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How to motivate volunteers

Research on volunteer motivation and engagement within the project InduS

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

How to motivate volunteers

Research on volunteer motivation and engagement within the project InduS

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

This thesis is about volunteer motivation and engagement. The research elaborates on the motivation and engagement of volunteers in the project InduS.

Nowadays, a world without volunteers cannot be imagined. They get more and more important in every aspect of social life, for example volunteers are found when it comes to religiously-related activities, community welfare, environmental issues, special needs assistance, youth and elder work, or sports. These and more fields are backed and sustained by volunteers (Elrod, 2013).

Furthermore, the project InduS relies on voluntary commitment. The project takes care of the inclusion of persons with disabilities into regular sports clubs in the district Emsland. The name of the German project is an abbreviation and stands for “Inklusion durch Sport” which essentially means inclusion through sports. Three big institutions for persons with disabilities in the district Emsland and the sports federation of the district Emsland joined forces and initiated the project in 2013 (InduS, n. d.a).

Combining these two topics, the research is based on the following question:

“How can the project InduS ensure to retain its volunteers and to keep them engaged and motivated?”

At first, the concepts of integration and inclusion will be introduced and compared. Hereby, it is important to mention that it is not the same. Integration means that the minority needs to adapt to society, whereas in inclusion the society adapts everything in such a way that everyone can participate, no matter which ethnical background, religion, gender, or disability is at hand (Heubach, 2013).

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities deals within article 30, paragraph 5 with the participation of persons with disabilities in cultural life, leisure, recreation, and sports. Moreover, the project InduS refers to this paragraph and on its basis, particular goals are set. These include the initiation, as well as promotion of sustainable sports offers for persons with and without disabilities in sports clubs in the district Emsland (InduS, n. d.b).

Motivation of volunteers include social contact, supporting others, fill time, gaining recognition, meeting expectations of others, helping achieve goals of organizations, personal enrichment, developing skills, fun and enjoyment, having a sense of accomplishment, self-expression, and improving the self-image (Cuskelly, Hoye, & Auld, 2006). Moreover, the Survey of Volunteers researched for the motivations of German volunteers from 1999 to 2009 and discovered that belonging to a community, meeting other people, fun, self-determination, self-actualization, recognition, expanding one’s knowledge and experiences, and responsibility are the key factors for volunteering (Braun S. , 2017).

Within the field research, interviews with five voluntary trainers of the project InduS were conducted. Their motivations were expressed as follows: warmth and gratitude, appreciation, the kind of sports, characteristics of the team members, cohesion of the team, learning effects, doing sports without any pressure, common good, and pleasure. Furthermore, the interviewees were asked about their relationships with their sports clubs which resulted in a split: two trainers did not receive full support from their club, whereas the others were fully supported. However, all trainers felt sufficiently supported from the project InduS and responsible persons.

In the end, recommendations will be presented, for example how the project InduS can further improve their volunteer management and motivate their trainers. This includes finding out what the trainers wish, offering different kinds of trainings, organizing an exchange meeting for the trainers, arranging a big InduS event for all sports groups, and lastly, setting up a meeting for all boards to make them more acquainted with the topic inclusion in their sports clubs.

Toon meer
OrganisatieNHL Stenden Hogeschool
PartnersKreisSportBund Emsland e.V. in Sögel (GER)
Datum2019-01-14
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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