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In 2014 in the United States, an estimated 62.8 million people, or 25.3% of the population volunteered their time and money to a nonprofit organization, spending around 7.9 billion hours of volunteer time (“Volunteering in 2014,” 2015). Volunteerism accounts for a significant portion of the workforce, particularly among nonprofit organizations that rely heavily on community support to provide necessary, yet usually unprofitable services. Despite the importance of volunteer practices, volunteer retention is a pervasive issue and can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor for the organization. The current paper provides a review of behavior analytic literature to discuss how behavior science is suited for empirically investigating the origins and maintenance of volunteer behavior. Furthermore, although behavior systems analysis has not specifically addressed volunteerism, this analytic approach could be beneficial to investigate ameliorating volunteer retention on the large scale. The conclusion explores research suggestions and likely implications of expanding behavior analysis further into this domain.
Behavior and Social Issues – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2016
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