Retaining volunteers for the cause: Hope and pride associated with cause-related charity events in cancer control

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing




Exercise Medicine Research Institute




Australian Research Council

Grant Number

ARC Number : LP150100368

Grant Link


Legg, M., Hyde, M. K., Chambers, S. K., Ng, S. K., Scuffham, P., Stein, K., & Dunn, J. (2022). Retaining volunteers for the cause: Hope and pride associated with cause‐related charity events in cancer control. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 27(1), article e1707.


© 2021 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Special charity events are an important source of revenue for non-profit organisations in cancer control yet volunteering is declining and turnover is high. Experiences at cause-related events may influence retention, particularly emotions connected to the cause and ceremonies which honour cancer survivors and remember loved ones. We explore the degree to which emotions associated with cause-related volunteering and collective action in the literature are felt in response to Relay For Life and what emotions predict three indicators of retention: intention to return for future events, satisfaction with volunteering, and organisational commitment. Volunteers (n = 410) completed a cross-sectional survey at Relay For Life events in Queensland, Australia. Multiple regression analyses examined whether emotions associated with events predicted each indicator of retention, adjusting for number of years spent volunteering for events. Sixty-two percent reported an intention to return the following year. The most commonly reported event-related emotions were hope, pride, and empathy (62–69%). Intention to return, satisfaction, and commitment were each significantly predicted by hope and pride. The findings suggest special charity events in cancer control could retain volunteers by fostering pride and hope (e.g., for a cancer free future); however, future prospective research which examines the mechanisms of these relationships is warranted.



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