This study explored the perspectives of Italian volunteers: the meanings they attribute to their role as volunteer and to the various facets of the experience of volunteering. The aim was to identify and foster those outlooks that help maintain commitment in nonprofit organizations (NPOs). Two intertwined studies were carried out. In the first, twenty-seven semistructured interviews were conducted with highly committed volunteers belonging to four NPOs in order to explore the prevailing perspectives. A thematic analysis was then conducted. The results show that the participants emphasized the importance of maintaining a personal space being careful to keep their role as a volunteer separate from their day-to-day life. Moreover, they considered their own NPO as “special” and had a “cynical approach” that helped them to offset any negative aspect related to their work. In the second study, four focus group discussions were organized involving three managers from every NPO with the aim of finding practical suggestions regarding how to increase and develop those perspectives that enhance a sense of commitment. Similar methodology may be used in the future to investigate the strategies that improve commitment among volunteers in other types of NPOs or in other social and cultural contexts.

How to Foster Commitment Among Volunteers: A Social Constructionist Study in Italian Nonprofit Organizations

ROMAIOLI, Diego;NENCINI, Alessio;MENEGHINI, Anna Maria
2016-01-01

Abstract

This study explored the perspectives of Italian volunteers: the meanings they attribute to their role as volunteer and to the various facets of the experience of volunteering. The aim was to identify and foster those outlooks that help maintain commitment in nonprofit organizations (NPOs). Two intertwined studies were carried out. In the first, twenty-seven semistructured interviews were conducted with highly committed volunteers belonging to four NPOs in order to explore the prevailing perspectives. A thematic analysis was then conducted. The results show that the participants emphasized the importance of maintaining a personal space being careful to keep their role as a volunteer separate from their day-to-day life. Moreover, they considered their own NPO as “special” and had a “cynical approach” that helped them to offset any negative aspect related to their work. In the second study, four focus group discussions were organized involving three managers from every NPO with the aim of finding practical suggestions regarding how to increase and develop those perspectives that enhance a sense of commitment. Similar methodology may be used in the future to investigate the strategies that improve commitment among volunteers in other types of NPOs or in other social and cultural contexts.
Commitment, good practices, Italy, nonprofit organizations, social constructionism, volunteerism
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/952585
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 11
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 11
social impact