Training for volunteers - A multiple case study investigating the relationship between volunteer motivations and required training programmes
This thesis reports on a multiple case study exploring the impact of required training programmes upon the motivations of new volunteers. The core research question is: How are the primary motivations of volunteers affected by the initial training that they are required to complete? Previous research has investigated the motivations of volunteers, and sought to measure the efficacy of volunteer training programmes. However there is little research investigating how volunteer motivations and volunteer training programmes influence each other. Volunteers from two contrasting volunteer organisations were interviewed about their motivations to volunteer, experiences of the volunteer training, and any subsequent changes in motivation. Prior to these interviews the volunteers were given the Volunteers Function Inventory (VFI) questionnaire which measures volunteer motivations. The interview data was analysed using a six phase process of thematic analysis, and the motivational themes from this analysis were checked against the results of the VFI Questionnaire. The study found little difference in the overall motivations of volunteers between the two organisations, though there were differences in how these motivations were expressed within each organisation. Both sets of volunteers displayed high levels of altruistic and knowledge-based motivations, with the career motivation being the most variable, and age and stage of life appearing as a key moderator for the motivations. Volunteers appreciated training that they perceived as being relevant, and that utilised peer-learning, but both training programmes lacked the flexibility required to have a high level of relevance to a wide range of learning needs and motivations. Ultimately the motivations of the volunteers were improved by the training when they found that it either helped them to be more effective in their volunteer roles, or related well to their motivations for volunteering.