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Mariner Management & Marketing LLC

Volunteering Myth Revisited, Volunteering Truths Revealed

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 11:46am

From the new Mariner white paper written with Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE ...

ASAE’s The Decision To Volunteer provided the association world with the first ever serious research study into association volunteering and, in doing so, struck down a number of myths that have hampered effective volunteer management.

Myth #1: Association volunteers are largely self-serving. People only volunteer to meet their own needs, e.g., to improve their professional skills or standing, to build a resume, or to garner professional acceptance.

Truth #1: The top four reasons given for volunteering for an association are all outward-facing, beginning with “I feel it is important to help others” and “I can do something for the profession or cause that is important.” In other words, volunteering is mission-driven. The Decision To Volunteer described this as pro-social volunteering: “because volunteer motivations are mixed, volunteerism is best viewed as a pro-social rather than a self-sacrificial activity – it benefits others but does not restrict the volunteer’s own possible benefits.” (source: The Decision To Volunteer)

Want to know the other two myths? Download your free copy at


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