The Ideal Model for the Recruitment, Engagement, and Retention of Volunteers in All-Volunteer Organizations
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Purpose: The volunteer and nonprofit sector is a significant and important part of the United States economy and culture. While there can be many differences between nonprofit organizations, most rely heavily on the support of volunteers to help carry out the mission of the organization. Although there is significant research surrounding the recruitment, engagement, and retention of volunteers, there is limited research surrounding the ideal model for recruitment, engagement, and retention of volunteers in all-volunteer organizations, such as Junior Forum, Inc. and member chapters. This research is an attempt to fill this void. This research provides a strong foundation for understanding best practices in all-volunteer nonprofit organizations. First, a conceptual framework linking the ideal model was developed after a thorough review of the existing literature regarding the engagement, recruitment, and retention of volunteers in organizations with paid employees who help manage the volunteers. Next, through a survey and content analysis of websites, I identified which of the best practices are being implemented within Junior Forum, Inc. and provided recommendations for improving the recruitment, engagement, and retention of volunteers in all-volunteer organizations.
Methodology: The literature identified the components of the ideal model for the recruitment, engagement, and retention of volunteers in all-volunteer organizations. These components are used to construct a model assessment tool. This tool is used to assess the Junior Forum Inc. and member chapter's best practices in the areas of volunteer recruitment, engagement, and retention in conjunction with a survey and content analysis to form a case study.
Findings: JFI and member chapters are implementing many best practices for the recruitment, engagement, and retention of volunteers. Recommendations for strengthening the effectiveness of recruitment activities include sharing the strategic plan for recruiting with current members and engaging current members to attend recruitment events. Recommendations for strengthening the effectiveness of engagement activities include adding information to the public facing website regarding new member orientation and onboarding activities. Recommendations for strengthening the effectiveness of retention activities include finding more ways to share information and updates with members.