Motivational factors which affect an individual to volunteer at local/major sporting events DISCLAIMER: At the Service Industry Project Scheme (SIPS) subject is undertaken by a final year student from the University of Canberra, as part of their undergraduate degree. No liability will be accepted by the student, the staff or the university, for any outcomes based on the findings of the student’s study. All information is subject to commercial confidentiality and there many be no use of any information without the permission of the client organisation.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The 2008 UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Mountain Bike World Cup for stages of cross country, downhill and four cross was held at Stromlo Park in Canberra on the 30th and 31st of August 2008. One major element of the event was the recruitment, training and management of the volunteers. Through major sporting events in history (eg, Olympic Games, Fifa World Cup), it is illustrated that volunteers are essential in the overall delivery of this type of international event.
The aim of the study is to compile a ‘common’ profile of the events volunteers administered to individual volunteers, to determine the key factors that motivated the volunteer to engage in the volunteering of the MTB World Cup. The report sets out the findings derived from a written, self-completion survey of 100 volunteers which includes volunteers involved with registration, organising, food/beverage, marshalling, transporting, first aid or the media. Research data was gathered at the 2008 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup sponsored by Nissan, held at the Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra on the 30th-31st of
August. Research was also conducted in conjunction with the University of Canberra: Business and Government Faculty. INTRODUCTION: A volunteer is someone who works for a community or for the benefit of the environment; for the main reason of because they choose to do so. No-one doubts that volunteers are good for society. In fact, all societies depend on volunteers, both formal (eg. non-profit organisations) and informal (eg. Individuals or groups), to address a wide range of problems that other social and political institutions cannot solve by themselves.
In 2001 in the United States, an estimated 84 million people volunteered an average of 4 hours per week, yielding the annual equivalent of over 200 billion dollars of labour (Independent Sector, 2001). These observations and statistics have led many interested parties, including economists and academics, to study and understand why people supply labour seemingly for free. The following report will add to our understanding of the motivations of volunteers through an analysis of data gathered from a sample market of volunteers, which will shed some light the psychology of motivation.
While there are articles and reports available online and in libraries exploring the many motivations of volunteerism; there is still little research published regarding the detailed analysis of motivation specific to volunteers for sporting events. The present study will be designed to investigate and provide information on this multifaceted issue, and to meet the needs of academics or future sporting events promoters. Research data will be gathered at the 2008 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup sponsored by Nissan, held at the Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra on the 30th-31st of August.
Research will also be conducted in conjunction with the University of Canberra: Business and Government Faculty. BACKGROUND: Volunteerism is the willingness of people to work on behalf of others without being motivated by financial gain. Volunteering comes in many forms, it can be formal including working for nonprofit organisations, induction/education resourcing, or an independent group. Informal volunteering can include community education, working with social clubs or churches, sausage sizzles or something simple as a school visit. Wikipedia, 2008) “The aggregation of the volunteer movement leads to the creation of business strategies and implementation plans- aggregation creates the critical mass for us to do things. It can provide the capacity to make and implement important decisions and it can shape the environment in which we work” (Foster, L. 2005) Volunteerism involves the willingness of people, meaning there is no force; nor threat to for action to be taken, this means that the individual or groups are stimulated by a motivation. When it comes to taking action, motivation–more specifically emotional reward–is at the core of exercise adoption into one’s lifestyle. That being said, motivation is defined as follows: the process that initiates, directs and sustains behaviour to satisfy physiological and psychological needs and wants” (Wood, S. & Boyd, D. 2003). And usually behind volunteering is one of the following motivators: (1) Achievement, (2) Power, (3) Affiliation, (4) Recognition, and (5) Altruism. (Skelly, J, 2000) PROBLEM STATEMENT:
Currently there is an abundance of information on Psychology and Motivation of Volunteerism (Chapman, T. H. 1985, Zappala, G. 2000, Vineyard, S. 1991) however there is still little research published linking the two topics together; focusing on the motivations of volunteers specific to sporting events such as the 2008 UCI Mountain Bike World Champion. AIM: To research and collect data from the participants/volunteers of the 2008 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup held at the Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra on the 30th-31st of August.
Data collected from the event will be sorted and analysed to provide new information between volunteerism and sports. Data presented will cover sample demographics, previous experience, feeling/attitudes, and internal/external motivations. With this information a target market can be formed linking the types of individuals who are most likely to volunteer at sporting events. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the research are: •To draw the attention of market researchers, event promoters, volunteer agencies and other interested parties including academics; to the way motivation acts as a tool for volunteerism. To provide new and updated information on what we currently know on volunteer motivation •To contribute to the development of a better volunteer promotion, marketing, and recruitment strategy; not only specific to the sports industry or sport tourism market, but also on the part of related industries (eg. Volunteers for the environment, charity, promotion, or help to others) •To assist communities and organisations in understanding perceptions, behaviours and attitudes of a volunteer.
Specifically; interested groups can use the information to attract potential volunteers by relating recruitment messages to closely match their motivational needs. Additionally, in assessing the motivational needs of new volunteers, we can ensure effective placement of volunteers into activities that meet their needs. Furthermore by understanding their motivations we can seek to maintain volunteer satisfaction by ensuring these motivations are fulfilled. LITERATURE REVIEW: Studies in Sports Volunteerism.
Sport volunteerism is critical to the sport industry itself, and to the voluntary sector as a whole. In Australia and Canada, for example, over 1 million people volunteered for sport organisations, and in England this number reaches 4. 5 million; that is equivalent to 10% of Australians, 5% of Canadians, and approximately 11% of the English population (Cuskelly, Hoye, & Auld, 2006). To put those values in further perspective, about one-quarter of all volunteers in Australia (26%) and England (26. 5%), and one-fifth of volunteers in Canada (18%) are involved in the sport sector alone (Cuskelly et al. 2006). Although the voluntary sector has long been a key aspect of the sport industry, there is a relative dearth of research with regard to the volunteers themselves. As reported in the inaugural issue of this journal (Doherty, 1998), only 5% of the organisational behaviour research in the sport setting to that point had considered the attitudes and behaviours of volunteers. Given the breadth of volunteer resources in the sport industry, it is important that the sport organisation manage them and their contributions effectively (Chelladurai, 2006).
To do so, we must have a clear understanding of sport volunteers and their experiences. As Cuskelly noted; we cannot assume that all human resources are the same, and that common management practices can be applied. Indeed, volunteers who are involved in the sport sector have been shown to be unique among volunteers in general (Doherty, 2005; Taylor et al. , 2003). For example, sport organisation volunteers are more likely than volunteers in other sectors, to be male, younger, and involved because their children are participants.
Noted by Doherty, There is a need to further develop the body of literature on sport volunteerism, building on the work that has been done to date. Research into motivation What actually motivates a person to volunteer is a complex and vexing question (Esmond, 1997), yet understanding these motivations is suggested by many authors to be of great assistance to the managers of volunteers in their recruitment, selection, placement and ultimate retention of volunteers (Clary, Snyder & Ridge, 1992) From Esmond, J. & Dunlop, P. (2004). Developing the Volunteer Motivation Inventory.
A study of 2444 volunteers were questioned from 15 different organisations from Western Australia with the ultimate goal to develop a self-report inventory of volunteer motivations with the intention to determine the key factors that motivated the volunteer to engage in their volunteering activity. Major organisations who participated in the research included the Australian Red Cross, City of Stirling: Community Services Department, Guides, RSPCA, Volunteer First Aid Service at St Johns Ambulance, and the The School Volunteer Program. Using a 5-Stage research process, a proper Volunteer Motivation Inventory (VMI) was developed.
From the final VMI that was produced from the research, the inventory consisted of ten motivational categories. These factors included: 1. Values: whereby the individual volunteers in order to express or act firmly held beliefs of the importance for one to help others. 2. Reciprocity: whereby the individual volunteers in the belief that ‘what goes around comes around’. In the process of helping others and ‘doing good’ their volunteering work will also bring about good things for the volunteer themselves. 3. Recognition: whereby the individual is motivated to volunteer by being recognised for their skills and contribution. 4.
Understanding: whereby the individual volunteers to learn more about the world through their volunteering experience or exercise skills that are often unused 5. Self-Esteem: whereby the individual volunteers to increase their own feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. 6. Reactivity: whereby the individual volunteers out of a need to ‘heal’ and address their own past or current issues. 7. Social: whereby the individual volunteers and seeks to conform to normative influences of significant others (e. g. friends or family) 8. Protective: whereby the individual volunteers as a means to reduce negative feelings about themselves, e. . guilt or to address personal problems 9. Social Interaction: whereby the individual volunteers to build social networks and enjoys the social aspects of interacting with others. 10. Career Development: whereby the individual volunteers with the prospect of making connections with people and gaining experience and skills in the field that may eventually be beneficial in assisting them to find employment. Through the continued development of the VMI, it was found that Values was ranked at the top, listed as the most common motivation for volunteers; closely in second and third were Reciprocity and Recognition respectively.
Other studies in Motivation: Carpenter, J & Myers, C. K. (2007) Why Volunteer? Evidence on the Role of Altruism, Reputation, and Incentives. In this similar case it explores the motivations of volunteer firemen registered in Vermont. However unlike the Esmond & Dunlop study, the research presented has focused on altruism, reputational concerns and material incentives. What Carpenter and Myers found was that altruism and reputational concerns are positively associated with the decision to volunteer. Furthermore by adding a level of incentives negatively correlated with the volunteer’s reputational concern.
This supports the idea that an extrinsic incentive can alter an individual’s internal reason to volunteer. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: Estimating that there will be at least 200 volunteers at the event; the research will aim to interview half of this population. The following report is an empirical research; research methods will involve mainly on primary studies and will include questionnaires, short face-to-face interviews, observations and statistical analysis. The primary studies will concentrate on quantitative data through random sampling; this is most suitable because data can be easy compared through a statistical analysis
Secondary studies such as desk research are all pre-requisites before the research is to be conducted. Objective 1: To determine the sample demographics data of the volunteer population at the event. Research method/s: Observation and questionnaire Justification: There are sometimes questions that would be inappropriate to ask in an interview or on a questionnaire e. g. (Race, gender or age), which is why observations would best suit these questions. However to find out a particular statistic on the ratio of gender, income, education or martial status; a questionnaire would most suitable.
Both methods are also fast and inexpensive. Limitations/problems: Sometimes observations maybe not be precise, purely because people are not always what they seem to appear. E. g. determining someone’s age based on observing will almost never be completely accurate. Also the data collected in this event cannot be extrapolated to the wider population. Therefore the results of this project cannot guarantee the same results at a different event, however similar the event/situation may seem. Objective 2: To gather data of volunteer’s self reported motivational factors, attitudes, perceptions, and previous experience.
Research method/s: Questionnaire and face-to-face interviews Justification: It is very difficult through observing someone to determine how they are feeling inside. This is why a questionnaire or interview would be most accurate. Both methods can directly ask the questions you need answered. Limitations/problems: Directly asking a question may often place pressure on an individual especially face-to-face, this is why some answers may not always be honest. And due to the subjective nature of data, it raises the issue of reliability and validity.
Also we must consider that some people may want privacy and may not reveal their true marital status, income or age. Objective 3: To research the rankings between motivational reasons behind their decision to volunteer at sporting events Research method/s: Statistical Analysis Justification: Linked directly to Objective 2, this stage involves the closer analysis of the data gathered, ranking the findings from the most common motivation factor to the least. Limitations/problems: This objective involves the individual input of all data into a computer system. This can e very labour intensive; this may lead to strong change of fatigue therefore an increased chance of data input error. Also it cannot be guaranteed that everyone at the event will be questioned, plus the rankings of motivation in this event may differ slightly to another sporting event. RESULTS AND FINDINGS: Table 1: How did you hear about the MTB volunteering program? How did you hear? Frequency Word of Mouth54 MTB website32 CORC Newsletter19 Radio Advertisement13 Other sporting club’s newsletter6 Newspaper Advertisement4 Other5 Total133 Table 1: NT – In some cases more than 1 more boxes were ticked
Some volunteers listed also: •School/University (3) •Triathlon ACT website (2) Table 2: Have you volunteered at any UCI Mountain Bike Event before? Volunteer at MTB Event before? FrequencyPercentCumulative Percent No515151 Yes4949100 Total100100 Table 3a: Have you volunteered at any recognised non-MTB event before? Volunteer at non-MTB Event before FrequencyPercentCumulative Percent No464646 Yes5454100 Total100100 Table 3b: Given examples of volunteered non-MTB events Other events of volunteer: Frequency Sporting Events33 School Events19 Charity/Fundraising17 Other12 Total:81
Table 3b: NT – In some cases more than 1 more boxes were ticked Some specific events listed were: •Canberra Brumbies/Raiders Games (4) •Triathlon ACT (3) •Greening Australia/ Landcare (2) •Folk Festival (1) •Canberra Scouts (1) •ANU Open Day (1) Table 4: Why did you choose to volunteer at 2008 MTB Event? Frequency To Watch Event Close-up51 To Help Out48 For the Fun of it45 Feel Useful29 Be Part of a Team26 Work with Family and Friends23 Work Experience21 For recognition19 Gain/develop skills16 Gain/Increase Knowledge16 To Combat Boredom13 Make Contacts and Networking12
Be a Better Person11 Other8 Total:338 Table 4: NT – In some cases more than 1 more boxes were ticked Other reasons included: •Promotional incentives (4) •Remunerations (2) •Strong Mountain Biking interest (2) Table 5: Benefits expected prior to volunteering the MTB Event: Receive Training FrequencyPercentCumulative Percent No707070 Yes3030100 Total100100 Receive Documented Recognition FrequencyPercentCumulative Percent No818181 Yes1919100 Total100100 Receive Promotional Gifts FrequencyPercentCumulative Percent No737373 Yes2727100 Total100100 Special Access to Behind the Scenes
FrequencyPercentCumulative Percent No555555 Yes4545100 Total100100 Table 5: NT – In some cases more than 1 more boxes were ticked Specific benefits listed included: •Personal Satisfaction (3) •Be part of the event (1) •Give back to CORC (1) •Meet similar-minded people (1) However (16) volunteers specifically noted that volunteering was not about benefits Table 6: Importance of External Incentives Importance of External Incentives FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent Not at all important16161616 Not important27272743 Neutral33333376 Important14141490 Very important101010100
Total100100100 Table 7: Members of CORC, Plans to join CORC, Members of other Cycling Groups Member of CORC FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent No626263. 9263. 92 Yes353536. 08100. 00 Total9797100. 00 Missing System33 Total100100 Future planning to join CORC FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent No404058. 8258. 82 Yes101014. 7173. 53 Unsure181826. 47100. 00 Total6868100. 00 Missing System3232 Total100100 Members of other than CORC FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent No383866. 6766. 67 Yes191933. 33100. 00 Total5757100. 00 Missing System4343 Total100100
Table 7: NT – Results were rounded to 2 decimal places Table 8: State of Residence: Where do you live? FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent ACT and Local Region828284. 5485. 57 Queensland111. 0386. 60 Western Australia111. 0387. 63 Other NSW111111. 3498. 97 South Australia111. 03100. 00 Total9696100. 00 Missing System44 Total100100 Table 8: NT – Results were rounded to 2 decimal places Table 9: Gender ratio of volunteers Gender FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent Female191931. 6731. 67 Male414168. 33100. 00 Total6060100. 00 Missing System4040 Total100100
Table 9: NT – Results were rounded to 2 decimal places Table 10: Age Groups of volunteers Age group FrequencyPercentCumulative Percent ;18101010 18-195515 20-24202035 25-296641 30-34131354 35-39111165 40-44121277 45-498885 50-547792 55-593395 60-643398 ;6522100 Total100100 Table 11: Employment Status Employment Status FrequencyPercentCumulative Percent Full-Time575757 Part-Time/Casual272784 Retired3387 Not currently in paid workforce, but not retired1313100 Total100100 Cross Table 12: Number of volunteers who volunteered at the MTB event and also at other sporting events. Count
Volunteer at other sporting eventsTotal NoYes Volunteer at other non-MTB Event beforeNo46046 Yes213354 Total6733100 Cross Table 13: Does being a member of CORC affect a decision to volunteer at an MTB event. Count Volunteer at MTB Event before? Total NoYes Member of CORCNo412162 Yes92635 Total504797 DISCUSSION: Demographics: The demographics as shown from the results indicate that almost 84. 54% of the volunteers were locals, also showing that 11. 34% were from Other NSW (Table 8). This 11. 43% suggests that people are indeed willing to travel up to 3-4 hours from outside NSW to volunteer at events.
In addition Table 9 shows that of the 60 volunteers who answered the gender question, 41 were males, compared to 19 who were female; males represents a large 68. 3% of the volunteers, this figure may reflect a different result if more people had answer this question. Results from Table 10 also specifying that the majority of volunteers were aged from 18-44, suggesting that most were likely to still be in the labour force with full-time or part-time jobs; this is further supported and confirmed in Table 11. Method of promotion:
As seen from Table 1; we can analyse the rankings between the most effective techniques to the least effective methods of promoting the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. From the data gathered we can identify that Word of Mouth, the MTB website and the CORC Newsletter are proven to be most effective, whilst conveniently also being the most inexpensive. However because Word of Mouth is an unmanageable factor, the focus should mainly be on the MTB website and the CORC newsletter. This means that there should be more awareness for both methods; this may include sponsorships, partnerships ect.
Another suggestion would be the shift from radio and newspaper advertisement to the promotion in ACT schools and universities; even though the recorded numbers for school/university was quite low, there is still huge potential seeing as the common demographics of an MTB volunteer (Male, Under 44 years of age, ACT resident) can be found there. CORC and Other Cycling Memberships It is clear that CORC (Canberra off road cyclists) plays an important role in the promotion and recruitment of volunteers at a MTB event, which is why there is a need to sustain the presence of CORC.
This is supported in Cross Table 13, when we compare the members of CORC to non-members and observing any previous involvement in an MTB event. Non-members of CORC have 41 first-time volunteers compared to CORC members which only have 9 first-time members. This indication suggests that CORC members are more likely to volunteer again, hence why most CORC members have volunteered at a MTB event before. In Table 7, we can see that roughly 35% of the sample population were already members of CORC; however of the 68 non-member volunteers who were asked if they would consider joining CORC: there were 40 no’s, and 18 were unsure.
This alone is another case that needs further research. Volunteer Experience: Results gathered from the survey shows that 51% of the population have volunteered before, and 53% of the population have volunteered at some other events; including sporting, charity and school events. We can also see from Cross Table 12 that of the 54 volunteers that have volunteered at non MTB events, 33 of which has also volunteered at other sporting events; some which includes Canberra Raiders Rugby games, Triathlon ACT and at the Canberra Brumbies games.
This indicates perhaps there is a pattern or theory that would suggest a volunteer will most likely volunteer at similar themed events; in this case, sporting events. Knowing this will be a lot easier determining which type of events to promote an UCI MTB event. Motivational Factors: Taking the results from Table 4, there seems to be a distinct group of reasons to why people volunteer at the MTB Event. At the top of the list is (1) To watch event close-up, followed shortly after is (2) To help out, (3) For the Fun of it, (4) To feel useful, (5) Be part of a team, and (6) Work with family and friends all of which has no external incentives.
In the middle of the ranks we have (7) Work Experience, (8) Recognition, (9) Gain/develop skills, (10) Gain/increase knowledge, and (12) Make contacts and networking; this category are motivations that allow the opportunity to gain internal benefits that may provide future advancements in life. At the bottom on the list is (13) To be a better person, this maybe because that a sporting event such as the MTB World Cup may not be the most appropriate type of event to express or act firmly held beliefs of the importance for one to help others, for such motivation perhaps a charity or religious event would be on the top of the list.
Specific reasons by some; listed as (14) Other included Remuneration and Promotional Gifts. This was ranked last possibly because volunteers are embarrassed to admit, even though remuneration and gifts was their main reason to volunteer, however they convince themselves that they are doing for better unselfish reasons E. g. Help others or build character. Benefits and External Incentives Table 5 lists some of the pre-existing expectations of the benefits that volunteers had prior to the event.
Ranked from Special behind Access to the Event, Receive Training, Promotional Gifts to Documented Recognition; respectively in that order. Other benefits listed included Personal Satisfaction and to meet similar-minded people. Supported by Table 6 shows the ranks for the level of importance for external incentive for volunteering; 76% of volunteers listing the importance as neutral, not important or plays no account. CONCLUSION From the results we can draw safely a profile of a common volunteer of a sporting event.
The demographics is evident to how event promoters should promote their recruitment strategy to a general target audience, showing that males under the age of 44 is the most responsive market and that marketing should not necessary be focused on people who are unemployed and have free time on their hands, but to widespread their recruitment particular to include people with full or part-time employment which accounted for 84% of the sample volunteer population. Also with roughly 96% of the sample population coming from ACT or nearby NSW, it was clear that promotion should centre to the local population.
Also from the discussions with age group and the method of promotion it is appropriate to use such methods of the Internet to advertise/recruit for the event, and that the identified target audience would have no trouble using the World Wide Web to look up information on the event. Cross Tables supporting the idea that CORC members are more likely to repeat volunteer, hence the less time/resources to training a new volunteer mean that maintain the interest in CORC will prove to be in the best interest for future MTB events.
This also means investing in local similar interest groups is essential to promote an event. Because the survey was a reported survey it is sometimes not accurate to demonstrate the most honest results. However we can group motivations to how the majority of volunteers may really want or may want to seem like they are volunteering on the basis of wanting to help without benefits. So with results perhaps the volunteer promotion should show an emphasis on helping others, but also a mention of the special benefits of volunteering.
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