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Reviving the Relay


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Master's action research on motivational factors of volunteers for a cancer fundraiser.

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Reviving the Relay

  1. 1. Action Research Project Reviving the Relay for Life:Motivational Factors to Plan a Cancer Related Fundraiser Karen Pilarski Pauline Robert College: Fall 2012
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT………………………………………………………………………..3INTRODUCTION 4CONTEXT 7LITERATURE REVIEW 11Definition of needs 12Theatrical Framework: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs…………………………… 13Impact of Motivation on Retention of Volunteers 16Retaining Volunteers: Individual and College Gains 17Retaining College Volunteers 19Strategies to Engage Volunteers in Fundraising Activity 23Planning a college Event 23Event Promotion 24Breast cancer movement: Research study on volunteering 27METHODOLOGY 32POPULATION AND SAMPLE 32RESEARCH METHOD 33DATA SOURCES 34PROCEDURES 34OPERATIONALIZATION OF CONCEPTS 36TRUSTWORTHINESS 40Credibility 40Applicability 41Consistency/Auditability 41ETHICS 42DATA ANALYSIS 43Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………….69APPENDICES 70REFERENCES 79
  3. 3. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 ABSTRACT Research indicates that in order to retain and recruit volunteers it is important tounderstand the importance of motivational factors. The purpose of this research was to find outspecifically what motivational factors are prevalent among members of Pauline Robert College.In finding out the motivational factors, it is possible to draw up some motivational strategies.The strategies determined will be used for the recruitment and retaining of potential volunteersfor the Relay for Life event. The use of the data is helpful in deciding how gain involvementfrom potential participants, planners and donors. Furthermore is the question of how to marketthe actual event in order to revive it once again.3
  4. 4. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 For three consecutive years the Relay for Life event has been held at Pauline RobertCollege. The Relay is a cancer fundraiser event created by the American Cancer Society. Thetwo day event includes a survivor walking lap, luminary ceremony and family friendly activities.Examples of activities include a disc jockey, face painting and games. A fundraising methodused is to sell white bags for participants to decorate. The luminary bags are used as candlesduring a ceremony. Names are read in memory of loved ones who have passed away fromcancer. The The Relay is required to be an overnight event. The Relay at Pauline Robert waspreviously scheduled in April since there are fewer students around during the summer. The lastyear it was held was in September, 2010. Relay is a large scale event that requires a huge amountof time, organization and collaboration between students, staff, faculty and Pauline Robertcommunity. Without time, organization and collaboration amount the Pauline RobertCommunity, the Relay for Life may never be planned again.Problem Statement According to a memo to the 2010 Relay Team members from the Dean of Students(10/6/10) it was cautioned that the Relay event could possibly no longer be offered. The reasonswere a lack of volunteers to plan/coordinate the event. The planning is broken up intocommittees and is under the direction of two appointed chairs. In a conversation with the OfficeManager of Division of Student Affairs, she stated “After three years of the same peopleplanning the event, people just got burnt out and didn’t want to continue to take on large amountsof planning” (5/20/12). A student and a student group both volunteered but were unable torecruit volunteer coordinators. The lack of volunteers has resulted in no Relay for Life being heldat Pauline Robert College in 2011. Other noted challenges were weather, recruiting teams andfundraising. Weather has been a challenge because the last two years of the Relay it was very4
  5. 5. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750windy and cold. In April, 2009, the weather was so windy the participants had to sleep indoors.Recruiting teams is tied to fundraising. When a team member is recruited he or she pays a fee fortheir registration to the event. If enough teams are not recruited then there is a decrease in theamount of money the event takes in.Rationale for Continuation of Relay The Relay for Life is important to me because my aunt Pauline passed away frompancreatic cancer in 2008. My uncle Robert “Butch” passed away in August 2012 from cancer.In October 2012, my sister-in-law was diagnosed with stage two breast cancers. I have had otherrelatives, friends and colleagues survive and lose battles with cancer. Having a cancer walk orRelay is a personal way for me to remember my loved ones. As important is the opportunity forthe Pauline Robert community to do the same. As an alum and staff member, I’m invested inPauline Robert College and the development of the community. Cancer related fundraising events have potential benefits for the Pauline Robertcommunity. It creates an opportunity for students to have social interaction and buildrelationships. Since the event is open to the community, there is a chance to meet new people(alums, staff members and friends of students). With each new relationship a tie to thecommunity is made. A student may meet an alumnae or someone who works in the community.Not only does social interaction occur but the possibility of networking for a job or othervolunteering opportunities. Social interaction is one of the core eight abilities at Pauline RobertCollege. The Relay or smaller form of it would be a great outlet to practice the ability. Fundraising events have the potential to gain attention of the media. This is positivepublicity for Pauline Robert College. Through news stories the Pauline Robert name is put out in5
  6. 6. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750the media (local news stations, social media, and blogging). This type of attention could impresspotential students and invite them to learn more about the college. The current economic state is unstable. There are high unemployment rates throughoutthe United States. To register for the Relay event the individual has to pay a fee to participate.The donations benefit the American Cancer Society. Due to the economy it may be difficult forthe community to donate money. Especially college students who have to deal with jobuncertainty, financial aid challenges and higher tuition costs. In a conversation (7/5/12) with theDean of Students, it was expressed there is concern students are donating or volunteeringelsewhere. The concern is if students are participating in another charity, they may feel there isnot a great need for this fundraiser. Instead of having a two day Relay event, it could bebeneficial to have a smaller scale event. A one day event may be easier to plan and less of acommitment to participants. Also a one day event could decrease the financial burden forstudents worrying about paying a fee to participate.Development of Research Question In feedback conversations with the Office Manager and Dean of Students, the possibilitywas raised of designing a smaller scale cancer event at Pauline Robert College. It was felt that aone day event might have a better response from the Pauline Robert Community. The researchquestion which guided the action research project is: What motivational strategies are effectivein recruiting and retaining college volunteers so that cancer fundraisers can be successfullydesigned and implemented? First I found literature that defines what motivation is. This helped me build a foundationof understanding. I researched literature that helped answer the following questions: What are6
  7. 7. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750benefits for students to volunteer? How can this information be used to gain involvement andcommitment? In addition I researched reasons that prevent college students from stayinginvolved. Secondly, I researched the history of the breast cancer movement. Breast cancer isprevalent especially in a population of mostly women, although men can have breast cancer aswell. “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. It is estimated that morethan 1.6 million new cases of breast cancer occurred among women worldwide in 2010”( Pauline Robert College is primarily a woman’s college and the community might respondbetter to a breast cancer event. Through the use of surveys and a focus group to Pauline Robertcommunity, I found data to support the need for the Relay for Life. I also found data to supportthe desire to have a breast cancer awareness event held on campus. Lastly, I determined good strategies to engage volunteers in fundraising activities. Myliterature research also pinpointed some attributes that make volunteers succeed in planningcancer fund raising events. It is important for a sensitive topic such as cancer to be held in acompassionate and delicate manner. Time management skills are necessary to complete any task.In addition it is imperative for volunteers to have adequate problem solving skills. What is agood screening process to recruit and retain potential volunteers? For example what type ofbenefits would encourage volunteers to commit to this fundraising event?Context Pauline Robert College is a private four-year, liberal arts, and Catholic college. It islocated in Milwaukee, WI. Pauline Robert College strives for the successful development and7
  8. 8. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750education of women. The academic institution is primarily a women’s college. With the additionof Master’s degree programs, men are able to enroll at Pauline Robert as well. As of spring 2012,there are 1641 weekday students, 245 weekend college students and 377 graduate students.Pauline Robert College has 357 full time employees and 173 part time employees. One aspect of Pauline Robert College is to have an ongoing collaborative learningenvironment. Faculty, staff and students work together to create a supportive network in which tolearn from each other. Learning doesn’t end when the class ends. Knowledge can be applied tothe real world. Pauline Robert College has an acclaimed ability based program. Unlike other highereducation institutions, Pauline Robert College does not measure students by grades but byability. Pauline Robert College ranked first in the Midwest for doing "the best job of educatingundergrads," in U.S. News & World Report. (Pauline Robert College website, 2012). Theeducation at Pauline Robert is not based on competition nor letter grades. The education is wellrounded by gaining knowledge that spans different fields of study. A personal example is takinga creative writing course and then I used those skills in a paper for a religious studies class. Theassignment asked me to provide my own definition of what heaven is. I used creative writingtechniques and applied them to the assignment. Pauline Robert has eight core abilities that undergrad students need to master. They arecommunication, problem solving, social interaction, effective citizenship, analysis, valuing,developing a global perspective and aesthetic engagement. The community is committed to creating ties to the community. As part of college’s mission, Pauline Robert continues to develop and foster relationships with businesses,8
  9. 9. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 non-profit organizations and professionals in various industries. These relationships help understand and meet the needs of a changing workplace, effectively preparing you to not only enter a career, but to become a leader. (Pauline Robert College website, 2012, para. 7)2012 is a landmark year for Pauline Robert. The prestigious college is celebrating its 125thanniversary. As a way of acknowledging the anniversary, an initiative called Caring Counts wasdeveloped. The community is encouraged to volunteer and log in hours spent giving back to thecommunity. The goal is to record 125,000 hours by December 31, 2012. As of June 2012, 156,365 hours have been recorded. Students are the current top volunteer contributors followedclosely by the School Sisters of St. Francis. The goal of the Caring Counts initiative has beensurpassed. The initiative doesn’t have to end on December 31st, 2012. Planning and organizing acancer related event would support the Caring Counts initiative by encouraging the collegecommunity to keep volunteering. For my research project, the initial collaborators were the Pauline Robert College StudentAffairs department. The Dean of Students has been an employee since 1980. The OfficeManager has been an employee since 2002. Both are alums of the college. They have been partof the Relay for Life event from the start. Both women bring a wealth of knowledge andorganization that is needed to plan events for the community. Student Affairs works with thecommunity to create and deliver programs and services to support students. The departmentoffice is located by the athletic office and fitness center. On the Pauline Robert website thefollowing is stated as the resources the department offers: Advocating for students when appropriate9
  10. 10. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 Communicating College policies and procedures Serving as a resource and providing information about the College and campus Assisting with student grievances, behavior issues, sexual assault, harassment, violence, and crisis situations Provide leadership and support for the departments within Student Affairs “Student Affairs prepares students personally and professionally for success at Pauline Robert College and beyond. We encourage students and their families to take advantage of our various programs and services” (Pauline Robert College website, 2012, para 2). The key ingredient is to understand how the community can be persuaded to volunteer and take an active role in planning of programs that supports the Pauline Robert atmosphere. Student Affairs consists of seven employees and four student workers. There is the Dean,Assistant Dean (who also works in Residence Life), Student Affairs Office Manager andAdministrative Assistant. I work in Admissions Office as a Document Secretary. My role inStudent Affairs is voluntary for this research project. The results of my research project will be presented to the Dean of Students and OfficeManager of the Division of Student Affairs. The purpose of this presentation is to help plan anddesign a cancer related fundraising event that fits the needs of the Pauline Robert Collegecommunity. The action part of my research seeks to determine what type of event should becreated. For my research design I used a mixed methods approach. First I conducted a survey tothe Pauline Robert Community. I asked them to respond to questions about cancer related events.Based on responses from the survey, I facilitated a focus group. In the focus group(s) I discussed10
  11. 11. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750the survey results. I asked participants of the focus group to give feedback on common responsesfrom the survey. In order to get a better idea of the thoughts of the Pauline Robert community, Iengaged them in group activity. The goal of this action research was to gain an understanding of the needs of the PaulineRobert community in relation to volunteering opportunities. Pauline Robert College is acollaborative learning environment and by encouraging reflective responses it aligns with thatcore value of the college. LITERATURE REVIEW The research question which guided this action research project was: What motivationalstrategies are effective in recruiting and retaining college volunteers so that fundraisers can besuccessfully designed and implemented? The following literature review consists of scholarlyarticles that define what motivation is; how motivation is related to the retention of volunteers ingeneral and in the college community; and what constitutes a successful design andimplementation of a fundraiser. In addition, there is a brief history on breast cancer, which is theinspiration for developing a fundraiser at Pauline Robert College. The cancer fundraising eventwill bring awareness to this deadly disease. I used Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1954) as aframework to understand what motivates people and how physiological and emotional needseffect motivations.11
  12. 12. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750Definition of Needs Needs or motivations are reasons that make a person act. Mannell and Kleiber (as cited inGage & Thapa, 2012) describe a motivational model that explains four components: needs(motivations), behaviors (activities), goals (satisfaction), and feedback. Motivations are factorsthat trigger a person to do an action. An example is a person wanting to meet new people. Themotivation is for social reasons. The activity or behavior is volunteering through an organization.The goal would be to make relationships. The feedback would be shown through continuing ofthe activity. If the person didn’t make friends the feedback would most likely be negative. If thefeedback is negative then the person would not continue with volunteering at the organization.The reason is because the goals were not met. There are two stages of motivations that cause a person to act. “First disequilibrium iscreated that causes a desire to correct the imbalance” (Gage & Thapa, 2012, p.408). Thedisequilibrium is an imbalance. The imbalance could be from hunger or thirst (physicalreactions) or sadness. Another example is a college student who feels sadness over a familymember having cancer. The second stage is when the college student realizes or thinks a certain action willsatisfy the imbalance. Gage and Thapa (2012) further explain that only after the need is realizedcan the individual do the action to ‘satisfy’ the need. An example would be the college studentdealing with a family member with cancer. She or he may seek out ways to feel better. Someways could be finding a support network or volunteering for an event that honors the loved one.After the person does the action, the satisfaction of completing the action can be measured.12
  13. 13. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 When an action is completed, the action satisfies a need. The authors state “Theindividual will feel satisfied and will show positive feedback” (Gage and Thapa, p. 408). Positivefeedback could be performing an action such as volunteering again in the future. If the action(behavior) fails to satisfy a need, the individual will have a negative reaction. In terms ofvolunteering, a negative reaction could be losing interest in the activity. In summary, it isimportant to understand volunteer participant physiological and emotional needs in order tosatisfy them. When a volunteer’s needs (emotional or physical) are met, they will be moremotivated to stay committed to an organization.Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Hierarchy refers to stages of a feeling, person or thing arranged in a ranked order ofimportance. Physiological drives are biological impulses that have been with a person sincebirth. “The needs that are usually taken as the starting point for motivation theory are the so-called physiological drives” (Maslow, 1954, p. 35). Maslows Hierarchy of Needs frameworkdescribes the emotional and physical needs of a person. The model is typically displayed in apyramid with psychological needs on the bottom and self-actualization at the top of the pyramid.13
  14. 14. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 The specific needs are:1. Psychological Needs2. Safety3. Love4. Esteem Needs5. Self-Actualization Examples of psychological needs are sleep, food, sex and thirst (Maslow, 1954). The psychological need can be satisfied by getting a good rest, eating, being intimate or drinking a beverage. Similar to the motivation model (Gage and Thapa, 2012), when there is an imbalance 14
  15. 15. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750of needs, a person tries to correct the imbalance by an action/behavior. “In a human being who ismissing everything in life in an extreme fashion, it is most likely that the major motivation wouldbe for the physiological need rather than others” (p. 37). Maslow uses the example of a personwho is lacking food, safety, love and esteem would want and seek food over anything else.Maslow states that “if needs are not satisfied then they are ‘dominated’ by the physiologicalneeds, all the other needs may become simply nonexistent or pushed into the background” (p.37). The safety needs are stability, security and freedom from anxiety and fear (Maslow, 1954)Maslow says people want a safe, orderly and lawful world. People want the feeling of peace.They do not want to be afraid of being murdered or going to jail. Participants in cancerfundraisers do not want to be scared of getting cancer. The point of having a cancer event is toraise awareness not fear. “If both the physiological and safety needs are fairly well gratified, there will emerge thelove and belongings needs.” (Maslow, 1954, p. 39). Some reasons for college volunteerism haveto do with making friends or feeling like a part of the group. Maslow explains that a person whomet the psychological and safety needs will feel saddened by the loss or lack of friends. “He willhunger for affectionate relationships with people in general, namely for a place in his group orfamily, and he will strive greatly to achieve this goal” (p. 39). For people involved in breastcancer walks, they may seek relationships with people who are dealing with cancer in their lives.They want to be around people who are going through similar experiences. Maslow (1954) says all people in our society have a need for a stable vision ofthemselves which relates to the esteem need. He also says people want others to think highly ofthem too. He describes two types of the self-esteem needs. The first type of self-esteem need is15
  16. 16. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750the desire for strength, achievement, and confidence to face the world. The second type isreputation of one’s self. People want recognition, attention and appreciation. When someonefeels they are making a difference or having an impact (measured through appreciation) on acause they feel a personal connection. Providing that connection is a good method to motivatethe college community to keep volunteering. Maslow cautions that “if all these needs are satisfied, we may still often expect that anew discontent and restlessness will develop, unless the individual is doing what he is fitted for”(Maslow, 1954, p. 46). He uses the example of a musician and how he must make music to feelsatisfied. His philosophy of doing what you are ‘fitted’ for can be applied to volunteerism. Ifcollege student is good at art, then she could design posters for a cancer fundraiser. A collegestudent who loves to write could help write out meeting minutes or a press release. It is importantto find one’s fit in order to feel satisfied and have self-actualization. Understanding needs andmotivations will help to gain retention of volunteers. Volunteers don’t want their time wastedjust standing around. There needs to be an inventory of skills among volunteers to determine theappropriate fit. Lastly, putting the right people in the right role is a good motivational strategy tokeep volunteers invested in an event.Impact of Motivation on Retention of Volunteers In order to retain volunteers it is important to understand the impact of motivations.Unlike a job, volunteering is unpaid and takes up personal time. “Attracting and retainingvolunteers are two great challenges facing agencies that are dependent on individuals to givetheir time and talents without financial remuneration” (Harteian & Lilly, 2009, p. 97). Theauthors discuss underlying motivations and the effect on volunteer retention. Altruistic and16
  17. 17. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750egotistical motivations are noted as two types of motivation to volunteer. Altruistic motivation isdefined as “concern about other’s welfare and engage in behaviors designed to help others, oftenat a great personal expense” (p. 97). Egotistical motivation is defined as a reason to improveone’s welfare. Due to the desire to improve one’s welfare, egotistical reasons are generally seenas negative. The authors explain because more concern is for a person’s own agenda (e.g. gettinga raise, making friends, looking good in front of coworkers) the motivation is seen as negative. Harteian and Lilly (2009) clarify that personal reasons for volunteering are notnecessarily selfish. Both altruistic and egotistical motivations can reside in the same person.“When a person volunteers, he or she simultaneously fulfills an external need to help others” (p.98). Gaga and Thapa (2012) agree with Harteian and Lilly (2009) that in order toretain volunteers there needs to be an understanding of reasons that push people to volunteer.Gage and Thapa state “Although altruism may lead a person to volunteer initially, self-interestedmotivations are more important for continued participation” (p. 40). Self-interested motivationsare potential personal rewards such as praise from a boss or a potential job opportunity. Laverieand McDonald (2007) also discuss personal rewards or benefits. “Enduring involvement ismotivated by the volunteer’s experience of personal benefits including social, service, self-confidence and self-esteem” (p. 276). Pinpointing the potential benefits to motivate a person tovolunteer could help increase recruitment and retention of volunteers.Retaining Volunteers: Individual and College Gains The relationship between volunteers and non-profit organizations such Pauline RobertCollege is mutually beneficial (Garner & Garner, 2010). Pauline Robert College receives17
  18. 18. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750positive publicity such as broadcasted news stories. The volunteer gets his/her needs met such asmaking friends or gaining a potential job skill. Garner and Garner caution that when somethinggoes wrong the volunteer may not stick with the volunteer activity. The reason is the volunteer isnot being paid for their service and there is no set incentive like a paid employee would have. AsGalindo-Kuhn and Guzley ( As cited in, 2010,) discuss four dimensions of satisfaction. The firsttwo are satisfaction with organizational support and satisfaction with participation efficacy.Organizational support is when the volunteer is satisfied with training, planning and support forthe tasks that they do. Participation efficacy is the feeling of making a difference from the tasksthat are completed. The third dimension is empowerment which is the freedom of completing thetasks as the volunteer sees fit. The fourth dimension is satisfaction with group integration. This ishow content volunteers are with relationships within the volunteer activity. The authors explainthat volunteers have to choice to give feedback or state reasons for lack of satisfaction. Theystate “when volunteers are dissatisfied they have the option to voice their dissatisfaction, to leavethe organization, silently live with the dissatisfaction, or reduce their effort they put into theirduties” (p. 816). Garner and Garner (2010) discuss that motivation is an important variable inunderstanding the relationships between communication and satisfaction of the volunteer. Theyask the question of how a person is motivated to volunteer without a reward of being paid. Garner and Garner (2010) state that non-profit organizations should consider motivationswhen recruiting volunteers. One strategy to screen volunteers is to use an intake questionnaire orinterview. The questionnaire or interview asks about motivations of volunteers. The purpose ofsuch a questionnaire is to put volunteers in the right volunteering position that has the best fit theorganization and the volunteer’s needs. Organizations should place volunteers in positions that18
  19. 19. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750provide them the ability to make relationships. Constructive feedback about the volunteer’sexperience should be encouraged. The feedback will assist in retaining the volunteer in theorganization. Receiving feedback helps organizations understand frustrations and constraints ofvolunteers in order to address them. This is similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Themotivations represented show more emphasis on self-esteem benefits (recognition). Providing anoutlet for volunteers to air frustrations can be a tool in retaining them as volunteers.Retaining College Volunteers “Burnout in college students is an issue of concern due to the various demands ofcollege life and the probable adverse impact on their learning as well as their well-being” (Kao,2009). Kao references a study done by Dahlin and Runeson (2007) of medical students who feltburned out. The conclusion of the study states that “to feel self-worth, students feel compelled toachieve extraordinary accomplishments” (p. 3). A lack of self-worth leads to exhaustion anddisengagement. There is an ‘emotional payoff’ in the form of new skills that will provide jobrecognition. Job recognition means students can increase their employability by gaining skillssuch teamwork or problem solving to their resumes. This puts college students in a good positionto gain a better job. This type of motivation or benefit will keep students committed to thevolunteer activity. There are also constraints that can hinder student volunteers (Kao, 2009, p. 3). A possibleconstraint is that volunteering may take time away from the student’s studies. How studentsmeasure their workload (studies, work, and relationships) is subjective. If college students feelthey have too much to do, students will feel burned out. Garner and Garner (2010) discussed theneed for constructive feedback of volunteers who feel burned out. “Students who are aware of19
  20. 20. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750their emotions can use that awareness to apply constructive strategies to reduce the tension andstress caused by demanding situations” (p. 3). Sharing feelings and perceptions influences thegroup morale. Expressing frustrations helps release stress. The authors discuss how the freedomto give feedback creates an atmosphere where people feel safe to share feelings. The morepositive the group is the higher the morale is. The positivity of the group will help decrease thefeeling of burn out among students. Gage and Thapa (2012) say “many people seek out opportunities to help others as a wayto satisfy their own needs” (p. 406). They point out that self-interested (egotistical) motives areimportant for retention of volunteers. Egotistical reasons are what Kao (2009) stated as‘emotional payoff’ or incentives to stay invested in the volunteer activity. In a study by Gage andThapa (2012), the purpose was to investigate the motivational factors of undergraduate studentsto volunteer. The study researched volunteer characteristics, scope of volunteerism, and type ofcontributions of volunteers. In addition, the researchers looked at constraints of volunteers. Therespondents in the study were selected from a beginning level undergraduate course with threesections at a large university. The university was located southeastern United States. Eachsection had 100 students. The study was conducted in spring 2009. The respondents consisted offreshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. This university had a large student body and waslocated in a rural area. There were an abundance of volunteer opportunities around and on thecampus. Students had access to parks, human service organizations and other volunteer optionsnear the campus. Gage and Thapa (2012) developed an online survey on motivations for volunteering.The survey had four sections: volunteer participation, volunteer motivations, constraints in20
  21. 21. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750volunteer participation, and socio demographic characteristics such as age, gender, and race, yearof schooling, major, and city of residence. There was no credit offered for doing the survey. The researchers used a seven point Likert-type scale to measure the responses of thesurvey. The scale that was used ranged from one (not at all important) to seven (extremelyimportant). The response rate was 88.5%. The respondents consisted of 62.1% women; and78.3% were 21 years and younger. Of those who responded 60.6% were seniors in college. Theresults of the survey indicated that in 12 months prior to the study 80.0% of the respondents hadvolunteered for an organization. Of those who responded 40.2% said family introduced them tovolunteerism. The second set of questions of the survey asked about motivations of volunteers (Gage &Thapa, 2012). A descriptive analysis with mean scores of each item was conducted. Responsesregarding motivations to volunteer with the highest mean scores were “I feel it is important tohelp others;” “I am concerned with those less fortunate than myself.” Some responses with thelowest mean scores were “By volunteering, I feel less lonely” or “Volunteering is a good escapefrom my own troubles.” One highlight of this study is that college students were found to bemore interested in furthering their career paths through volunteerism. The researchers suggestedthis could be the result of the fact that many college students are not being employed on a fulltime basis. Students seeking full time employment may volunteer because it could possibly leadto a job. The third research section consisted of questions on constraints of volunteers. Themean values were calculated. Some of the highest mean responses were “I have too manycommitments;” also “I have no time to volunteer.” Fewer respondents indicated “I have an21
  22. 22. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750injury; handicap or ill health” or “I do not feel safe at volunteer sites.” The most commonobjection college students had toward volunteerism was that it took up too much time. The timewould be better spent doing academic activities such as homework, reading and studying. Gage and Thapa (2012) indicated that findings are not general in terms to the generalpopulation of college students; the reason is because the sample was drawn from only oneuniversity. Another limitation was the research was conducted in a state where volunteerism is astandard or highly encouraged in high school. This could have produced some bias in theresponses. Gage and Thapa (2012) concluded that volunteer managers on college campuses shouldmake good use of the student’s time. They encourage managers of volunteers to provideprograms that add an element of socialization and advancement of career goals. Both would be areward for volunteer participants. “Programs should highlight the importance of the program andoffer awards or recognition to volunteer” (p. 425). Students often feel compelled to do great things such as volunteering or getting goodgrades. If students feel a lack of self-worth, it may lead to exhaustion (burnout). Burnout incollege students is an issue of concern since it has negative effects on volunteerism. One way todecrease the feeling of burnout is having volunteer activities that have some type of benefit. Anexample of a benefit is acquiring a job skill to their resume. Another benefit is social relationssuch as making friends. These two benefits satisfy the self-esteem and love and belonging need(Maslow, 1954). The key to retaining volunteers is to make good use of student’s time and meettheir needs. In the following section are strategies on how to engage volunteers in fundraisingactivities.22
  23. 23. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 Strategies to Engage Volunteers in Fundraising Activity Planning a college event. In 1987 the National Girls and Women in Sports Day(NGWSD) was created to honor Flora Hyman, a former Olympic athlete and supporter of girlsand women in sports. She passed away in 1986 from an undetected heart condition. Idaho StateUniversity held the annual event starting in 1998. In 2009, NGWSD gained its largest number ofparticipants. Three hundred girls participated (Appleby & Pemberton, 2010). The purpose of theevent was to provide participants with an opportunity to sample sports and wellness activities. Inaddition the purpose of the event was to “to create positive role-model connections betweenyoung girls and college students and student-athletes” (p.34). Pemberton was one of the creators of the event (Appleby & Pemberton, 2010). Sherecalled challenges of planning an event such as seeking support, resources and volunteers. Theevent creators spent time calling the college community to ask for volunteers. Calling the collegecommunity is a personal way to communicate. Another strategy that was used was to provide apotential gain/benefit. The first year they lowered the participation fee to not discourageparticipation. The method used appealed to participants that may have had a financial strain. Theresult was an increase in the number of participants. The strategies used to encourage persons tovolunteer for this event were to provide a potential gain to participants such a chance to buildrelationships and do a healthy activity. Strategies such as these are important to planning eventswhich need volunteers in order to be a successful event. Event planning. Appleby and Pemberton (2010) describe core tasks related to theplanning of fundraising or awareness events. The first step is deciding on a day and appropriatelocation to hold the event. The significance of the month may drive people to volunteer and23
  24. 24. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750participate in the event. Secondly, volunteers need to be recruited to help plan, manage andpromote the event. The creators of the National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) wereable to successfully recruit volunteers by word of mouth, personal connections, andannouncements in college classes. Another step used is creating a committee. The National Girls and Women in Sports DayNGWSD recruited a core planning committee of ten people. The committee consisted of afaculty event coordinator, undergraduate and graduate coordinators and students. The planningmeetings were held monthly. The frequency of meetings increased as deadlines and tasks becamemore urgent. Appleby and Pemberton recalled when the event was planned. The volunteers wereinformed two months in advance of when the event would occur and their specific duties. Thevolunteers were contacted two weeks before the event and then during the week of the event toremind them of their commitment. Organization is a useful strategy to plan a fundraiser event.Additionally, marketing or promotion of the fundraiser event is important to get potentialparticipants and volunteer’s attention. Event promotion. Appleby and Pemberton (2010) state that to promote a successfulevent such as National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) various media need to beconsidered. One method is the use of flyers. The flyers should have contact information, eventtime and date and place of the event. Appleby and Pemberton also discuss the importance ofusing a specially designed t-shirt to promote an event. The same design and color has been usedfor the National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) event for ten years. The shirts aregiven to all participants and volunteers. “This branding serves to further promote the event whenrepeat participants and volunteers accumulate and wear their NGWSD shirts not only during theevent, but as every-day wear” (p. 37). the t-shirts can be used as moving advertisements.24
  25. 25. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750Students may wear the t-shirts around campus and while doing day to day activities such asgoing to the store or while working. When planning an event such as National Girls and Women in Sports Day or any activityit is important to understand risks. Appleby and Pemberton (2010) say it is important tounderstand possible risks and take them into consideration (p. 38). One risk the authors use is arisk of injury. They say a qualified person in the sport or activity needs to be in place to safetylead participants. Another risk for the National Girls and Women in Sport Day was that specialequipment or precautions might be needed. For example if there are activities such as swimmingor rock climbing. In summary, various steps the National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) usedhave been utilized by Pauline Robert College. An example is the use of a proclamation strategyfor the Caring Counts initiative. Wisconsin Mayor, Tom Barrett, signed a proclamation on April20th, 2012 that the date was to be considered “Pauline Robert College Day.” April 20th is toacknowledge the 125th anniversary of Pauline Robert College. This helps raise awareness andpromote the Pauline Robert College community. Using t-shirts is another strategy used in theRelay for Life event. Participants are given a t-shirt with the Relay for Life logo and listssponsors of the event. In terms of risks, the Relay for Life or one day event does not havestrenuous activities. The event would consist of walking. The action research project conducted researched: what motivational strategies areeffective in recruiting and retaining college volunteers so that fundraisers can be successfullydesigned and implemented? The specific voluntary event to be researched is the Relay for Life orcreation of a one day cancer fundraiser event. The intent of the cancer fundraiser event is to raise25
  26. 26. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750money for breast cancer research. To complete this section on engaging volunteers in fundraisingactivities, a brief history on breast cancer research is given. The following sub section describesbreast cancer research history and includes fundraiser strategies specifically usable in suchactivities as breast cancer events.The Breast Cancer Research Movement “Breast cancer advocacy in the United States did not simply begin when someonedecided to change something” (Braun, 2003, p. S101). Not only is this true of cancer advocacybut breast cancer research as well. Thirty years ago “the big C,” was shrouded in secrecy. “Thebreast is an external symbol of femininity” (Harvey & Strahilevitz, 2009, p. 27). Although thereare other female cancers such as cervical and ovarian, the breast is a body part that is external.Cervical and ovarian cancer occurs inside the body therefore can be hidden from the naked eye.A woman’s breasts can be seen especially by a loved one. Harvey and Strahilevitz (2009) statethat there is an emotional response to the plight of women because they are seen as ‘family.’ Thefamily life is “threatened” when a woman discovers she has breast cancer. (p. 27). Due to theoutpouring of brave people who have shared their stories, breast cancer has become less hiddenand more out in the open. In 1982 Nancy Brinker started the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.This was in memory of her sister Susan “Suzy” Komen who lost her battle with breast cancer.The movement gained momentum and popularity through the sharing of stories about “manywho already suffered personally or with loved ones through breast cancer” (p. 101). Publicfigures such as Nancy Regan and Betty Ford helped shed the veil of secrecy by speaking abouttheir diagnoses and battles with breast cancer. The funds raised during cancer events go toward26
  27. 27. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750breast cancer research. The Komen foundation through races and walks provides an opportunityfor men and women to do healthy activities. Also volunteers and participants become educatedabout breast cancer (Braun, 2003). “The event spotlighted breast cancer survivors, allowingwomen who had gone through breast cancer, to stand and be counted (p. S102). Breast cancer movement: research study on volunteering. Blackstone (2004)conducted a qualitative study during which she observed participants in Komen Foundationevents. She also observed the people who planned Komen Foundation events such as races andwalks. The study was conducted at a state affiliate office of the Komen Foundation from January1999 until June 2000. Her study was initially part of project for a field’s method practicum andlater part of her dissertation. The purpose of the study was to analyze of the constructions ofactivism and gender. Her analysis of data was based on field notes she took while volunteering atthe Komen office. During the first six months of the research she was involved in monthly steeringcommittee and planning meetings to organize various Komen events. The affiliate office whereshe volunteered was made up of mostly white, middle to upper class women volunteers. Most ofthe volunteers were in their late 30’s to 60’s. Blackstone (2004) states “Komen’s work is aboutempowering women to believe in themselves, and their rights, so that they will take initiative toadvocate for their own health and ensure that their doctor’s assist them in this endeavor.” (p.359). Through the use of observations noted in field notes, Blackstone used her field notes tocapture statements by participants. Her notes came from three months of participation in variousKomen events. In Blackstone’s study she found support for the idea that breast cancer events27
  28. 28. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750provide a sense of relationships. In June 1999 she arrived on her first fundraiser event. Sherecalled how a participant hugged her and said “welcome to the family” (p. 355). She observedthat some volunteers felt the event was fun and that their different tasks didn’t feel like work. Aparticipant was asked why she volunteered and she said “You meet so many neat women here.They all care, are nice and just a great group of girls” (p. 357). Another response observed wasthat the participant volunteered to “get out and have a good time” (p. 357). The sense ofrelationships in a breast cancer fundraiser event satisfies the need for love and belonging. She explains how gender is also used to appeal to the sense of belonging. She discussedthe Komen organization newsletter which used mothers, sisters and wives to gain support forbreast cancer events. An advertisement in the newsletter said “For our mothers, daughters,sisters, we will support the Race for the Cure too” (p.359). She further points out in onenewsletter, the National Football League sponsorship advertisement appealed to women. Theadvertisement was decorated in pink ribbons. The pink ribbon is the symbol of breast cancer.The tag line read “NFL players always pay tribute to their biggest fans-their moms” (p. 359). Theresearcher explains that the women volunteer as a way to feel connected to other women whoshare common breast cancer experiences. Similar to Blackstone’s (2004) research study, Edwards and Kreshel (2008) did aqualitative case study of the 2001 Avon Breast Cancer Three Day Walk in Atlanta. The purposeof the study was to find what the experience of the Avon walk meant to participants. Her datasources included interviews of past Avon walkers and attending the closing ceremony of the2000 day walk in Atlanta as observer. In addition, Edwards and Kreshel read Avon three daycommunications such as newsletters and email communications. One interview participant inparticular provided her journal from the 2000 Atlanta Avon Walk. From looking at the journal28
  29. 29. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750the researchers found the use of journaling was an effective data collecting tool. The journalprovided thoughtful feedback from the participant. From the interview pool, eight participants were asked to keep an audio journal on theirexperiences of participating in the 2001 Avon Walk. The participants varied in age, race andgender, number of walks and relationship to breast cancer. Six journals were completed.Participants were asked to return the audio journals within three weeks after the walk. Edwards and Kreshel (2008) say “to begin to understand participants lived perception ofthe walk, it is important to start with their motivations for walking and their perceptions ofthemselves as participants in the experience” (p. 208). The researchers found the walk satisfied apersonal need. “For some it was a need to fight against a disease that had taken something fromthem, their loved one, and their self-confidence” (p. 208). Other participants did the walk to findself-esteem and feel good about themselves. One research participant said “Each year rightbefore the walk, I get the point where…I don’t like my life again and I kind of go through thatcycle. And then it is time for the walk and then I completed that walk and. Boom, I am renewedand refreshed for another year. So in a way that is what keeps me coming back to do it eachyear” (p. 209). Edwards and Kreshel (2008) observed that the walk and training for the walk “providedstorytelling, friendship and bonding” (p. 214). She further noted that as participants walkedtogether and they also talked together. As one participant, Adelaide, recalls “We walked in therain one weekend, in the pouring rain and we walked the whole thing in the rain. This one girl,she gave us this entire great recipe for broccoli slaw, and was walking up this really hardhill…We were like “give us another ingredient. So now every time we hit a hill, we are like29
  30. 30. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750‘broccoli slaw.” (p. 214). From the audio journals the researchers found collected statements tomean the participants felt they were part of something important. Participant Mary Katherinesaid “I think it was the first time in those three days I actually realized how many people cametogether to do the same thing. It was kind of an overwhelming experience to know that manypeople’s lives have been affected in some shape or form and I was just one person helping totake on such a big cause” (p. 230). Edwards and Kreshel (2008) and Blackstone (2004) both demonstrated that differentmotivations bring participants to a fundraiser walk. There are different needs and experiencessuch as to feel secure, feel good about one’s self and the need for social interaction. In addition,qualitative data sources such as audio journals and observation notes provide an emotionalanalysis of how breast cancer walks or events meet those specific needs. What brings peopletogether is the realization that they are all bringing awareness to breast cancer. In summary, in order to attract and retain volunteers there needs to be an understandingof reasons that push people to volunteer. Two motivations of volunteering are altruistic andegotistical (Harteian & Lilly, 2009). Although egotistical reasons are considered selfish, this isnot necessarily the case. Both altruistic and egotistical motivations can reside in the same person.Egotistical reasons may help in the retention of volunteers because it is considered a gain orbenefit. In Maslows Hierarchy of Needs framework (Maslow, 1954) there are five levels todescribe the emotional and physical needs of a person. The needs are psychological, safety, loveand belonging, esteem and self-actualization needs. Similar to the motivation model (Gage &Thapa, 2012) when there is an imbalance of needs, a person tries to correct the imbalance by an30
  31. 31. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750action/behavior. Even if all needs are met, there may be some lingering discontent andrestlessness. In order to alleviate the discontent, people need to feel they are in the right ‘fit.’ Forvolunteers in an organization they need to be placed in a role that fits their skills and interests.Sharing feelings and perceptions influences the group morale. Another issue is the feeling of burnout (Kao, 2009). A way of addressing burnout is thesharing of frustrations. Expressing frustrations helps release stress. Additionally, the openfeedback creates an atmosphere where people feel safe to share feelings. The more positive thegroup is the higher the morale is. The first step of planning a fundraising event is deciding on a day and appropriatelocation to hold the event (Appleby & Pemberton, 2010). The significance of the month mayinfluence people to volunteer and participate in the event. An example of this is holding a breastcancer event in October (breast cancer awareness month). Organization is a useful strategy toplan a fundraiser event. A committee should be formed and tasks given out to volunteers. Lastly,event promotion needs to be considered. T-shirts may be a good marketing tool to increaseawareness of the event, the cause and sponsors of the event. In both Blackstone (2004) and Edwards and Kreshel (2008) the study had a qualitativeapproach. Blackstone conducted observations of participants and Edwards and Kreshel hadparticipants keep an audio journal. The researchers in both studies gained valuable feedback thatprovided insight of the participants. Feedback included what motivates people to volunteer forbreast cancer events. The feedback from the audio journals and observations show how breastcancer fundraisers influence other participants. The strategies from the literature review can beutilized to determine motivational factors that could be used to recruit college volunteers. The31
  32. 32. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750end result is so fundraisers can be successfully designed and implemented at Pauline RobertCollege. Methodology The research question which guides this action research project is: What motivationalstrategies are effective in recruiting and retaining college volunteers so that fundraisers can besuccessfully designed and implemented? I have chosen the naturalistic paradigm. Naturalisticparadigm is qualitative and applies to interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and casestudies. (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The following section describes the population, sampling,research method, procedures, and data sources. Rationale for the methods is discussed undereach sub section.Population The population for this research study is faculty, staff and students at Pauline RobertCollege. Enrollment for the college as of spring 2012 was 1641 weekday students, 245 weekendcollege students and 377 graduate students. The college has 139 Faculty and 258 staff members. Sample and sampling strategy. For my research I conducted a census survey usingsurvey monkey. The purpose of the survey is to find out what are motivations of volunteers atPauline Robert College. The Dean of Students used a network user list for students and emailedout the link for my online survey. The Director of Human Resources used a network user list foremployees (staff and faculty) and sent out the link for the survey. I work in the Admissions Office at Pauline Robert College. The reason I sent out surveysto a large number of people is because it increased the probability of gathering responses. By32
  33. 33. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750conducting a census, I had hoped to get enough responses for each population (students, staff,and faculty and alumnae). From the pool of survey respondents, I did determine a realisticnumber of participants for the focus groups. I had nine people who wanted to participate in afocus group. This determined how many sessions I had. Creswell (2009) suggests six to eightparticipants per group. My focus group had eight participants. The focus groups provided asetting for Pauline Robert staff, faculty and students to express their own thoughts on the resultsof the surveys. Also the focus groups provided a platform which allowed participants give theiropinions on the Relay for Life event. Through the use of the data sources I listed, I expected toget an idea of what are motivational factors that influence people to volunteer. I gained feedbackabout perceptions of the Relay for Life event and if the Relay should be condensed into a oneday event.Research Method For my research design I used a mixed methods approach. My specific method was anonline survey that asked Pauline Robert College community to respond to questions about whatmotivators that cause them to volunteer, how frequently do they volunteer, what types of cancerfundraising events would fit their needs, what are constraints to volunteering. The use of asurvey helped me to gain a picture of the current state of the problem, which is lack ofparticipation in the Relay for Life event. The email survey assisted in a quicker turnaround timesince people did not have to worry about turning in paper surveys. The survey was only sent outand conducted once. Depending on availability and interest, the focus group was offered during alunch hour on a Friday. I did plan for one focus group to be held on a weekend but due to the lowinterest only one was planned.33
  34. 34. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750Data Sources I used several data sources for my research project. The first data source was myliterature review which defined the following: What are different types of motivations (Gage &Thapa, 2012), why people volunteer (Harteian & Lilly, 2009) and (Garner & Garner, 2010), whatare constraints of college students who volunteer (Kao, Y, 2009) and Maslow’s Hierarchy ofNeeds (Maslow, 1954). Secondly, I used the results of the electronic survey on motivations for volunteering andthe results of focus group discussions to pinpoint what motivates and hinders volunteerism atPauline Robert College. Once I had data from the survey responses, I applied that information todetermine motivational strategies to get participants to volunteer for cancer fundraiser. Lastly, ajournal was kept during the research project as a qualitative tool. The journal was used to capturemy thoughts, reflections of the survey and focus group processes.Procedures To obtain data from the Pauline Robert College community, I conducted a survey ofstudents, staff, alumnae and faculty to understand what motivates them to volunteer and focusgroups to discuss responses of the survey. Pre-implementation procedures. The first task that I completed was to gather datathrough conversations with past Relay for Life committee members and coordinators. Theconversations allowed me to gain insight into suspected reasons why the Relay is no longeroffered and potential solutions to the problem. In addition, I had conversations with the Dean ofStudents and Office Manager in Student Affairs to discuss the rationale behind my research andcreation of survey questions. The next step I did was review the rationale of my study with the34
  35. 35. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750Director of Human Resources. I needed to gain permission from the Dean of students andDirector of Human Resources before proceeding with emailing faculty, staff and students.Therefore I need to write the letters of consent (See Appendix C-D). The final step before implementation was to email the link and text of an email to boththe Director of Human Resources and Dean of Students. They used network user lists to send myemail out to everyone at Pauline Robert College. Implementation procedures. I administered the surveys using survey monkey in thefall, 2012. The use of survey monkey kept responses confidential and private. Results wereaccessed through the survey monkey website. There was no indication of who the responsescame from. Furthermore, no questions were asked that gave specific clues to participantidentities. The last question of the survey asked if the respondent would be interested in a focusgroup. The respondent was asked to email me. This kept the identity on the survey confidential.A time frame of two weeks was given before closing the online survey. The rationale for twoweeks was so people who had different schedules especially students could respond. There arestudents who attend Pauline Robert on the weekend, weekday or evenings. Additionally, facultyhas a variety of office hours. Prior to planning the focus group(s) results of the survey wasdiscussed with the Dean of Students. The focus group(s) was conducted in fall, 2012. The focusgroup was a platform for participants to discuss responses of the survey and if they agree withthe findings. After the discussion of the survey results a group activity occurred. The following questions were asked during the focus group session. I displayednewsprint on the walls for participants to write suggestions under each heading. Participantswere allowed to freely move around and write responses on the wall to the following questions:35
  36. 36. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 1. What motivated you to participate in this focus group? 2. What type of support do you need to stay committed to planning an event? 3. What are your thoughts on the Relay for Life event? 4. How can Pauline Robert make the Relay event better in the future? The focus group questions tied into the survey by having related questions aboutmotivations and cancer fundraisers. The focus group asks specific questions about the Relayevent such as ways to improve the Relay in the future.Operationalization of Concepts/Variables (Measurement) In the literature review, I found that in order retain volunteers for any organization thatit is important to understand the impact of motivation (Harteian & Lilly, 2009). Motivation isbased on needs or impulses. There are several levels of needs a person needs to achieve in orderto be satisfied. The different needs are psychological, safety, love, esteem needs and self-actualization (Maslow, 1954). Altruistic (selfless) and egotistical (self-centered) reasons are twotypes of motivations that influence volunteerism. Although altruistic motivations usually arereasons for initial volunteering, egotistical motivations are what keeps people committed (Gage& Thapa, 2012). Burnout or the feeling of excessive workload is a constraint for collegestudents (Kao, 2009). A method to decrease this feeling is to plan an event that makes good useof the student’s time (Gage & Thapa, 2012). In two research studies (Blackstone, 2004; Edwards& Kreshel, 2008) they noted that different motivations bring participants to a cancer fundraiserwalk. What holds people together is the realization that they are doing the same thing which isbringing awareness to breast cancer. The research question for my study is: What motivational36
  37. 37. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750strategies are effective in recruiting college volunteers so that cancer fundraisers can besuccessfully designed and implemented? To design the survey and focus group topics andquestions, I needed to base these on the following specific terms from my literature review: Table 1: Operationalization of Terms Term Concepts Indicators (See what appendices for the full survey)Needs Psychological, safety, Survey question 3: In the past three year(Maslow, 1954) love, esteem needs and have you volunteered? self-actualization Focus group question 2: What type of support do you need to stay committed to planning an event?Motivation Altruistic -improve Survey question 4: If no, what was the(Gage & Thapa, 2012) other’s welfare, reason for not volunteering? Egotistical-improve one’s welfare, Survey question 5: In the past year how many times have you volunteered? Survey question 6: What motivates you to volunteer?Motivational Factors Understanding personal Survey question 4: If no, what was theHarteian & Lilly rewards or benefits such reason for not volunteering?(2009) as social (making friends), service, self- Survey question 5: In the past year how confidence many times have you volunteered? (recognition) and self- esteem (feeling good Survey question 6: What motivates you about one’s self) to volunteer? Survey question 7: How do you choose where you volunteer? Focus group question 1: What motivated you to participate in this focus group? Focus group question 2: What type of support do you need to stay committed to37
  38. 38. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 planning an event?Volunteering Investigate the Survey question 3: In the past three(Gage & Thapa, 2012) motivational factors of years, have you been a volunteer? undergraduate students to volunteer. Volunteer Survey question 4: In the past year how characteristics, scope of many times have you volunteered? volunteerism, and type of contributions of Survey question 8: What types of volunteers organizations have you served as a volunteer?Volunteer Retention Understanding of Survey question 3: In the past year how(Harteian & Lilly, reasons that push people many times have you volunteered? What2009) to volunteer motivates you to volunteer?(Garner & Garner, Four levels of Survey question 10: Think about the2010). satisfaction most recent volunteer experience where (organizational support, you actually stopped volunteering. What satisfaction with was the main reason why you stopped? participation efficacy, satisfaction of training, Survey question 11: What factors do participation efficacy, you think could have encouraged your and empowerment) continued involvement with the organizations?(Gage & Thapa, 2012) Making good use of Focus group question 2: What type of student’s time. support do you need to stay committed to planning an event?Constraints to Potential blocks to Survey question 6: What is the mainvolunteering volunteering such as reason that has caused you to stop(Kao, 2009 school work, family volunteering in the past? responsibilities or exhaustionCancer fundraiser Types of cancer Survey question 7: Have you(Blackstone, 2004) awareness events participated in a cancer related fund wanted at Pauline raiser event before? Robert College Survey question 14: To what charity or non-profit organization did you last donate? Survey question 3: In the past year how38
  39. 39. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 many times have you volunteered? What motivates you to volunteer? Survey question 13: What type of cancer awareness event would you like to see held at Pauline Robert College? Focus group question 3: What are your thoughts on the Relay for Life event? Focus group question 4: How can Pauline Robert make the Relay event better in the future?Breast Cancer Breast cancer events Survey question 13: What type of(Blackstone, 2004) provide a sense of cancer awareness event would you like to relationships see held at Pauline Robert College?(Braun, 2003) walks provides an Survey question 14: To what charity or opportunity for men and non-profit organization did you last women to do healthy donate? activities(Harvey & A cancer walkStrahilevitz, 2009) “provided storytelling, friendship and bonding”Planning Events Challenges of planning Survey question 9: Would you be(Appleby & an event such as interested in participating in a focusPemberton, 2010). seeking support, group to discuss planning a cancer resources and related fund raising event at Pauline volunteers. Robert College? Identify gains to Focus group question 1: What participants such a motivated you to participate in this focus chance to build group? relationships and do a healthy activity Focus group question 2: What type of support do you need to stay committed to Marketing or promotion planning an event? of the fundraiser event Focus group question 3: What are your thoughts on the Relay for Life event? Focus group question 4: How can Pauline Robert make the Relay event better in the future?39
  40. 40. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 The table above shows themes in the literature review and how I planned tooperationalize specific terms used in my survey and focus group. From looking at my literaturereview I have found that these nine terms guided my survey and focus group questions. Theterms are needs, motivations, motivational factors, volunteering, and volunteer retention,constraints to volunteering, cancer fundraiser, breast cancer and planning an event. Trustworthiness The central question of trustworthiness defined by Lincoln and Guba (1985) is “Howcan an inquirer persuade his or her audiences (including self) that the findings of an inquiry areworth paying attention to, worth taking account of?” I am working from the Naturalisticparadigm. Naturalistic paradigm is qualitative and applies to interviews, focus groups,participant observation, and case studies. My data sources which are open ended surveys, afocus group, a journal and literature review fall within this paradigm .There are three parts to thisparadigm which are truth value/credibility, applicability/transferability, and consistency/auditability. The following section describes these three components. Creditability Credibility means producing a study that has a thick description or interpretations that thepeople having the experience would immediately recognize as their own. (Lincoln &and Guba,1985) The research used a triangulation of data sources which are surveys on volunteerism andmotivations. My literature review includes terms such as needs, motivations, motivationalfactors, volunteering, and retention of volunteers, constraints of volunteering, cancer breastcancer fundraisers and planning an event. The literature review assists in building the argument40
  41. 41. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750that there needs to be a cancer related fundraiser at Pauline Robert College. I did also use ajournal to record reflective thoughts on survey and focus groups observations. I had the Dean ofStudents and Office Manager of Division of Student Affairs as peer collaborators. Both peercollaborators had a meeting with me to discuss the survey and focus group questions. Theyprovided me with useful feedback and gave a different perception of the past Relay for Lifeevent. By playing ‘devil’s advocate’ both peer collaborators provided different viewpoints thatmay have been initially missed.Applicability/Transferability Lincoln and Guba state that “the researcher has a responsibility to provide a “thickdescription” about the context of the setting, human experiences in it, findings so that areader/audience can decide if the research context and findings are similar enough to the reader’ssituation to warrant transferability” (1985, p. 4) My research provided an introduction andcontext of my research study. Also included in the introduction is a rationale for why my studywas conducted. The introduction gives a description of Pauline Robert College and the Relay forLife event. The context gives a basic overview of the number of Pauline Robert College students,staff and faculty. Creswell (2009) says when a researcher provides a detailed description of thesetting that the results become more realistic and richer. Due to these factors the research andqualitative methods used can be transferred to other contexts.Consistency/Audit ability Lincoln and Guba (1985) discuss how a study and its findings are considered ‘consistent’when the readers can follow the path or audit trail. “In a nutshell, if the researcher provides41
  42. 42. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750insufficient evidence or draws unfounded interpretations or conclusions, the consistency isweak” (p. 4). My research study provided a path or trail by first explaining my researchquestion, then providing a literature review based on concepts related to my question. Then Iused the concepts to create survey questions. The survey responses were discussed in a focusgroup. Furthermore the use of a journal was a great tool to back up my interpretations. Thejournal documents my reflections during the focus group. This was used as supporting evidenceof my data findings. Ethics Due to my relationship to Pauline Robert as an employee I have access to confidentialinformation such as email addresses, names and student identification numbers. I protectedanonymity by using pseudonyms for participants. Additionally, pseudonyms were used for bothsurvey and focus group responses. Using pseudonyms for participants allowed for privacy toremain intact. It is important to state risks in research. Creswell (2009) states “Do not putparticipants at risk, and respect vulnerable populations” (p. 89). Creswell also discusses thatresearchers need to be aware of potential harmful or personal information being disclosed. Onerisk was participants may fear being identified in the focus group and survey. Using pseudonymsbuilt trust with my participants. The participants will feel their personal information andresponses are safe and will not cause harm. I did not share results of information I gathered from survey and focus group responses.This includes anyone who isn’t affiliated with my research study. Survey responses weregathered through The survey generator keeps all responses confidential. Aspreviously stated, no questions were used that purposely gives away a participant’s identity.42
  43. 43. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 To obtain consent I used an informed consent form (See Appendix B-D). The consentform disclosed my identity and reasons for the study. The form was signed by participants. TheOffice Manager of Division of Student Affairs signed a consent form as well. The benefits of this research study were based in the fact that we at Pauline Robertneeded to create a cancer related fundraiser that meets the needs of Pauline Robert College. TheRelay for Life event is an important activity that takes a lot of work and collaboration. One of thegoals of this research is to determine if a smaller scale event would be more practical. Thebenefits will hopefully outweigh any potential risks. The findings were shared with the peercollaborators in order to decide the next steps of the planning process.Data Analysis Creswell (2009) uses a six step process to help researchers analyze qualitative data. Thefirst step is to organize and prepare the data. The data was initially organized by responses fromthe survey, responses from focus groups and journal entries. The second step Creswell explainsis to read through all the data. The second step is where I made general conclusions about mysurvey and focus group responses. This step involved the use of my journal to make additionalnotes to capture the tone of the focus groups and participant responses. The third step was tobegin detailed analysis with a coding process. I organized survey responses by the followingcategories: perceptions of motivations, constraints of volunteering, potential benefits, andpossible ideas for cancer related fundraisers. I typed up a transcript of my notes from the focusgroup. The use of direct quotes from participants was sorted by the categories listed previously.43
  44. 44. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 According to Creswell (2009) Step four is using a coding process to generate adescription of the setting or people, categories or themes for analysis (p. 189) Creswell definescoding as a “process of organizing the material into chunks or segments of text before bringingmeaning to the information” (p. 186). From looking at responses I developed a chart of commonsimilar key words or ideas participants used. The chart helped me to sort direct quotes into theproper categories. Through this step a narrative of the responses was created. Step six (2009) is to make an interpretation or meaning of the data (p. 189). Creswellsuggests that researchers find what lessons were learned from the information collected. Thiscould be done by comparing information from the literature review such as the results ofprevious studies on motivations of volunteers (Gapa & Thapa, 2012) and breast cancer eventsBlackstone (2004) and Edwards and Kreshel (2008) to my survey results. A question that couldbe raised is if any new information was obtained from my study regarding the question: Whatstrategies are effective in recruiting college volunteers so that fundraisers can be successfullydesigned and implemented? Using my data sources allowed me to come up with several themes from responses. Thefollowing are volunteer populations at Alverno, motivations, motivational factors, volunteering,and volunteer retention, constraints to volunteering, cancer fundraisers and Relay for Life. FindingsVolunteer Population at Pauline Robert College College An online survey was sent out to all network users at Pauline Robert College. The onlinesurvey was kept open for two weeks. A total of 118 responses were tallied from survey monkey.In order to understand the culture of Pauline Robert College in relation to volunteering, it isimportant to look at varying aspects. Such aspects include the frequency of volunteering, and44
  45. 45. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750what motivates the college community to volunteer. Of the 118 survey participants thefollowing results were found. Chart 1: Age BracketAccording to the survey results 27.1% of respondents were ages 50-59 years of age. 23.7% were40-49 years of age. 16.9% of both 30-39 and 60+ responded. Only 11.9% of 21-29 year oldsresponded. The lowest response rate was for 18-20 year olds at 3.4%.45
  46. 46. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 Chart 2: Affiliation with Pauline Robert College Of the 118 responses, 55.9% were staff members. 31.4% were faculty members.Surprisingly 15.3% of community members (alums, friend of the college) responded while only12.7% were students. The survey was not conducted during midterms or during a major holiday.However, due to the low response of the younger age group, it was predicted that there would bea smaller amount of student responses. The survey participants were asked, have you been a volunteer in the past year? Ninetytwo percent of respondents said yes while only 7.6% percent said no. It can be assumed that a46
  47. 47. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750lack of volunteering is not the issue. In fact from the findings it is safe to conclude that thecollege community volunteers on a regular basis. Chart 3: Volunteering Frequency In the past year 40.7% of participants said they volunteered between 8-10 times. Twentynine percent said 1-3 times a year. 23.7% answered 4-7 times a year. Only 8.5% of participantssaid they didn’t volunteer. The survey asked what the main reason for not volunteering, if they47
  48. 48. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750answered no or none to the previous two questions. 12 responses indicated time constraints.Time constraints are from work, no free time or family obligations. In the literature review, one of the major themes or ideas is that motivation is key torecruiting and retaining volunteers for any organization. Also it is important to understand theimpact of motivation (Harteian & Lilly, 2009). Two motivations of volunteering are altruisticand egotistical (Harteian & Lilly, 2009). Although egotistical reasons are considered selfish, thisis not necessarily the case. Both altruistic and egotistical motivations can reside in the sameperson. From the responses to the first survey question it is apparent that there are often multi-faceted reasons for volunteering or not volunteering. Motivations The top two motivations to volunteer are helping others, believing in the mission andimproving the community. The themes are presented in Table 2 with direct quotes to illustratetheir meaning. Approximately one third of the participants were motivated by either helpingothers or believing in the mission. Table 2 What Motivates You to Volunteer?Themes ResponsesHelping others “What motivates me knows that Ive done37 of the 118 responses something good for others. Volunteering is truly rewarding, and I love seeing peoples face light up or hearing the thank you’d.” Staff member age 20-21 years old “I love helping others. I volunteer with kids mostly because I love to see the excitement they get when they get an answer right or if they accomplish something new.” Community member age 20-21 years old48
  49. 49. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 “Awareness of how lucky I am and feeling of guilt because of most people not being so fortunate.” Faculty member age 30-39 “A desire to give back; to right my wrongs; to set the example for my son and other children in my life.” Staff member age 40-49 “Giving my help to someone/someplace that needs it makes me feel so good. I am here to help. We are all here to help each other. That makes the world a better place.” Staff member age 50-59 “I receive so much more than I give. I learn from each volunteer engagement.” Staff member age 60Believing in the Mission/Personal “I enjoy giving my time to worthy causesConnection because I have seen the impact it has on35 of the 118 responses peoples lives.” Staff member age 21-29 “Caring for the cause, personal cause.” Student, age 21-29 “Providing support to a cause or an organization I respect and believe in.” Faculty Member age 50-59 “Commitment to the vision and mission of the organization. Also, its a grass-roots organization that needs assistance. Plus, it creates opportunities for me to learn.” Staff Member age 60+49
  50. 50. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750 The next highest motivations were improving the community reported by about 17% ofparticipants.Improving the Community “I love to help people, and also love to see my18 of the 118 responses community strive to be better every day.” Student, age 19-20 “Commitment to contribute to my community, engage with others, develop personally/professionally, fun/social connections” Staff Member age 30-39 “Building a strong community & to give back because I am very fortunate.” Staff Member, age 40-49 “Giving back to the community is an expression of thanks for my good fortune.” Staff member, age 60 The next three motivational factors were religious reasons, knowing someone who wasaffected by cancer and social reasons were given by approximately 6% of participants.Religious Reasons “To help the less fortunate and to follow Jesus7 of the 118 responses teachings.” Staff member age 40-49 “To help at my church and get involved with the youth ministries.” Staff member, age 50-59Knowing someone who is affected by the “Motivation for me comes from having a closecause family member having died from cancer.”6 of the 118 responses Community member, age 30-39 “Know someone who is part of an event and he/she has asked me to help also. If I have the time and interest, I will help.” Staff member. Age 50-59Social Reasons “Work with friends and colleagues, mission of6 of the 118 responses the work.” Staff member age 50-5950
  51. 51. Karen Pilarski Reviving the Relay for Life TLA 750Other motivations reported were undecided, career personal benefits, a sense of belonging to acommunity. Two participants said there were unsure what motivates them to volunteer.Career “Resume experience and knowing I am making2 of the 118 responses a difference/helping others.” Staff Member age 21-29 “Career opportunity.” Community member age 21-29Not sure N/A2 of the 118 responsesPersonal Benefits “Better myself.”2 of the 118 responses Staff member age 40-49Sense of Belonging “The feeling of being part of a community. “2 of the 118 responses Staff member age 21-29Family “My family did volunteer work, my mother1 response of 118 responses especially: part of what I think is important: think that service to community is part of my responsibility.” Faculty member age 50-59 Motivational Factors The survey also asked how the participant choses where they volunteer. From coding theresponses I found the common themes in the survey responses. One of the motivational factors inchoosing where to volunteer has to do with personal connections and the organization/cause. From the literature review, a major framework was Marlow’s Hierarchy of Needs.Maslow (1954) says all people in our society have a need for a stable vision of themselves whichrelates to the esteem need. He also says people want others to think highly of themselves too. Hedescribes two types of the self-esteem needs. The first type of self-esteem need is the desire forstrength, achievement, and confidence to face the world. The second type is reputation of one’sself. People want recognition, attention and appreciation. When someone feels they are making a51