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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

JVEM Vol. 1, Iss. 1

May 2009

Volunteer Motivation and Satisfaction

  • Hyejin Bang, Florida International University
  • Stephen D. Ross, University of Minnesota

Volunteers are a valuable set of human resources for any sporting event, and various studies have been conducted in different contexts to understand volunteers’ psychological characteristics. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of motivations on individual’s volunteer satisfaction using a modified version of Bang and Chelladurai’s (2003) Volunteer Motivations Scale for International Sporting Events (VMS-ISE). Data were gathered from 254 individuals that volunteered for the 2004 Twin Cities Marathon. The results indicated that volunteer motivations can be grouped into seven factors: Expression of Values, Community Involvement, Interpersonal Contacts, Career Orientation, Personal Growth, Extrinsic Rewards, and Love of Sport. The motivational factors that best predict the level of volunteer satisfaction were Expression of Values, Career Orientation, and Love of Sport. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed in more detail.

Volunteers have become a valuable set of human resources in many sectors of society. In particular, the sport sector relies heavily upon volunteers because a large number of individuals are often necessary for creating and delivering sports services. The importance of volunteerism as a benefit to organizations has been highlighted by many scholars (e.g., Chelladurai & Madella, 2006; Clary, 2004; Cravens, 2006; Cuskelly & Boag, 2001; Twynam, Farrell, & Johnston, 2002/2003). Cuskelly, McIntyre, and Boag (1998) indicated that volunteers tend to more thoroughly commit themselves to organizations in a strong, positive manner given that the services from volunteers are more value-based and less tangible than those of paid employees. An additional benefit is that because volunteers are not beholden to the organization or its managers for their livelihood, they can offer constructive criticism and open feedback to managers. In sport, a large number of volunteers make a real contribution in creating and helping sport events. For example, many university athletic departments capitalize on the services of volunteer ushers during game days (Chelladurai, 1999). At mega sporting events such as the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup, organizing committees recruit a tremendous number of volunteers to help the athletes, visitors, and spectators by serving in various functional areas of sports, medical services, technology, environment, ceremonies, spectator services, and administrative services. Furthermore, monetary benefits cannot be disregarded as an organizational benefit. Considering the large number of volunteers engaged in various sporting events, it is a fact that the monetary value of volunteers makes an important contribution to sporting event organizations. Based on 2005 data, the total monetary value of volunteer time in the United States alone was estimated at approximately $280 billion dollars (Independent sector, 2007).

Given the enormous contribution of volunteers in the sport events, a greater understanding of volunteer motivations is imperative in order for event managers to develop effective volunteer recruitment and retention strategies (Clary, 2004). Moreover, research on volunteer motivation is significant for two significant reasons. First, an individual’s volunteer motivation reflects the actualization and continuity of voluntary activity from both a theoretical and a practical perspective (Yeung, 2004). Second, the research area of volunteer motivation reflects and explores the sociological notion of future commitment and participation (Yeung, 2004). Therefore, identifying specific volunteer motivations at special sporting events may provide not only theoretical and practical contributions for volunteerism in sport, but also further exploration of motivations affecting individual’s satisfaction with the volunteer experience and intention to volunteer for future events. The present study is focused on identifying volunteer motivational factors and assessing the factors that predict volunteer satisfaction at a special sporting event in the upper Midwest of the United States; the Twin Cities Marathon held in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.

Literature Review
Volunteer Motivations

Volunteers provide their time and efforts for a wide variety of reasons. One historical way of understanding volunteer motivations has been based on theories of altruism and selflessness (Phillips, 1982; Rehberg, 2005), in that the primary motivation is that volunteers want to help others. However, other motives should not be excluded in understanding volunteers and utilizing them for effective event management practices. Contemporary notions of volunteering often involve more project oriented and specific expectations in terms of form, time, and content of volunteer involvement (Rehberg, 2005). In this regard, numerous volunteer studies on social services have found different motivations such as altruism, social contact, personal interests, and emotional needs (Yeung, 2004). Focusing on volunteering from a leisure activity perspective, the literature suggests that “co-production motives” may be present. Parker (1997) defined leisure volunteering as giving one’s time and energy not to help others altruistically, help oneself in a market situation, or help a cause in which one believes; but primarily to have a leisure experience. Silverberg, Ellis, Backman, and Backman (1999) suggest that volunteers may also serve to directly or indirectly benefit themselves and / or family members. This type of service often creates opportunities for volunteers’ own children (e.g., taking a youth athletic coach position), and plays a significant role in making it possible for an agency to provide the overall event. A study by Shibli, Taylor, Nichols, Gratton and Kokolakakis (1999) focusing on volunteers in the United Kingdom identified that individuals seemed to volunteer for their own benefit. Examples of these benefits include a connection with individual needs or interest, and with the need or interests of other members of family or friends. Shibli, et al. (1999) suggested that although a number of participants volunteered in a strong altruistic manner, the primary reason for volunteering was not altruistic, but rather to meet the needs of the volunteer. In another study conducted through a nonprofit health advocacy organization, Farmer and Fedor (2001) found the reasons for joining an organization not only included altruistic motives, but financial motives as well. Not surprisingly, the literature on volunteer motivations suggests a complex system of reasons that are different depending on the characteristics of events or organizations.

In order to relieve the complexity of volunteer motivation issues, a study by Cnaan and Goldberg-Glen (1991) reviewed 27 studies on volunteer motivation, and collected additional quantitative data from a sample of 258 volunteers and 104 non-volunteers. Although the authors had anticipated two or more category models of motivations to volunteer, the data analysis supported a 22 item unidimensional scale labeled the Motivation to Volunteer Scale (MVS). The items comprising the MVS reflect both altruistic and egoistic motivations, suggesting that volunteers not only desire to help the organization, but also expect some type of personal reward from their volunteer activity. However, because of the unidimensional nature there was no clear distinction between the altruistic and egoistic motivations (Cnaan & Goldberg-Glen, 1991). Clary, Snyder, Ridge, Copeland, Stukas, Haugen, and Miene (1998) emphasized a functional analysis of volunteerism to understand the different underlying motivational processes. Clary et al. (1998) suggested that there are six broad functions served by volunteering; 1) opportunities to express one’s values related to altruistic and humanitarian concerns for others (Values), 2) opportunities for new learning experiences, and to exercise one’s knowledge, skills, and abilities (Understanding), 3) opportunities to be with one’s friends or to engage in an activity viewed favorably by important others (Social), 4) experiences that may be obtained from participation in volunteer work (Career), 5) reduced guilt over being more fortunate than others and addressing one’s own personal problems (Protective), and 6) the ego’s growth and development (Enhancement). Clary et al. (1998) suggest that the extent to which the volunteering experiences fulfill these functions relates to satisfaction with volunteer activities.

While the Clary et al.’s (1998) scheme has increased our understanding of volunteering, it does not address the specific features of volunteering in the sporting event context, particularly in the context of special sport events. In fact, there have been very few studies focusing on volunteer motivation at special events. This is quite interesting given that one of the unique features of special sport events is that they carry an image of prestige that serves as an incentive for participation (Farrell, Johnston, & Twynam, 1998). Farrell et al. (1998) studied the motivation and satisfaction of volunteers at the 1998 Canadian Women’s Curling Championship by adapting Cnaan and Goldberg-Glen’s (1991) MVS to the event setting. As a result, the study developed a 28 item scale called the Special Event Volunteer Motivation Scale (SEVMS). The SEVMS grouped volunteer motivation into four categories; 1) a desire to do something useful and contribute to the community and the event (purposive), 2) relating to social interaction, group identification, and networking (solidary), 3) relating to family traditions and the use of free time that can be seen as external influences on an individual’s volunteer career (external traditions), and 4) linking external expectations and personal skills with commitment to volunteering (commitments). Three further studies (Grammatikopoulos, Koustelios, & Tsigilis, 2006; Twynam et al., 2002/2003; Williams, Dossa, & Tompkins, 1995) provided support for the SEVMS at special events. In a study of a World Cup downhill skiing event, Williams et al. (1995) found the most important motivations for resident volunteers were to support the national team, improve community spirit, and strengthen the community image. However, Williams et al.’s (1995) study simply rated each item, and did not analyze the validity of the SEVMS.

Twynam et al.’s (2002/2003) study identified the four motivations factors: solidary, purposive, commitment, and external traditions using event volunteer sample at the Star Choice World Junior Curling Tournament. In the most recent study, Grammatikopoulos et al. (2006) supported the SEVMS in a study of Greek volunteers, suggesting that motivations can be explained by the four independent specific factors.

However, although Farrell et al.’ s (1998) SEVMS has been popularly used in other studies, it appears that volunteer motivations at events have both differences and similarities to the volunteer motivations in large scale events, especially special sporting events. For example, people may volunteer for a large scale sporting event because they have a desire to watch the event while they are volunteering. Andrew (1996) investigated the motivations of volunteers at a large scale sports event in Australia. The results suggested that “the enjoyment of being involved” was the most important reason for volunteering, followed by “gaining more skills and experience” and “being part of the event.” The results of the above studies reinforce the notion that the motivation for special event volunteers necessitates a different viewpoint from that of other volunteer opportunities. This implies that further research on the scale development of volunteer motivation related to the special sporting setting is necessary.

To extend the line of sport volunteer research, Bang and Chelladurai (2003) found six volunteer motivational factors in an international sporting event, the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which was labeled the Volunteer Motivations Scale for International Sporting Events (VMSISE). The results of the factor analysis revealed six components of sport volunteerism; 1) concern for others, the success of the event, and society (Expression of Values), 2) pride in and love of the country, and allegiance to the country (Patriotism), 3) meeting and interacting with people and forming friendships (Interpersonal Contacts), 4) gaining new perspectives, feeling important and needed (Personal Growth), 5) gaining experience and career contacts (Career Orientation), and 6) getting free uniforms, food, accommodation, and admission (Extrinsic Rewards).

The uniqueness of Bang and Chelladurai’s (2003) scheme to depict volunteer motivation at international sporting events is the emergence of Patriotism as a strong motivational factor. The findings of their study strengthen the suggestion that the motivational pattern of volunteers at large scale sporting events is different from that of volunteers in other contexts. Specifically, proper emphasis needs to be placed on the notion of patriotism as a motivational construct in the context of international sport. That is, local volunteers at international sporting events are likely to be motivated by their patriotism to help their country succeed in running the event and gain international prestige. It was noted by Bang and Chelladurai (2003) that due to the very nature of that international event, the reasons for volunteering in the event converged on the event itself rather than the simple reason of helping others. However, one limitation of Bang and Chelladurai’s (2003) study is that it did not examine all the motives that could impel a person to volunteer for an event. For example, the mere love for sport could be a motive for volunteering at an event. For popularized sporting events, people from other states or countries tend to visit the events in order to enjoy being involved. Such a motive would explain why people would travel great distances in order to volunteer at a special sporting event. Therefore, the present study includes and tests the motivational factor regarding volunteers’ love of sport.

Volunteer Motivation and Satisfaction

Many studies have reported that volunteer motivations are positively correlated with volunteer satisfaction. Farrell et al. (1998) suggest there is some linkage between volunteer satisfaction, volunteer motivations, and actual experience. The theoretical basis for this linkage has been drawn from the consumer behavior literature that suggests an individual’s satisfaction results from a comparison between the rewards and costs of an experience relative to expectation (Oliver, 1980; Wu, 2002). Consumers tend to purchase a product or participate in a service based on their previous satisfying experiences (Farrell et al., 1998). That is, if volunteers are satisfied and their motivational needs are met, then they would likely come back to volunteer for future sporting events.

The importance of fulfilling volunteer motivations can be explained by the self-determination theory (SD) (Deci & Ryan, 1985b; Ryan & Deci, 2000). According to the SD, individuals extend general motivational orientations towards autonomy and control. Autonomy involves acting with a sense of volition on one's intrinsic interests and well-integrated goals. The autonomy is positively associated to self-actualization, private self-consciousness, ego development, interest and self-esteem (Deci & Ryan, 1985a). Consequently, being controlled involves acting on introjected "shoulds" and "oughts" with a sense of pressure, such as engaging in the actions to obtain reward or avoid negative consequence (Deci & Ryan, 1985a). Controlled orientation is positively related to the external locus of control, private and public self-consciousness, hostility and ego involvement (Deci & Ryan, 1985a; Knee, Neighbors, & Vietor, 2001; Neighbors, Vietor, & Knee, 2002). These autonomous and controlled motivations are different depending on the underlying regulatory processes and the accompanying experiences, suggesting that individual’s behaviors can be distinguished in terms of the degree to which they are autonomous versus controlled (Gagne & Deci, 2005). Gagne and Deci (2005) suggested that both autonomous and controlled motivations are intentional, and both authors are opposed to a motivation schema involving a lack of intention and motivation. From this self-determination theory perspective, individuals will likely be motivated and will volunteer for future events to the extent that they experience psychological need satisfaction within the sporting events. The satisfaction with volunteer experiences may further lead to positive commitment to the organization. That is, the ability of a sports organization to create strategies for a meaningful experience, the ability to make volunteers feel responsible for outcomes, and providing volunteers with positive feedback may result in increasing volunteer motivation and satisfaction while at the same time encouraging individuals to volunteer in future events.


A number of studies have contributed to the understanding of the dynamics of volunteering in the sporting context. Previous empirical studies have focused on volunteer motivations from the area of human services in general (Clary, Snyder, & Ridge, 1992; Clary et al., 1998; Cnaan & Goldberg-Glen, 1991). However, little research has been conducted on the scale development of volunteer motivation in special sporting events such as the Boston Marathon, World Series, etc. In addition, based on the self-determination theory, the importance of the positive experience of volunteers at a sporting event is well illustrated, and a volunteer’s motivation may address this relation with volunteer satisfactions. From a managerial perspective, satisfaction seems to be contingent on other elements of the organizers’ role in event management (Farrell et al., 1998). Thus, volunteer managers’ effort to satisfy volunteers’ motivation should focus on understanding what motivational factors most influence volunteer satisfaction. Manager tasks should also be related to the recruitment and training of volunteers in order to match the interests and abilities of individuals and the tasks to be performed (Williams et al., 1995). Given the importance of identifying these motivational factors and their relation to volunteer satisfaction, the purpose of the current study is two-fold: 1) to extend the research of Bang and Chelladurai (2003) concerning event volunteers, and 2) to examine the impact of the motivations on individual’ volunteer satisfaction at one special sporting event; the 2004 Twin Cities Marathon.


Approximately 3450 volunteers contributed their services to the 2004 Twin Cities Marathon. For this study, an internet survey was conducted given that most volunteers communicated with the event organization primarily through e-mail. The email was sent to the database of 1297 on-line volunteers registered for the Twin Cities Marathon asking them to participate after the event conducted. As a nonresponse procedure, a reminder email was sent after the initial email invitation in order to facilitate maximum return. The volunteers worked in a variety of functional areas of the event (marathon start and finish line set-up, standing corners of route, setting out tables, etc.), administration (assistance in administrative duties, marathon registration, information booth, etc.), marketing, parking, and transportation. The final set of respondents for the study consisted of 254 individuals (females=179; males=75).


The questionnaire consisted of three broad areas designed to achieve the purpose of the study. The first section included items assessing the motivations of volunteering. The second area included items assessing the satisfaction of individual volunteer experiences. The third a final section included questions tapping demographic information.

The volunteer motivations used in the present study were adapted from Bang and Chelladurai’s (2003) survey used in the 2002 FIFA World Cup study. A total of 30 volunteer motivation items were asked for the present study. Twenty six items were based on the items used in the study by Bang and Chelladurai (2003) which were developed from general literature pertaining to volunteer motivations (e.g., Clary et al., 1998; Cnaan & Goldberg-Glen, 1991; Farmer & Fedor, 2001; Tedrick & Henderson, 1989), and literature on motivation of volunteers in mega and special sports events and sports clubs (Andrew, 1996; Farrell et al., 1998; Johnston, Twynam, & Farrell, 1999/2000; Preuss & Kebernik, 1999; Shibli, et al., 1999; Williams, et al., 1995). Given that Bang and Chelladurai’s study did not tap into all the motives that could impel a person to volunteer for an event (e.g., the mere love for the sport could be a motive for volunteering for the event), four items regarding the love of the sport were developed and 66 included in the final set of survey items. In addition, the Patriotism factor was reworded to reflect the local community based event. As such, the factor was relabeled Community Involvement. The response format for the scale is a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (7).

Two items elicited respondent’s satisfaction with their volunteer experience: “I am satisfied with the overall volunteer experience,” and, “I am happy with the experience I have gained.” The mean of the scores on these two items was used as the measure of satisfaction. The response format for the scale was a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (7). Finally, the online survey included 4 questions assessing basic demographic questions (sex, age, marital status, and level of education). These questions were included in order to develop a respondent profile.


Using the statistic program LISREL 8.72, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) evaluated the meaningfulness of latent variables and their indicators. The internal consistency estimates (Cronbach’s alpha) for the items selected to represent the various dimensions were also computed. In order to determine which volunteer motivation factor best predicts the satisfaction with volunteer experience at the Twin Cities Marathon, a multiple regression procedure was conducted. In particular, backward elimination as one of the stepwise procedures was used to select the best subset of volunteer motivation factors. For the backward elimination, by beginning with the model containing all the variables the least useful variable was eliminated one at a time as identifying the largest p-value. This process was continued until no further variable could be removed.

Respondent Profile

Of the 254 respondents, 70.5% were female and 29.5% male. The mean age was 39 years old, and ranged from 13 to 67 years. About one half (49.2%) were married, 43.2% were single, 6.8% were divorced, and .8% were widowed. Four out of 10 (40.5%) of the respondents were classified as holding college degree, 25.0% hold graduate degree, 18.3% of the respondents were college students, 10.3% were classified as graduate student status, and 1.6% hold a high school diploma.

Scale Validation

Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to build a measurement model and to verify the appropriateness of the scales used in the special sporting event context. The measurement model included 26 items with the six motivational factors discovered through Bang and Chelladurai’ study (2003): Expression of Values, Community Involvement, Interpersonal Contacts, Career Orientation, Personal Growth, Extrinsic Rewards. In order to extend the line of Bang and Chelladurai’s research on the volunteer scale development, Love of Sport factor including 4 items was included. That is, a total of 30 volunteer motivation items were assessed in the measurement model. Table 1 indicates that all items for each construct significantly loaded on their corresponding construct.

Results from CFA revealed that the chi-square test was significant (= 976.66, df = 384, p < 0.01), which would indicate an unacceptable fit. However, because the chi-square test of absolute model fit is sensitive to large sample size and non-normality in the underlying distribution of the input variables (Bentler & Bonett, 1980), other fit statistics were investigated to assess the overall fit of the model. The alternative fit indices indicated a reasonable fit of the data. The RMSEA (.078, CI = .07 to .08) was well below the minimum cut-off of .08 (Browne & Cudeck, 1993) with the narrower the confidence intervals, the better the fit (MacCallum, Browne & Sugawara, 1996). Both the CFI (0.94) and the NNFI (0.93) indicated an adequate fit of the data given that each met the recommended criteria of .90 (Kelloway, 1998; Kline, 1998). In addition, the RMR (.070) value, a measure of the absolute fit, indicated a good fit given the value was well below the recommended .08 criterion (Browne & Cudeck, 1993; Hu & Bentler, 1999).

The factors confirmed were Expression of Values (concern for others, the success of the event, and society), Community Involvement (helping the event as being part of the local community), Interpersonal Contacts (meeting and interacting with people and forming friendships), Career Orientation (gaining experience and career contacts), Personal Growth (gaining new perspectives, feeling important and needed), Extrinsic Rewards (getting free uniforms, food, accommodation, and admission), and Love of Sport (loving the sport and liking any event of the sport). The ranking of these subscales in terms of grand means were Expression of Values (M=5.92), Love of Sport (M=4.82), Interpersonal Contacts (M=4.73), Personal Growth (M=4.66), Community Involvement (M =4.64), Career Orientation (M=2.94), and Extrinsic Rewards (M=2.17).

As estimates of internal consistency, Cronbach’s alphas were calculated for each of the seven factors and the satisfaction variable. The internal consistency estimates for these factors ranged from .74 to .92, and had a mean value of .83. That is, the reliability of each factor met the minimum level (.70) recommended by Nunnally and Bernstein (1994) (see Table 1).

Multiple Regression

Multiple regression analysis was used to predict the satisfaction level of volunteer experience based on volunteer motivations. In order to examine the contribution of variables to the prediction of volunteer satisfaction, the gender and marital status variables were added into the multiple regression equation with all the volunteer motivation factors by using a dichotomous dummy coding technique. The full model equation based on linear combinations of the seven volunteer motivations, gender, and marital status variables was significant (F(9, 204) = 8.52, p = .000), and 27% of the variability in volunteer satisfaction was attributable to variability in the volunteer motivations, gender, and marital status variables (adjusted R2 = .241). However, not all the variables included were found to be significant. The correlations shown in Table 2 indicate that although most of volunteer motivations are related to volunteer satisfaction, partial correlations also exist with each of those additional variables. For example, personal growth seems to represent many partial correlations with other volunteer motivations, as well as interpersonal contacts also being moderately correlated with other variables (see Table 2).

Therefore, for the purpose of finding a best subset of predictor variables to explain volunteer satisfaction as a dependent variable, a backward elimination search procedure was employed to select the best subset of volunteer motivation variables. The final selected regression model included three volunteer motivation predictors, Expression of Values, Career Orientation, and Love of Sport (F(3, 235) = 24.441, p < .000). Table 3 shows the statistical significance of the volunteer motivation variables that predict volunteer satisfaction.

Furthermore, these predictors accounted for approximately 23% of the unique variance in volunteer satisfaction (adjusted R2 = .228). The estimated model indicates that increases in any of the three factors are likely to result in corresponding increases in the respondents’ satisfaction with their volunteer experience.


The results of this research are encouraging for the continued understanding of volunteer motivations at special sporting events. The seven validated dimensions of motivations of the modified Volunteer Motivations Scale for International Sporting Events (VMS-ISE). These seven motivation factors support previous literature focusing on sport volunteer management, (Bang & Chelladurai, 2003). As Bang and Chelladurai (2003) theoretically supported their six factors, the same motivational factors found in the present study lend support to their findings, as well as the factor analysis results being viewed as an extension of the models from Clary et al. (1998), Farrell et al. (1998), and Johnston et al. (1999/2000). The Expression of Values factor corresponds to those described as the purposive of both studies, Farrell et al. (1998) and Johnston et al. (1999 / 2000), and the value by Clary et al. (1998). The Interpersonal Contact also corresponds with those addressed as solidary by Farrell et al. (1998) and Johnston et al. (1999/2000). The Personal Growth is consistent with those explained as the enhancement by the study conducted by Clary et al. (1998). Finally, the Career Orientation is also congruent to the career factor proposed by Clary et al. (1998).

One significant contribution of this study was that through adaptations in item wording, the Community Involvement factor, corresponded to the patriotism dimension assessed by Bang and Chelladurai (2003). Bang and Chelladurai’s (2003) patriotism factor was connected to the concept of regional tribalism suggested by Matsuoka and Chelladurai (2001). Matsuoka and Chelladurai (2001) indicated that regional tribalism is a component of a fan’s identification with a sport team. They argued that when a person is attached to the city or region, that attachment may translate into identification with a team or teams located in that city or region. It is in this context that volunteering for an event could form a link to community, with the primary motivation being to support and facilitate the success of the event hosted by the community.

This finding is particularly valuable for smaller special events at the local community level. Managers for events of this magnitude could emphasize the community involvement notion when recruiting and retaining volunteers. Moreover, Williams et al. (1995) empirically identified that supporting a national team, improving community spirit, and strengthening community image are important reasons for volunteering special events.

Another contribution of the study is the revelation that the Love of Sport factor was found to be a strong motivational factor among event volunteers. It can be implied that because of the very nature of this special sporting event, the reasons for volunteering converged on the sport itself rather than the simple reason of helping others. The findings of this study also strengthen the thought that volunteer motivations for smaller special sporting events are very similar to the motivations to volunteer at mega sporting events. That is, for people whose focus is on fulfilling a desire for belongingness to sport related events, they will often volunteer for the event regardless of size.

The present study also examined whether the data at the special sporting event would reveal relations between the motivational factors and volunteer satisfaction. The multiple regression results indicated that the three motivational factors (Expression of Values, Career Orientation, and Love of Sport) best explain the level of respondents’ satisfaction with their volunteer experience. According to the self-regulation theory, satisfying individual’s psychological needs promotes further motivation. The results of the study are consistent with the view that satisfaction of these needs yield further positive motivation outcomes. As previously mentioned, many volunteer motivation studies have viewed that, beyond the altruistic manner, a non-traditional paradigm for understanding volunteer motivations reflects a set of psychological needs such as social contact, personal interests, and emotional need. That is, through a volunteering experience, an individual might evaluate their psychological needs such as the desire to express one’s values, enhance one’s career, and to enjoy being involved in sport activities. If these needs are satisfied, the individual will be likely motivated to volunteer for future events.

From a managerial perspective, the role of the organization seems to be exceedingly important in managing volunteers. Event managers must understand what motivates people to volunteer for special sporting events, and how to help each volunteer achieve a sense of personal satisfaction through the identification of various motivations. Johnston et al. (1999 / 2000) suggest that motivation for special event volunteers not only extends further than the traditional volunteer motivations, but also is different depending on the type of event. Thus, identifying volunteer motivations should be substantial, by specifically matching with the characteristics of events, rather than a simple motivation of helping others. If the motivations of individual event volunteer are identified successfully, event managers would be able to more accurately assign appropriate tasks to volunteers. Moreover, when managers place volunteers, giving them constant support and guidance would be required to enhance volunteers’ satisfaction and positive feeling of the event organization. As such, event managers should express feedback to their volunteers in order to serve as an internal reward. Another challenge for event managers is to promote awareness for the importance of volunteering at the event as a means to successfully complete the event. According to the results of the study, the event volunteers tended to be more satisfied when they felt that they helped make the event a success. That is, the event managers need to explain what specific needs are needed by the event organizers and how these tasks will helps the event to become a success. When volunteers feel that they are truly needed and responsible for the event, their job performance may be improved. Consequently, sport event organizations and volunteer managers could build long-term relationships with their most excellent, suitable volunteers given that these individuals who gained positive experiences initially have greater intentions to come back to the sport event.

As with any study, the limitations must be acknowledged. First, although the internal consistency of the volunteer satisfaction items used in the study fell above an acceptable level, these items were created and rephrased by the researchers. This indicates a need for future scale development studies of volunteer satisfaction to develop a comprehensive understanding of volunteer outcomes. The development of a new, reliable, and valid scale identifying the nature of volunteer satisfaction would help researchers explore specific satisfaction dimensions and the relationships between volunteers' attitudes and a variety of event or organizational related factors. Thus, further research is necessary to develop and validate the scale among a broader population of volunteers. Second, the modified VMS-ISE used here should be repeatedly tested using other samples from different special sporting events. The importance of replication in independent samples has been emphasized by other scholars (Floyd & Widaman, 1995; Reise, Waller, & Comrey, 2000; Steiger, 1990). Most appropriately, Steiger (1990) stated that “An ounce of replication is worth a ton of inferential statistics” (p.176).


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Table 1: Items, Factor Loadings, and Reliability estimates for the modified VMS-ISE

Scales and items ÿ t ÿ
Expression of Values (5 items)     0.74
I want to help out in any capacity. 0.45 6.94  
I want to do something worthwhile. 0.63 10.18  
I feel it is important to help others.  0.73 12.43  
I want to help make the event a success.  0.61 9.91  
Volunteering creates a better society.  0.72 12.20  
Community Involvement (5 items)     0.83
Because of my devotion to my community.  0.71 12.32  
The Twin Cities Marathon would raise the prestige of my community. 0.68 11.50  
My love for my community makes me help it run a great event. 0.77 13.74  
I want to express my pride in my community. 0.71 12.27  
I am proud of my community hosting the Twin Cities Marathon. 0.68 11.50  
Interpersonal Contacts (4 items)     0.89
I want to interact with others. 0.90 18.14  
I want to work with different people.  0.84 16.13  
I want to meet people. 0..81 15.22  
I want to develop relationship with others.  0.77 14.06  
Career Orientation (5 items)     0.92
Volunteering experience will look good on my resume.  0.81 15.23  
I want to gain some practical experience.  0.75 13.63  
I can make new contact that might help my business or career. 0.87 17.33  
I want to gain work-related experience. 0.84 16.39  
I want to gain experience that would be beneficial in any job. 0.89 17.72  
Personal Growth (4 items)     0.77
Volunteering makes me feel needed.  0.79 14.06  
I can explore my own strength.  0.74 12.78  
Volunteering makes me feel important.  0.77 13.63  
Volunteering allows me to gain a new perspective on things 0.43 6.61  
Extrinsic Rewards (3 items)     0.79
I want to get free food at the event.  0.80 13.50  
I want to get event uniform / licensed apparels. 0.73 12.14  
I want to get tickets / free admission. 0.70 11.46  
Love of Sport (4 items)     0.85
I like any event related to sport. 0.70 12.30  
I like any event related to this sport (i.e. marathon). 0.66 11.71  
Sport is something I love 0.83 15.44  
I enjoy being involved in sport activities 0.91 17.61  

Note: ÿ = Factor loadings, ÿ = Cronbach Alpha, n = number of items within each factor.

Table 2: Correlations Among the Motivational Factors and Satisfaction*

* Please note: Due to an error in digital file saving, this table data is incomplete (the first column of this table is missing). We will attempt to correct the problem as soon as possible.

  Expression of
Love of
  0.60 1.00            
  0.43 0.44 1.00          
  0.27 0.37 0.61 1.00        
  0.44 0.44 0.62 0.55 1.00      
  -0.02 0.15 0.32 0.49 0.27 1.00    
  0.23 0.39 0.21 0.22 0.27 0.22 1.00  
  0.43 0.38 0.36 0.31 0.34 0.04 0.25 1.00
  5.92 4.64 4.73 2.94 4.66 2.17 4.82 5.37
  .74 1.09 1.28 1.50 1.23 1.24 1.28 1.18

Table 3: Summary of Multiple Regression Analysis

Factor B SE B ÿ P
Expression of Values .56 .10 .34 .00
Career Orientation .15 .05 .19 .00
Love of Sport  .13 .06 .14 .03

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