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Research articles from the International Year of the Volunteer

October 17, 200517 October 2005

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This website contains a range of useful research articles for the non-profit sector. Two reports deal with the contribution of volunteers to an organization. Measuring the value that your organization contributes to the community is a short fact sheet that introduces and explains the concept of volunteer value-added. It also provides an example of how organizations can demonstrate the value of volunteer contributions.

What volunteers contribute: Calculating and communicating value added is a 20-page report aimed at helping voluntary organizations assess volunteer value-added and use value-added information. The report walks readers through the process of gathering information about value-added contributions, assigning a dollar value to volunteer value-added, and putting all this information together in a report. The authors suggest that voluntary organizations can demonstrate volunteer value-added by including an Expanded Value Added Statement (EVAS) with their financial statements.

The authors of these fact sheets have also developed a volunteer value-added website to help organizations quantify the contributions of volunteers to their organizations and prepare a value added statement. (

One published article from the International Year of the Volunteer series focuses specifically on the broad culture sector. Recreation volunteers: An asset to be cultivated uses surveys and focus groups to examine what motivates people to volunteer for recreation, sports, arts and culture organizations in Quebec.

Important factors affecting the decision to volunteer for a “recreation” organization include the cause of the organization, the atmosphere within the organization, and the duties requested of volunteers by the organization. However, “factors such as the personal advantages of volunteering, the urgency of the need, and the duration of volunteer involvement were not very important factors for the volunteers in this study.”

The most important motivation for volunteering was the feeling of contributing to a collective cause, followed by the desire to have a good experience and enjoy one’s passion. Almost one-third of the volunteers in the study became involved with organizations on their own initiative, while about 40% were asked by someone else.

Future articles related to arts and culture include Recreation volunteering: Is it unique? and Staff-volunteer relations in recreation, arts, sports, and community organizations.

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