An Examination of Volunteer Motivation in Credit Unions: Informing Volunteer Resource Management

Anne Marie Ward, Donal G. McKillop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Volunteer recruitment and retention is a problem that most creditunions experience. Research suggests that knowledge of volunteer motivation caninform volunteer management strategies. This paper uses a survey approach todetermine whether current volunteers in credit unions in Northern Ireland are moremotivated by the actual act of volunteering, by the output from the volunteeringactivity (including altruism) or because the volunteering activity increases theirhuman capital value. Altruistic reasons are found to be the most influential, withthe act of volunteering also scoring highly. This knowledge should inform volunteerrecruitment programmes and internal appraisal processes as management canreinforce messages that provide positive feedback to volunteers on the social benefitsbeing achieved by the credit union. This will further motivate current volunteers,ensuring retention. When motivation was analyzed by volunteer characteristics wefound that older volunteers, retired volunteers and volunteers who are less educatedare more motivated in their role. There was little evidence that individuals volunteerto improve their human capital worth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-275
JournalAnnals of Public and Cooperative Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Sept 2011


  • Credit Unions
  • Volunteerism
  • Motivation
  • Altruism


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