The motivation to volunteer under process perspective

LUO Jing1

(1.National Institute of Social Development, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

【Abstract】This article regards the differentiation and fulfillment of motivation to volunteer as a continuous process, and explores the influence of different types of situational factors on this process. Through studying youth volunteer teaching programs, we find that the information effect, value effect and model effect have played major roles in this process. Volunteers with clear motives have acquired more activity information before participation; while those with ambiguous motives could have higher level of motivation fulfillment if they could acquire more activity information in the process of participation. The volunteers are more likely to have clear and altruistic motives, if the situated situation could recognize that the voluntary service could generate the substantive value. If they could feel the realization of their own value in the process of participation, the level of motivation fulfillment would be higher. The volunteers are more inclined to form clear and egoistic motives, if the situated situation could build up the volunteers’ exemplary image. If they could receive more training opportunities and maintain exemplary image in the process of participation, the level of motivation fulfillment would be higher.

【Keywords】 motivation to volunteer; process perspective; ambiguous motives; altruistic; egoistic;


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(Translated by MEI ling)


    [1]. (1) School Department of Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and Tsinghua University Committee of the Communist Youth League have provided relevant contact and help. [^Back]

    [2]. (2) It includes positions in colleges and universities such as Youth League Committee, student union and student associations, as well as social work positions such as internship and part-time jobs. [^Back]

    [3]. (3) The evaluation of teaching activities (compared with other volunteer programs I prefer teaching), reflections (reflections on the meaning of volunteer teaching), change of values (volunteer teaching has changed my values and re-established the meaning of life), life planning change (volunteer teaching has changed my previous life planning or career choice) and change in social cognition (improved cognition of society and people’s livelihood). [^Back]

    [4]. (4) The interview is a process to enhance the interaction between volunteers and organizers, which not only allows organizers to know more about their applicants, but also allows the applicants to know more about the project. [^Back]

    [5]. (5) Among the four activities, the organization mechanism of the postgraduate volunteer teaching groups is the most stable and the volunteer effect is the most significant. Therefore, the volunteers who participate in the postgraduate volunteer teaching groups are more likely to believe that their own service can play a positive role compared with the volunteers who participate in other volunteer teaching programs. [^Back]

    [6]. (6) Volunteers who have participated in volunteer teaching for a long time have more professional skills and more confidence in exerting their influence. [^Back]

    [7]. (7) When most of the volunteers in the volunteer teaching team have already known each other, the level of integration and cooperation efficiency of volunteer teaching teams would be higher, and more energy and time would be devoted to the improvement of the volunteer teaching service. [^Back]

    [8]. (8) Compared with volunteer teaching, participating in certain team organization work can better exercise volunteers’ individual organizational leadership, and as personal experience, it can better convey the signal of strong management and leadership ability of volunteers. [^Back]

    [9]. (9) Volunteer teaching organizations will organize the preparation of teaching plans in different ways. If there is only a simple teaching plan or revised one according to the inherited version, it will not help volunteers with vague motivation to further understand the teaching activities, and their motivation satisfaction will also decrease. [^Back]

    [10]. (10) When volunteers participate in the team relationship building, the cohesion of the team would be strengthened, and the formal and informal communication between them would increase, which would help volunteers better serve the recipients and achieve the goal of altruism. [^Back]

    [11]. (11) When the team prepares teaching plans together, it would reduce volunteers’ input and thoughts during activities, thereby weakening the exercise of their abilities. [^Back]

    [12]. (12) The Likert scale (disagree = 1, basically agree = 2, agree = 3, strongly agree = 4) is used to measure the variables involved in the volunteer teaching. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3280/C

Vol , No. 01, Pages 16-27+94

January 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Jumping out of the dimension debate: a classification study on the motivation to volunteers
  • 2 Differentiation and fulfillment of the motivation to volunteer: the information effect, value effect and model effect
  • 3 Data measurement and analysis model
  • 4 Analysis and result
  • 5 Conclusion and discussion: the motivation to volunteer as a process
  • Footnote