Kawana Woodson
Department of HEHD

Motivation for Staying: An Assessment of a School Volunteer...
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  1. 1. TRACK 2 Kawana Woodson Department of HEHD Motivation for Staying: An Assessment of a School Volunteer Program Richland School District One is the largest of two school districts located in Richland County, Columbia, South Carolina. Over 20 years ago, Richland School District One’s (RSDO) Volunteer Program was founded in an effort to establish community youth development and increase community involvement in schools. The Volunteer Program is active in over 50 schools that serve more than 23,000 students. The RSDO Volunteer Program has over 3,000 business partners and community volunteers which serve mostly in the capacity of mentors and tutors. The District has a fair representation of volunteers from the community, however many volunteers do not actively participate in schools and in the majority of schools the turnover rate is high. Much research has been conducted in the area of volunteer motivators and satisfiers that impact retention. But, this will be the first of its kind for the District. The aim of this study is to identify the motivators and satisfiers of volunteers that contribute to high levels of retention. In order to understand the factors that influence organizational commitment, an evaluation of one of the schools within the District volunteer program will be conducted. The data collected will represent a subset of the overall data (RSDO Volunteer Program). The subset will be selected from the W. S. Sandel Elementary pool of volunteers. Sandel Elementary has a student population of 462 students and 154 registered volunteers, which equates to a 3:1 student to volunteer ratio. Using a sample of 20 repeat program volunteers and 20 new volunteers both randomly selected, a questionnaire survey will be administered via the internet. The collected data and analysis of the findings from this study will act as a baseline for further research by the district on the affect motivators and satisfiers have on intent to continue volunteering. The underlying questions behind this assessment are: What motivates a person to volunteer? Why are some volunteers committed to an organization and not others? Which motivating factors influence volunteer retention? Is a person’s motivation to continue volunteering impacted negatively if expected satisfiers from the volunteer experience are not met? Ideally, the district will utilize the feedback from this assessment to improve volunteer retention practices or influence their volunteer management plan.