Episodic volunteering and retention: An integrated theoretical approach
SAGE Publications Inc.
School of Exercise and Health Sciences/Health and Wellness Institute
Episodic volunteers (EVs) are vital for non-profit organization activities. However, theory-based research on episodic volunteering is scant and the determinants of episodic volunteering are not well understood. This study integrates the volunteer process model and three-stage model of volunteers’ duration of service to explore determinants of EV retention. A cross-sectional survey of 340 EVs assessed volunteering antecedents, experiences, and retention. Social/enjoyment (β =.17) and benefit (β = −.15) motives, social norm (β =.20), and satisfaction (β =.56) predicted Novice EV (first experience) retention, satisfaction (β =.47) and commitment (β =.38) predicted Transition EV (2-4 years intermittently) retention, and supporting the organization financially (β =.31), social norm (β =.18), satisfaction (β =.41), and commitment (β =.19) predicted Sustained EV (5-6 years consecutively) retention. Integrated theoretical approaches appear efficacious for understanding EV retention. An Episodic Volunteer Engagement and Retention model is proposed for further testing in prospective work. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.