The Influence of Past Experiences on the Motivation of Adult Volunteers

Marcus Eason, A. Christian Morgan, Dennis W. Duncan, John C. Ricketts


From its’ conception, 4-H has encouraged volunteerism and utilized volunteers to accomplish its’ mission - to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills, and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the factors that motivated [state] 4-H camp volunteers to volunteer with 4-H youth. The Volunteer Functions Inventory was used as the theoretical base for this study. The Values construct (M=3.68) of the VFI was the highest motivating factor of adult 4-H volunteers. The Understanding construct (M=3.39) ranked the second highest motivational factor in volunteerism followed by Social construct (M=3.28), the Enhancement construct (M = 3.05) and the Protective construct (M=2.78). The Career construct (M=2.61) was the least motivating factor to adult volunteers. It was also found that participants that were not involved with 4-H as a youth volunteered more days per year than did participants who were former 4-H members.

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