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Nonprofit Organizations: Community Analysis

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Volunteerism plays a critical role in addressing community, national, and global issues. Volunteerism not only enables the smooth functioning of many organizations, it also contributes to the maintenance of social cohesion. Individuals give their time and services willingly without expecting any compensation or benefits. Over the past few years, volunteerism in the U.S. has declined from an estimated 50% of U.S. adults collectively logging volunteer hours equivalent to five million fulltime jobs to a recent low of only 25% of Americans engaged in volunteer work according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014. The workforce behind many nonprofit organizations is the blood, sweat, and tears of a sizeable volunteer base. For example, the…show more content…
Volunteerism work engagement, which is a physical, cognitive, and emotional investment and immersion in one’s work, is the ultimate expression of the preferred self in task behaviors that promote connections to work and to others. Engagement is a standalone motivational construct consisting of the aggregated qualities of vigor, dedication, and absorption (Shantz, Saksida, & Alfes, 2014). That is, one’s level of work engagement is likely to adjust along with significant changes to the work role or environment. Data often reports heavy volunteer involvement within educational systems, advocacy, and social services. Volunteer can help an individual achieve new experiences, while improving their health. It is also frequently cited as a key expression of civic engagement and participation generally in society, and rates of volunteering have been used to measure overall community health. Older adult volunteers possess a number of skills and a wealth of knowledge that can be put to good use in local schools, their community, and the natural environment, with research suggesting that formal volunteer experiences can lead to an increase in an older adult’s health, physical activity, and wellbeing (Tang, Carr, & Wexler, 2012). Volunteering is recognized as a critical component in international circles that promotes social inclusion and social justice. A study of data from the American Changing…show more content…
Individuals serve for a multitude of reasons, with today’s volunteers serving in a variety of ways and with various expectations for their investment of energy and time. However, not all individuals who serve gravitate to the term “volunteer.” For example, students may refer to internships, while educators may seek service-learning opportunities. A national study of first-year undergraduates found that: students over age 20 were more likely to volunteer than traditional-age first year students; African American, Latino, and Asian American students were more likely to volunteer than Caucasian students; and students with higher levels of academic achievement (SAT or ACT scores) were more likely to volunteer than their lower-achieving peers. (Moore, Warta, & Erichsen, 2014). Men tend to describe their service by the function, a coach while women have historically been more connected to the term volunteer. Some religiously motivated volunteers feel called to serve, while others say they are compelled to live out their faith. Data from 534 volunteers of an international aid and development agency in the United Kingdom revealed a positive relationship between prosocial values and time spent volunteering (Shantz, Saksida, & Alfes, 2014). The results also show that volunteer engagement fully mediated the relationship between the value motive and time spent volunteering, and the strength of the mediated effect varied as a function of volunteers’
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