About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3600-3609
Publication year: 2020
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.0814

Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference

THE IMPACT OF VOLUNTEERING AND THE ACQUISITION OF SKILLS THROUGH PRACTICE

S. Oliveira1, M. Fernandes1, A. Carneiro1, M. Brandão1, F. Campos1, R. Carreira2

1ISMAI - Maia University Institute (PORTUGAL)
2UNICES Research Centre - ISMAI; N2i Research Centre - IPMaia (Maia Polytechnic Institute) (PORTUGAL)
This study intended to assess the impact of volunteering on society and understand how its practice allows the acquisition of skills. In addition, it would make the population aware of the value and importance of the different ways of volunteering. One of the central points of this investigation was to understand how institutions should recruit and attract volunteers and ultimately how to retain them, by understanding whether or not the volunteers’ initial motivations (i.e. which attract them) remain unchanged along time. This study was carried out within the scope of the ENtRANCE Erasmus+ project, by students of the Research Methods and Techniques course integrated in the Communication Sciences degree at Maia University Institute and had the collaboration of the Volunteer School, Pista Mágica by contacting its volunteers and clarifying relevant information. Several scientific articles were analysed, such as Marcos, V., Parente, C., Amador, C. (2013); Ferreira, R. M., Proença, T., Proença, F. J. (2008); Carvalho, F. F. M. (2015); Azevedo, D., (2007); Almeida, J. R., (2011) which allowed a first approach to such topic but with no answers found.

The research was conducted with a mixed methods approach in order to balance between depth and breadth (Strauss & Corbin, 1998), which combined qualitative (participant observation, interviews and their content analysis (Pawson, 1996)) followed by quantitative methodologies (questionnaire design and analysis following a sequence of steps consistent with conventional guidelines for scale development (e.g. Churchill, 1979, Gerbing and Anderson, 1988)), in order to understand the motivations and barriers of two different target groups - Formal and Informal Volunteers. The first group can be defined by the set of actions of social and community interest carried out in a disinterested manner by people, within the scope of projects, programs at the service of individuals, families and the community, developed on a non-profit basis, by public or private entities (Portuguese Law No. 71/98, of 3 November). The second group is characterized by work produced directly by the individual himself to other individuals not belonging to his household (McCurley & Lynch, 2006).

The results show that the retention of volunteers for long periods of time in one place is almost impossible, especially doing the same tasks over again. In order to explore the factors associated with the retention of volunteers in voluntary actions, it was possible to show that, in general, there are reasons of altruistic character (concern for the welfare of others / intentions of a solidarity nature) that determine the involvement in informal volunteering. Related to formal volunteering, the curriculum benefits and acquisition of soft skills are the main motivations for volunteers to remain in institutions. About the barriers encountered in attracting volunteers, the lack of assertiveness in the communication of the institutions stands out, the inadequate recruitment processes and the lack of information about the solidarity actions.

This study contributes, above all, to the scarcity of literature regarding informal volunteering, but it also provides valuable tools for the institutions, in order for them to be able to create volunteer recruitment programs, trying to minimize the mentioned barriers that may be the reasons for the low volunteers’ attraction and retention in organizations and, consequently, of voluntary activities.
@InProceedings{OLIVEIRA2020IMP,
author = {Oliveira, S. and Fernandes, M. and Carneiro, A. and Brand{\~{a}}o, M. and Campos, F. and Carreira, R.},
title = {THE IMPACT OF VOLUNTEERING AND THE ACQUISITION OF SKILLS THROUGH PRACTICE},
series = {13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2020 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-24232-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2020.0814},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2020.0814},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Online Conference},
month = {9-10 November, 2020},
year = {2020},
pages = {3600-3609}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Oliveira AU - M. Fernandes AU - A. Carneiro AU - M. Brandão AU - F. Campos AU - R. Carreira
TI - THE IMPACT OF VOLUNTEERING AND THE ACQUISITION OF SKILLS THROUGH PRACTICE
SN - 978-84-09-24232-0/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2020.0814
PY - 2020
Y1 - 9-10 November, 2020
CI - Online Conference
JO - 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2020 Proceedings
SP - 3600
EP - 3609
ER -
S. Oliveira, M. Fernandes, A. Carneiro, M. Brandão, F. Campos, R. Carreira (2020) THE IMPACT OF VOLUNTEERING AND THE ACQUISITION OF SKILLS THROUGH PRACTICE, ICERI2020 Proceedings, pp. 3600-3609.
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