Understanding the volunteer market: the what, where, who and why of volunteering

Helen Bussell, Deborah Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Although the work of the voluntary sector is growing, the number of people volunteering is not increasing at a comparable rate. This paper argues that the key to an organisation's success in recruiting and retaining its volunteers is to have an understanding of its target group. As a means to developing this understanding the paper reviews the prior research on volunteering and outlines the current situation in the voluntary sector with regard to the donation of time. The review shows that those who volunteer are an extremely diverse group, active in a wide variety of contexts. This makes the definition of a volunteer a more complex task than one would expect. It also demonstrates that individuals and organisations may volunteer for reasons other than purely altruistic motives. Finally, the paper identifies gaps in this area of research and presents topics for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-257
JournalInternational Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2002


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