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

Donal McKillop, A.M. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Volunteer recruitment and retention is a problem that most credit unions experience. Research suggests that knowledge of volunteer motivation can inform volunteer management strategies. This paper uses a survey approach to determine whether current volunteers in credit unions in Northern Ireland are more motivated by the actual act of volunteering, by the output from the volunteering activity (including altruism) or because the volunteering activity increases their human capital value. Altruistic reasons are found to be the most influential, with the act of volunteering also scoring highly. This knowledge should inform volunteer recruitment programmes and internal appraisal processes as management can reinforce messages that provide positive feedback to volunteers on the social benefits being achieved by the credit union. This will further motivate current volunteers, ensuring retention. When motivation was analyzed by volunteer characteristics we found that older volunteers, retired volunteers and volunteers who are less educated are more motivated in their role. There was little evidence that individuals volunteer to improve their human capital worth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-275
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of Public and Cooperative Economics
Volume82 (3)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Sociology and Political Science


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