Volunteer Roles Essay

Submitted By stevennicolet
Words: 947
Pages: 4

The Role of Volunteers and Their Influence on Organizational Decision-making
Steven W. Nicolet
ORG 807: Stakeholders: Roles in Organizations
Dr. Matthew Gonzales
October 30, 2013

The Role of Volunteers and Their Influence on Organizational Decision-making
Table of Contents
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………3
Research Questions…………………...…………………………………………………………..3
Sample Population.……………………...………………………………………………………..3
Results…………………………………….………………………………………………………4
Conclusion..……………………………….………………………………………………………4
References…………………………………………………………………………………………7

The Role of Volunteers and Their Influence on Organizational Decision-making
Introduction
This research analysis and recommendation concerns the roles of volunteers in both non-profit and for-profit organizations. The objective is to discuss the importance of volunteers and to examine their influence on organizational decision-making. Various resources were chosen to shed light upon this topic. Additional testimony and past volunteer experiences was also added to this research. The recommendations put forth in this analysis are based on a methodology of qualitative analysis of the data collected from other sources and personal observation. Research Questions Volunteering is act of goodwill. It is helping other human beings and receiving no financial gain. Volunteers do receive feelings of respect and self-worth. While many volunteers are motivated to help non-profits and charities for philanthropic causes, more recently we have seen and increasing number of people volunteering to for-profit companies. The motivation could be to gain experience, build a resume or get a foot in the door in a company that could lead to employment. Companies and non-profits are eager to enroll volunteers for many reasons such as budget savings and utilization of needed skills. This leads to our research questions:
1. Can volunteers influence the decision-making of an organization?
2. Can volunteering benefit not only the organization, but the volunteer themselves?
3. Is age a critical factor in volunteer roles?
Sample Populations
Drawing from various resources to answer our research questions, we examine the volunteer populations. Surveys were mailed out to 1258 volunteers and 458 volunteers returned the surveys for a response rate of 36 per cent (Caldwell, et al., 2008). Dr. Adam Grant’s study (2013) found the following:
More than 2,800 Americans over age twenty-four showed that volunteering predicted increases in happiness, life-satisfaction and self-esteem---and decreases in depression---a year later. And for adults over sixty-five, those who volunteered saw a drop in depression over an eight year period.
Results
The results of the surveys conducted by Caldwell, et al (2008) reflect that older Americans volunteer more than younger ones. As Americans tend to retire later and later, older people desire to be meaningful to organizations and businesses. They work longer into old age paid or even un-paid. Caldwell, et al (2008) stated, “A recent survey of nonprofit organizations found general agreement that older volunteers help increase the visibility of organizations, build community understanding, strengthen outreach, and offer services they could not otherwise provide” (p. 15).
Conclusion
When taking a careful look at the Caldwell study, we see that there is a combination of many factors:
1. Growing population. People are living longer. There are more older Americans than ever before.
2. The older Americans log more volunteer hours than any other segment. They have more time than other groups.
3. The Older segment has years of experience in many fields. This makes them more desirable t certain companies. Their value increases with the amount of experience available.
The Adam Grant study offers one more interesting research point. Grant (2013) offers a study that was conducted in Australia. There…