Volunteer recruitment and retention in not-for-profit – conclusion

Organizations that rely on volunteer workforce to offer services to communities are playing an increasing role in society with curtailed government expenditures on social welfare. Such trends have led to increased need for volunteer workforce, hence presents a challenge since volunteerism lacks the aspect of remuneration that matches market rates. Out of such challenge there arises a need for nonprofit organizations relying on volunteer labor to establish effective volunteer recruitment and retention practices. This paper thus reviews literature to identify such practices.

One of the factors arising from the reviewed literature is the need for managers in nonprofit organizations to understand the volunteering market. The volunteering market is characterized by aspects such as competition from other organizations and differing motives for volunteering. Due to such market characteristics, to attract volunteers organization would require to establish missions and objectives aligned to a target group. By such alignment, organizations could lower the competition for similar types of volunteers, thus helping them acquire long-term services from individuals in the target population.

Secondly, aspects arising from the review of literature relates to implementation of HRM practices in volunteer-based organizations. Specifically, such practices relate to stabling formal recruitment processes, clarifying volunteer roles and responsibilities, developing training programs for volunteers and establishing systems that offer recognition or inculcating a culture of appreciation for the services rendered by the volunteer, within the organization.


Bussell, H. & Deborah, F. (2002). Understanding the volunteer market: the what, where, who and why of volunteering. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 17(3), 244-257.

Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy Development. (2010). Volunteering in America 2010: national, state, and city information. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/assets/resources/IssueBriefFINALJune15.pdf

Cuskelly, G., Taylor, T., Hoye, R. & Darcy, S. (2006). Volunteer management practices and volunteer retention: a human resource management approach. Sport Management Review, 9, 141-163.

Dolnicar, S. & Randle, M. (2005). Fighting for volunteers’ time: competition in the international volunteering industry. University of Wollongong. Retrieved from http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1221&context=sdolnicar&sei-redir=1#search=%22Competition+for+volunteers+in+nonprofit+organizations%22

Dolnicar, S. & Randle, M. (2007). The international volunteering market: market segments and competitive relations. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 12(4), 350-370. DOI: 10.1002/nvsm.292

Huck, J., Al, R. & Rathi, D. (2011). Finding KM solutions for volunteer-based non-profit organization. VINE: The Journal of Information Knowledge Management Systems, 41(1), 26-40. DOI: 10.1108/03055721111115539

Lynch, S. & Smith, K. (2010). The dilemma of judging unpaid workers. Personnel Review, 39(1), 80-95. DOI 10.1108/00483481011007878.

nfpSynergy (2011). Who volunteers? Volunteering trends based on government data: 2001-2010 – a briefing from nfpSynergy [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from http://www.nfpsynergy.net/includes/documents/cm_docs/2011/g/government_volunteering_trends_20012010.ppt

Rynes, S. L., & Cable, D. M. (2003). Recruitment research in the twenty-first century. In W. C. Borman D. R. Ilgen & R. J. Klimoski (Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Industrial and organizational psychology (vol. 12, pp. 55−76). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Shin, S. & Kleiner, B. H. (2003). How to manage unpaid volunteers in organisations. Management Research News, 26(2/3/4), 63-71. Doi:10.1108/01409170310784005.

Wilson, J. (2000).Volunteering. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 215-240. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/223443

find the cost of your paper