A Meaningful Break in a Flat Life: The Motivations Behind Overseas Volunteering

International Voluntary Service (IVS) is slowly becoming more popular as more and more people take breaks from their studies or careers to volunteer abroad. However, research on the motivation of volunteers is quite limited and mainly conducted by means of qualitative methods. This study attempts to analyze the motivations that prompt people to serve internationally. I used the Volunteer Functions Inventory (VFI) plus some items that refer to specific motives gathered from literature. The results show multiple and mixed motivations that, according to the correlational analysis, can be grouped into two motivational patterns, one “outward focused” and the other “inward focused.” These patterns are variously associated with some perceived facets of the experience abroad. Finally, the importance of understanding the various motivations and how matching them to the sending program might enhance volunteer satisfaction is discussed.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly | http://nvs.sagepub.com/rss/recent.xml  

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