Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Education Specialist


The purpose of this study was to obtain information that may assist Rape Crisis Center (RCC) volunteer coordinators and executive directors in the recruitment and retention of volunteers. The major hypotheses guiding this study are as follows: (a) the reasons that initially motivated volunteers to volunteer at the RCC will be the same as their reasons for why they are continuing to volunteer at the RCC and (b) volunteers at RCCs continue to volunteer because the perceived costs of volunteering do not exceed the perceived rewards of volunteering. Using a modified version of Black's (1989) questionnaire, respondents were asked to report on several aspects of their volunteer experience such as (a) reasons for volunteering and reasons for remaining a volunteer; (b) the importance of acceptance by other volunteers, staff, and clients; (c) level of satisfaction with their volunteer experience; (d) perceived costs and rewards of volunteering; and (e) demographic characteristics. In support of the first hypothesis, "to help persons in need" had the highest mean score for both the motivations for volunteering and the motivations for continuing to volunteer. Twelve out of the fourteen reasons that initially motivated volunteers to volunteer at the RCC were the same reasons for why they continue to volunteer at the RCC. Contrary to expectations of the second hypothesis, an independent samples t test revealed that length of volunteer service at the agency was not significantly affected by the perceived rewards and costs of volunteering. Rather, the decision to continue to volunteer at the program was tied to a desire to support issues of the women's movement, a desire to stop the problem of rape, and due to a research interest. Limitations of the current study and directions for future research are also discussed.


Mental and Social Health | Psychology