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Psychosocial Intervention

On-line version ISSN 2173-4712Print version ISSN 1132-0559


CHACON, Fernando; PEREZ, Tania; FLORES, Jèrôme  and  VECINA, María Luisa. Motives for Volunteering: Categorization of Volunteers’ Motivations Using Open-ended Questions. Psychosocial Intervention [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.3, pp.213-222. ISSN 2173-4712.

Most studies of volunteers' motivations use standardized questionnaires with one of the most commonly-used being the Volunteer Function Inventory. Open-ended questions about what drives individuals to be volunteers are seldom used. We hypothesize that questionnaires tend to overestimate the number of motivations and to underestimate their variety. Therefore, in this paper we analyze the answers of 1515 volunteers to an open-ended question and categorize these answers. Results show that volunteers give an average of 2 motivations, fewer than the questionnaires, and that the Value motivation is the most frequently mentioned and the most important for volunteers. In addition, this motivation coexists with other motivations, which are lacking in the standard questionnaires, such as Organizational Commitment, Personal Development, Religiosity, Social Change or Interest in the Activity.

Keywords : volunteering; motivations; categorization; open-ended questions.

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