An Evaluation of the Motives behind Volunteering and Existing Motivational Strategies among Voluntary Organizations in Kenya

Gloria N. Kenyatta, Agnes P. Zani


Given that volunteers offer their services without compensation, it is widely assumed that the presence or absence of any form of motivation cannot deter their desire to volunteer. This study used 120 purposively selected respondents comprising 90 volunteers and 30 non volunteers to identify the factors that make people volunteer and the explore existing motivational strategies in three voluntary organizations in Kenya - Kenya Red Cross Society, the United Nations Volunteers and the St. Johns Ambulance Kenya. The research grouped the strategies into intrinsic and extrinsic factors as categorized by Herzberg (1959) theory to try and understand if both motivational and hygienic factors play a role in making people to volunteer. The research also utilised the Social Exchange Theory to establish whether volunteers expect social rewards to continue volunteering. The research established that people volunteer to obtain learning opportunities and gain experience (51.1%), due to encouragement from peers (18.8%), so as to complete school projects (16.7%) and due to lack of employment (13.3%). The study also established that though the voluntary companies employed both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivational strategies, they did not properly communicate the strategies to the respondents. Some 44.4% volunteers continued volunteering because they felt that motivational strategies geared towards personal growth and development (intrinsic) were present, while 33.3% non volunteers said organizational motivational strategies (extrinsic) created conducive work environment. The study concluded that any voluntary organization should ensure that it has aligned its volunteer management processes of recruitment, induction, training and motivation to reap maximum benefits from volunteers.

Keywords: Volunteers, Motivation Strategies, Intrinsic Factors, Extrinsic Factors, Kenya

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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