Linking collegiate service‐learning to future volunteerism: Implications for nonprofit organizations
ABSTRACT One of the biggest challenges facing nonprofits is attracting and retaining volunteers to help deliver their programs. One way that colleges and universities are attempting to educate students on the importance of community issues and to graduate “good citizens” is through service-learning (S-L) programs. Although many scholars argue that collegiate S-L programs will increase the extent to which students volunteer following graduation (for example, Astin, Sax, and Avalos, 1999; Misa, Anderson, and Yamamura, 2005), more empirical research has been called for to examine this relationship. This article proposes three predictors of future volunteerism for alumni of a collegiate S-L experience: the amount of personal development experienced during the S-L project, the perceived value of the S-L project to the community organization, and the level of volunteerism prior to participation in an S-L project. Results showed significant effects of all the proposed predictors on postgraduation volunteering. Our findings have implications for nonprofit managers charged with maintaining a sufficient level of volunteers to provide their community services as well as individuals who are responsible for organizing S-L programs. These managerial implications and directions for future S-L research are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Volunteerism is changing, and traditional ways of coordinating volunteers need re-examination in order for human service programs to survive. Our practitioner/academician team has been using well-known frameworks to reveal deep-seated assumptions about how people volunteer at the dawn of the 21st century and how changes in volunteering influence the organization and coordination of those efforts. The different styles of volunteering demand that coordinators' engagement strategies vary when different worldviews are held. In this article, four types of volunteer programs are identified: traditional, social change, serendipity, and entrepreneurial. Examples of each program type are provided, along with guidelines for their oversight. We conclude with a call for research that examines the important differences in how to appropriately use the talents of increasingly diverse types of volunteers in community practice.Journal of Community Practice. 10/2009; 17(4):400-423.