This paper examines the nonprofit management dilemma of volunteer recruitment and retention. It argues that a focus on building relationships between new volunteers, the volunteer manager, and the volunteer community is the best way to navigate the psychological contract (PC). Drawing from Rousseau’s (1989) concept of a PC as “an individual’s beliefs regarding the terms and conditions of a reciprocal exchange agreement” (p. 123), when a volunteer signs on to work with an organization they form an understanding on what promises, conditions and agreements have been made (Farmer & Fedor, 1999). Through considering the group socialization model developed by Levine & Moreland (1994), this paper investigates how the various phases of volunteer engagement require different strategies for fulfilling the PC and which relationship building activities are most important to each phase. This paper contends that recruitment and retention are inextricably linked to one another and should both be considered through all the various phases of the socialization process.
"Managing Volunteers: Recruitment, Retention, and Relationship Building,"
1, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/spnhareview/vol12/iss1/7