Problems recruiting volunteers: Nature versus nurture

Mark Hager, Jeffrey L. Brudney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    87 Scopus citations


    In a national study of public charities in the United States, we find that some organizations experience little difficulty recruiting volunteers while others report substantial problems. We study which organizations are more likely to report recruitment problems, separating the underlying forces for those problems into two camps. One, which we label "nature," represents organizational conditions that cannot readily be overcome by a management response. The other, which we label "nurture," represents organizational conditions that volunteer resource managers and other members of the top management team can directly influence as they seek to make their organization more inviting to prospective volunteers. We find some support for both camps, concluding that managers must be prepared to work with both immutable and malleable conditions when devising strategies for recruiting volunteers whose schedule and skills fit the organization's needs.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)137-157
    Number of pages21
    JournalNonprofit Management and Leadership
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Dec 2011


    • Volunteer management
    • Volunteer recruitment
    • Volunteers

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Strategy and Management


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