhancement seeking to grow and develop psychologically through involvement in volunteering
Career goal of gaining career-related experience through volunteering
Social volunteering allows the person to strengthen one’s social relationships
Protective volunteering to reduce negative feelings, such as guilt, or to address personal problems

References[edit]