Hold on to what you’ve got: the volunteer retention literature


Locke, Michael, Ellis, Angela and Smith, Justin Davis 2003. Hold on to what you’ve got: the volunteer retention literature. Voluntary Action. 5 (3), pp. 81-99.
AuthorsLocke, Michael, Ellis, Angela and Smith, Justin Davis

This article, based on a review of the literature on volunteer retention,
finds many areas of disagreement among researchers about the
factors that cause people to remain as volunteers. The section on
‘personal factors and life events’ suggests that changes in personal
circumstances may cause people to leave volunteering and that
domestic stability may cause them to stay, but is unable to give a
clear answer on the part played by people’s demographic profiles or
by their personalities, attitudes and religious beliefs. In the same way,
the section on ‘organisations and contexts’ suggests that poor
management may cause volunteers to leave organisations and that
management which is ‘explicit, developmental, supportive and
appreciative’ may encourage them to stay, but is forced to point out
that the evidence on the influence of the motivation, commitment and
satisfaction of the individual volunteer on retention is as yet
inconclusive. One of the main conclusions of the article is that any
future research into volunteer retention will need to ‘analyse complex
situations and multiple factors’.

Keywordsvolunteering; volunteer management; volunteer retention; special constables; motivation
JournalVoluntary Action
Journal citation5 (3), pp. 81-99
Publisher's version
Web address (URL)http://www.ivr.org.uk/VA+Documents%2fVA5_3%2farticle5_lockeetal.pdf
Publication dates
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Aug 2010
Additional information

Locke, M., Ellis, A., Smith, J.D. (2003) ‘Hold on to what you’ve got: the volunteer retention literature’ Voluntary Action 5 (3) 81-99.

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