Presentation Title

Scholarly Engagement: A Study on Applied Research to Help Homeless Shelter Volunteers

Advisor Information

Lisa Scherer

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

6-3-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

6-3-2015 3:30 PM

Abstract

Volunteers are the heart of nonprofit organizations and are particularly critical in assisting homeless people in shelters throughout the U.S. Obstacles to assisting homeless people include insufficient shelters and particularly a shortage of volunteers. This problem is reflective in national trends showing that the U.S. is at an all time low in volunteering making the recruitment and retention of volunteers a priority. This study, which represents an independent service learning research project and the promotion of scholarly engagement, assessed the satisfaction of volunteers working in homeless shelters in the Omaha area. The goal of this study was to determine the strengths and growth areas identified by the volunteer participants in order to provide recommendations for future practice. Volunteer participants consisted of 20 volunteer coordinators from each of the shelters in Omaha and 10 responded to the survey. The survey, which contained measures relating to volunteer satisfaction and well-being, was distributed via email. The results showed that volunteers enjoyed their work and received satisfactory recognition. In contrast, the results indicated that volunteers experienced role ambiguity and levels of intentions to quit. Recommendations were, therefore, developed and discussed in a consultation for this nonprofit in order to prevent volunteers from quitting and to retain them for future work. Furthermore, these findings are integrated with current research of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and the recent literature of volunteering in the U.S.

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COinS
 
Mar 6th, 2:00 PM Mar 6th, 3:30 PM

Scholarly Engagement: A Study on Applied Research to Help Homeless Shelter Volunteers

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Volunteers are the heart of nonprofit organizations and are particularly critical in assisting homeless people in shelters throughout the U.S. Obstacles to assisting homeless people include insufficient shelters and particularly a shortage of volunteers. This problem is reflective in national trends showing that the U.S. is at an all time low in volunteering making the recruitment and retention of volunteers a priority. This study, which represents an independent service learning research project and the promotion of scholarly engagement, assessed the satisfaction of volunteers working in homeless shelters in the Omaha area. The goal of this study was to determine the strengths and growth areas identified by the volunteer participants in order to provide recommendations for future practice. Volunteer participants consisted of 20 volunteer coordinators from each of the shelters in Omaha and 10 responded to the survey. The survey, which contained measures relating to volunteer satisfaction and well-being, was distributed via email. The results showed that volunteers enjoyed their work and received satisfactory recognition. In contrast, the results indicated that volunteers experienced role ambiguity and levels of intentions to quit. Recommendations were, therefore, developed and discussed in a consultation for this nonprofit in order to prevent volunteers from quitting and to retain them for future work. Furthermore, these findings are integrated with current research of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and the recent literature of volunteering in the U.S.